Colour has many different functions in animals, such as an involvement in thermoregulation, crypsis, and social interactions. Species capable of physiological colour change may alter their coloration in response to ecological conditions. The Moorish gecko, Tarentola mauritanica, is capable of actively changing its body coloration. In the present study, we investigated colour change in this gecko as a function of background, temperature, and light. Our results demonstrate that the Moorish gecko indeed changes its dorsal colour in response to changes in environmental conditions. By contrast to several other reptilian species, this rapid colour change does not appear to be associated with thermoregulation. Background matching, however, did appear to be a prominent function, although illumination appears to be an essential trigger. Future research should concentrate on individual variation and its effectiveness with respect to antipredatory mechanisms.
Physiological colour change in the Moorish gecko, Tarentola mauritanica (Squamata: Gekkonidae): Effects of background, light, and temperature / J., Vroonen; B., Vervust; Fulgione, Domenico; Maselli, Valeria; R. V., Damme. - In: BIOLOGICAL JOURNAL OF THE LINNEAN SOCIETY. - ISSN 0024-4066. - 107:1(2012), pp. 182-191. [10.1111/j.1095-8312.2012.01915.x]