Nature conservation

Threatened species

Eastern Fat-tailed Gecko - profile

Indicative distribution

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The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Diplodactylus platyurus
Conservation status in NSW: Endangered
Commonwealth status: Not listed
Gazetted date: 19 Feb 2016
Profile last updated: 01 Dec 2017


The Fat-tailed Gecko is a pale fawn to reddish-brown or dark brown gecko, with fine or coarse reticulations and scattered dark or pale spots (Cogger 2000). Individuals reach approximately 80-90mm in length. It has a bulbous tail which acts as a fat storage organ. It feeds on termites and other insects and spends its days in underground holes, such as abandoned burrows of trap-door spiders, blocking the entrance with its fat tail to keep out predators and keep in moisture. It is sometimes called the Burrow-plug Gecko. Most adults have lost their original tails which are replaced with more rounded ones which make even better burrow-plugs.


The Fat-tailed Gecko is distributed from the north coast of Western Australia, through the Northern Territory and the interior of South Australia and Queensland, to north-western New South Wales. In NSW, the species is known from a small number of specimens detected at three locations: Sturt National Park, Nocoleche Nature Reserve and Wanaaring Nature Reserve and a single record from Mutawintji National Park.

Habitat and ecology

  • Habitat constraints are unknown, although the species' rarity suggests that it is highly specialised in its use of habitat. The recent record collected from Sturt National Park was from riverine habitat (R.A. Sadlier, pers. comm.). It is also known to shelter in vertical spider burrows and cracks in the ground.

Regional distribution and habitat

Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.


Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
Broken Hill ComplexBarrier Range Known None
Broken Hill ComplexBarrier Range Outwash Predicted None
Broken Hill ComplexMootwingee Downs Known None
Channel CountryBulloo Predicted None
Channel CountryBulloo Dunefields Predicted None
Channel CountryCentral Depression Predicted None
Channel CountryCore Ranges Known None
Channel CountrySturt Stony Desert Known None
Mulga LandsCuttaburra-Paroo Known None
Mulga LandsParoo Overflow Predicted None
Mulga LandsUrisino Sandplains Known None
Mulga LandsWhite Cliffs Plateau Known None
Other StateQLD Known None
Other StateSA Known None
Simpson Strzelecki DunefieldsStrzelecki Desert Predicted None