Snacktime! Darwin’s Geckos (Gymnodactylus darwinii) are cryptic lizards endemic to the Atlantic Rain Forests of Brazil. These sit and wait predators feed primarily on grasshoppers and crickets, cockroaches, and isopods. Yet bigger predators abound in the Atlantic Rain Forest, as one Darwin’s Gecko found out.
A Black-tufted-ear marmoset (Callithrix pencillata) sat 3 m above ground holding a Darwin’s Gecko in-hand when Herpetological Review contributors Aximoff and Carvalho spotted the pair in June 2015. The herpetologists watched as the marmoset ate the gecko’s head (top right, decapitated lizard). Then the marmoset ate the tail, forelimbs, and finally the abdomen of the gecko. The marmoset spent about ten minutes eating this morning snack, finishing off the abdomen around 0932h, which is just about the length of time it takes me to eat a nice mid-morning muffin. Black-tufted-ear marmosets commonly eat flowers, tree saps and gums, insects, and frogs, but this observation is noteworthy as the first observation of a Black-tufted-ear Marmoset eating a Darwin’s Gecko.
Many primates eat small reptiles and amphibians, so make sure you record your unique field observations and send them into Herpetological Review!
Citation: Aximoff, I. and S. Carvalho. 2016. Gymnodactylus darwinii (Darwin’s Gecko). Predation. Herpetological Review 47 (2): 298.