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Geckos vs. Salamanders — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on January 25, 2024
Geckos are reptiles known for their sticky foot pads and nocturnal behavior, while salamanders are amphibians with moist skin and regenerative abilities.
Geckos vs. Salamanders — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Geckos and Salamanders


Key Differences

Geckos are small to medium-sized reptiles belonging to the family Gekkonidae, known for their unique ability to adhere to surfaces including walls and ceilings. Salamanders are amphibians, part of the order Urodela, characterized by their smooth, moist skin and typically found near water.
Geckos are mostly nocturnal and have adapted to a variety of environments, from rainforests to deserts. Salamanders are also diverse in habitat but are more dependent on moist environments to maintain their skin’s moisture.
A distinctive feature of geckos is their specialized toe pads that allow them to climb smooth and vertical surfaces. Salamanders, on the other hand, are known for their regenerative abilities, being able to regrow limbs and other body parts.
Geckos lay eggs with hard shells, typical of reptiles. Salamanders, as amphibians, lay soft, jelly-like eggs, usually in water.
While both geckos and salamanders are found globally, their behaviors and physical adaptations reflect their different evolutionary paths as reptiles and amphibians, respectively.

Comparison Chart




Diverse, including rainforests and deserts
Mostly near water, require moist environments

Distinctive Feature

Sticky toe pads for climbing
Ability to regenerate limbs

Egg Type

Hard-shelled eggs
Soft, jelly-like eggs, usually laid in water

Activity Time

Mostly nocturnal
Varies, some are nocturnal, others diurnal

Compare with Definitions


Known for their adhesive toe pads.
The gecko used its sticky foot pads to scale the window.


Can regenerate lost limbs and other body parts.
It's remarkable how salamanders can regrow their tails.


Primarily nocturnal creatures.
You can often spot geckos active at night.


Lays soft, jelly-like eggs, typically in water.
We found salamander eggs in the pond.


A type of small to medium-sized reptile.
Geckos are fascinating reptiles with their ability to climb walls.


An amphibian known for its smooth, moist skin.
Salamanders need a moist environment to keep their skin hydrated.


Lays hard-shelled eggs.
Geckos typically lay their eggs in protected environments.


Varies in activity, some being nocturnal, others diurnal.
The fire salamander is nocturnal, mostly active at night.


Any of various chiefly nocturnal tropical and subtropical lizards of the family Gekkonidae, characteristically having toe pads covered with numerous tiny bristles that adhere to vertical surfaces.


Any of various small, tailed amphibians of the order Caudata, having porous scaleless skin and usually two pairs of limbs of equal size, found chiefly in northern temperate regions.


A mythical creature, generally resembling a lizard, believed capable of living in or withstanding fire.


Plural of salamander


Usually found in or near water.
Salamanders are often seen along the banks of streams.

Common Curiosities

Can salamanders live both in water and on land?

Yes, many salamanders have a life cycle that includes both aquatic and terrestrial phases.

Do geckos make good pets?

Geckos can make good pets as they are generally low-maintenance and interesting to observe.

How long do geckos live?

The lifespan of a gecko varies by species, but some can live up to 10 years or more in captivity.

What is the habitat of a salamander?

Salamanders usually inhabit moist environments like forests, meadows, or near bodies of water.

Are geckos cold-blooded?

Yes, like all reptiles, geckos are cold-blooded.

Are salamanders poisonous?

Some salamander species secrete toxins as a defense mechanism, so it's important to handle them with care.

How do geckos stick to surfaces?

Geckos have specialized toe pads that allow them to adhere to even smooth surfaces.

Do salamanders need a special diet?

Salamanders typically eat small invertebrates and need a diet that reflects their natural prey.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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