The first time I had ever heard of Pristurus carteri, better known as Carters scorpion tailed gecko, was back in 2008 when I was researching Japanese Goniurosaurus and happened upon Phil Trempers website. As I was scrolling down the page to find Goniurosaurus I came across this peculiar looking gecko that had a almost bird like face, long delicate legs and a strange curled tail covered in little fleshy spikes. I was hooked at first sight!
After doing some research on them I contacted Mr. Tremper for the first available pair. After a little bit of a wait I finally got two of these strange little geckos towards the end of 2008. This is where the obsession begins.
Pristurus carteri get their common name scorpion tailed gecko from the defensive behavior of arching and curling the tail over their backs similar to how a scorpion would when threatened. The ability to curl the tail and waive it side to side is a good way for the species to communicate in the rocky outcrops of their natural habitat in Oman.
The most enjoyable part for me is watching this species eat. A lot of different species are known to be good eaters but Pristurus carteri rival Varanus when it comes to how ruthlessly they go after prey. When eating they could be described as almost bird like as they fly about the cage "pecking" the bugs off the rocks.
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I was not expecting their behavior to be nearly as fascinating as it really is! The level of intelligence and spunk this species seems to have is not rivaled by any other species I have had the pleasure to work with currently. I'm sure there are others out there but this one takes the cake in my book. The combination of being diurnal, very active and interesting natural behaviors make this species a good candidate for display in a naturalistic enclosure.