Butiki And Tuko Lizards Of The Philippines

Butiki And Tuko Lizards Of The Philippines

Philippine butiki and tuko lizards

Lizards Lizards Everywhere

I took the photo above Saturday morning about 3 AM. The smaller lizard on the left is called butiki and the two big ones are called tuko/tokay. I call the tukos tacos. They make loud called that can be heard for quite some distance that sound like they are saying "tah-ko."

Philippine tuko lizards

In this close-up you may notice that the one on the right is missing part of his tail. The one on the left is likely responsible for the missing tail. They chase one another around and eat the tail. The smaller butiki also engage in this dominance behavior. Only the males will do this and only to other males.

I found this one on the outside of the window at 1AM in the morning:

tuko lizard on window

tuko lizard on window

I went out on our patio one evening and spotted this monster peeking out from the gutter:

Unfortunately, in the poor light and given the distance my camera is unable to focus well upon him.

Wiki says that the tuko lizard is approaching endangered status due to unchecked poaching. These gecko apparently have high black market value. Republic Act 9147 carries a twelve year max prison term with up to a 1 million PHP ($20,000) fine for hunting, collecting and trading these creatures without a proper license.

I personally do not like either the butiki or the tuko very much. The former like to die in my air conditioner creating a horrid stench and forcing me to hose the unit out. We now have aluminum screening around the ACs to prevent this. I have heard stories about them shorting out the circuit board of inverter ACs. The butiki also like to get smashed in the hinge stile of the doors, creating yet more interesting aromas. 

The tuko strike horror into many people. They have very sharp claws and people live in fear of these monsters falling on them. I have no earthly idea what I would do if such a terrible fate were to one day befall me. The tuko also produces copious amounts of foul smelling poop and they are not very particular about where they deposit it.

A Solution For Lizards In Your House

It is possible to be soon overrun by these two denizens of the tropical forest. The best way that I have found to manage them is to employ the age old tool called the "kitty cat." Cats love to eat these things. Lizards are like meth for cats. We have a game where we knock the butiki from the ceilings and walls with a broom and the cats go insane. Cats have an infinite appetite for butiki, it seems.

I had a small cat (he's gone now) that was not much bigger than a large tuko, but he loved to hunt tuko more than anything else. The tuko would battle to the bitter end, but in minutes flat he would be inside of a little cat and that would be the end of it. My cat was never charged.

criminal cat wanted for lizard poaching