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The Hill has eyes

Thursday, 2nd January, 2020

A Spiny-tailed gecko. A Spiny-tailed gecko.

By Callum Marshall

The wonderful variety of geckos in the district has been highlighted by RRANA President Aaron Grieve who, along with a couple of his friends, has taken some great photos of them. 

With summer well under way, now is the best time to spot geckos on the main roads at night.

RRANA’S Aaron Grieve said the late night trips looking for geckos was a bit of fun for the group that enjoys observing geckos and other reptiles.

“We’ve got a plethora of different sorts of reptiles and even amphibians,” Aaron said. “We’ve got lots of frogs around the area in certain little hidey spaces.

“We just enjoy going out and having a look.

“Through the summer months when it starts to warm up, we go out at night because they like to come out at night and sit on the roads and get warmth from the road.”

He said there was a nice variety of interesting little geckos to spot.

“The few little ones we get are the box-patterned gecko, the spiny-tailed gecko, the dtella, the knob-tailed gecko and one of my favourites is the barking gecko. They’re absolutely gorgeous and the colours on them are amazing.”

Aaron said the Silverton Road and the Nine Mile Road were good places to find them.

“Occasionally you might see them in town but they’re a lot harder to spot.

“When you go out it’s usually late at night and we do a crawling pace in the car so it’s easy to spot them.”

Aaron said he enjoyed the oddity of little lizards.

“It’s something that I’ve always loved,” he said.

“They’re an odd animal to enjoy and I enjoy them. I like odd things.

“If you’re interested in it, go out and have a look. There’s heaps out there to see.

“They are hard to spot. Some of them will blend in with the road really well. The spiny-tailed and the dtellas are hard to spot.

“We do maybe 40kph on the road with high beams. Keep your eyes peeled because they can be quick as well.”

For those interested, Aaron recommended being careful with the reptiles.

“Handle them with care because a lot of them, when frightened will drop their tail,” he said.

“That’s a defence mechanism for a lot of the geckos. They will launch their tail off their bodies and that’s their way of escaping. The tail sits there and flops around and they scamper off.

“Don’t try and just grab them. Just cup your hand and let them come onto your hand and then you can get nice photos.”

Over the four years Aaron’s been in Broken Hill, he’s spotted at least a thousand geckos.

Although his spotting trips were not associated with RRANA, Aaron said that the group was interested in kick-starting a local snake watchers club. 

“We’d like to get a group together for that if anyone’s got pythons in the town,” he said.

“Between us we’ve got a lot of snakes, and we’d like to see more.

“We had, at one stage at one of our little outings, eight pythons and that was pretty cool.”

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