Are Tokay Geckos Loud? The Surprising Answer

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Tokay geckos can be pretty loud, with the males being much more vocal than the females. They use their voices to attract mates, communicate with other geckos, and ward off predators. 


Whether you’re keeping them as a pet or just so happen to live somewhere that Tokay geckos live naturally, it’s hard to miss the sizable, talkative Tokay. One of the giant geckos, the Tokay gecko, is famous for its temper, but what about its sounds?


This article will examine whether Tokay geckos are loud and the specifics of these unique vocalizations. 


Are Tokay Geckos Loud?


While many pet geckos are quiet and unassuming pets, like Leopard geckos and Crested geckos, the Tokay gecko, on the other hand, has quite a lot to say. These vocal lizards are some of the loudest pet reptiles you can own, but there are a few other interesting factors to a Tokay’s vocalizations besides just volume. 


For instance, Tokay geckos get their name from the sounds they make! Tokay’s can make various noises, from hisses to growls, but their most well-known vocalization is undoubtedly their to-kay call. 


Male Tokays will also often make a similar vocalization, which sounds like tok-tok-tok. These loud and varied calls have caused Tokay geckos to evolve not only to be some of the most vocal geckos but also of the lizards with the best hearing!


Here is an example of the famous to-kay call:


Why Are Tokay Geckos Loud?


Like most animals, Tokay geckos vocalize for a few different reasons, such as:


  • Mating calls 


  • Communication with other geckos


  • To scare away threats 


The most common reason male Tokay geckos vocalize, especially with their loud, signature to-kay call, is to attract a female. This sound can be heard from very far away and indicates that the Tokay is ready to mate.


On the other hand, hisses and barks are usually used to dissuade predators or competing geckos from coming near them. Tokays will also make these noises at their humans since they are one of the most territorial and aggressive pet geckos.


Do Tokay Geckos Scream?


While most Tokays make vocalizations that sound more like a bark, startling Tokays have been known to emit a sound similar to a scream. To some Tokay owners or those that live near wild Tokays, their standard calls can also sound scream-like. 


Never purposely startle your gecko to hear it scream! A scream is a noise that a Tokay will only make when feeling very frightened, and it’s never a good idea to make any pet uncomfortable or scared on purpose. 


Do Female Tokay Geckos Make Noise?


Female Tokay geckos can vocalize just like their male counterparts, but they do so much less often. Male Tokays are the ones responsible for the loud to-kay mating calls, and they are also more territorial than females, meaning that you’re more likely to hear a bark or a hiss from a male Tokay.


Females Tokays can and will vocalize if they’re annoyed or trying to drive away a potential threat. They are also known to emit a screaming or barking noise when startled. 


Do Male Tokay Geckos Make Noise?


Male Tokay geckos are incredibly vocal and aren’t shy about it, either. If you live near the Tokay gecko’s natural habitat, you’ll often be treated to a symphony of male Tokay calling out for a mate.


These lizards have an unfortunate habit of vocalizing more at night. Because of this, keeping your Tokay enclosure in your bedroom isn’t recommended because their barking at to-kay calls can make it very difficult to sleep, and you definitely can’t teach this gecko to quiet down!


Since they are more territorial than females, male Tokay geckos can also be heard a barking, hiss, or even growling to drive other geckos away from their territory. Male Tokays will even vocalize like this at their owners–even more so if they don’t like to be handled. 

Final Thoughts 


Tokay geckos are one of the loudest reptile pets you can buy, and the males especially can fill a house with to-kay calls. With a vast repertoire of vocalizations, Tokay geckos have earned their reputation as loud lizards. 


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