Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences (BCAS)

Date of Last Revision

2020-09-18 10:48:34


Biology - Zoology

Honors Course

3100: 499

Number of Credits


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Date of Expected Graduation

Summer 2020


Geckos and their adhesive capabilities have been thoroughly examined for the past two decades, especially in terms of adhesion and its mechanics. However, few studies have focused on how the adhesive performance of geckos influences ecologically relevant behaviors (e.g., habitat/substrate use). The limited work on the topic in the laboratory suggests that geckos spend more time on substrates in which their adhesive capabilities are superior, such as glass. In their natural habitat, however, multiple factors besides adhesive performance alone is likely to collectively impact the substrate use of geckos. The presence of food is one such factor. Here I examined whether the presence of food influenced gecko substrate use on three different substrates that differed in their surface roughness and gecko adhesive capabilities (glass, 1000-grit sandpaper, 80-grit sandpaper). The substrate use of Tokay geckos (Gekko gecko) was recorded in enclosures which had three different substrates and a food source (fruit purée) randomly placed throughout. Consistent with previous work, I found that geckos spent significantly more time on the glass substrate than the two sandpaper substrates, although geckos spent equal amounts of time on the sandpaper substrates. The mean time geckos spent on substrates on which food was located was about 57%. By random chance, geckos would be expected to utilize these substrates about 56% of the time, suggesting that food presence does not influence gecko substrate use in the laboratory. The result of this study can be used to generate testable hypotheses of the many factors that influence gecko substrate use in their natural habitat, which will enhance our understanding of the ecology and evolution of geckos.

Research Sponsor

Dr. Peter Niewiarowski

First Reader

Dr. Henry Astley

Second Reader

Dr. Todd Blackledge

Honors Faculty Advisor

Dr. Brian Bagatto

Honors Project Signature Page.doc (189 kB)
Signatures of the project sponsor, both readers, honors department advisor, and department chair



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