Why Geckos Love to Lick Their Eyeballs?

Geckos are fascinating creatures, and one of the things that make them unique is their ability to lick their own eyeballs. While this behavior may seem strange and even gross to humans, it serves a vital purpose for these tiny reptiles. In this article, we will explore the reasons why geckos love to lick their eyeballs and how this behavior benefits them.

Geckos are small lizards that are found in warm climates around the world. There are over 1,500 species of geckos, and they come in a wide range of sizes and colors. One of the most interesting things about geckos is their unique ability to lick their own eyeballs. In this article, we will explore why geckos engage in this unusual behavior and how it benefits them.

2. What are geckos?

Geckos are a type of lizard that are known for their sticky toes, which allow them to climb vertical surfaces and walk upside down on ceilings. They are found in a variety of habitats, including deserts, rainforests, and grasslands. Geckos are cold-blooded, which means that they rely on external heat sources to regulate their body temperature.

3. The anatomy of gecko’s eyes

Geckos have large eyes that are covered by a transparent membrane called the cornea. Behind the cornea is the iris, which is the colored part of the eye. Geckos have vertical pupils, which allow them to see in low light conditions. The lens of the eye is located behind the iris and is responsible for focusing light onto the retina, which contains the cells that detect light.

4. Why do geckos need to clean their eyes?

Geckos live in environments that are full of dust, dirt, and debris. Their eyes are constantly exposed to these particles, which can cause irritation and infection if not removed. Additionally, geckos shed their skin regularly, and the shed skin can sometimes get stuck in their eyes. Cleaning their eyes is essential for geckos to maintain good vision and avoid health problems.

5. How do geckos clean their eyes?

Geckos clean their eyes by licking them with their tongues. Their tongues are covered in tiny hair-like structures called papillae, which are used to collect dust and debris from the eye. The gecko then swallows the debris along with its saliva, which helps to keep its digestive system clean.

6. The science behind gecko’s sticky tongues

Gecko’s tongues are not only used for cleaning their eyes, but also for catching prey. The underside of a gecko’s tongue is covered in millions of tiny spatula-shaped structures called setae. When the gecko strikes at its prey, the setae make contact with the surface, creating a temporary bond. This allows the gecko to pull its tongue back into its mouth, along with its prey.

7. Can geckos survive without their sticky tongues?

Geckos that lose their tongues due to injury or illness are often able to survive, but they may Geckos that lose their tongues due to injury or illness are often able to survive, but they may have difficulty catching prey. The tongue plays a vital role in a gecko’s ability to hunt and eat, and without it, they may have to rely on alternative methods to survive.

8. The benefits of licking their eyeballs for geckos

Licking their eyeballs provides several benefits for geckos. Firstly, it helps to keep their eyes clean and free from debris, which is essential for maintaining good vision. Secondly, geckos produce a type of mucus in their eyes that helps to keep them moist.

Licking their eyes helps to spread this mucus around, which keeps their eyes hydrated and prevents them from drying out. Finally, licking their eyes may help to stimulate the production of tears, which can also help to keep their eyes moist.

9. Other unusual gecko behaviors

Geckos have several other unusual behaviors that make them fascinating creatures. For example, some geckos are able to change the color of their skin to blend in with their surroundings, which helps to protect them from predators. Additionally, some species of geckos are able to shed their tails when threatened by a predator. The detached tail continues to move, which distracts the predator and allows the gecko to escape.

10. The importance of geckos in ecosystems

Geckos play an important role in many ecosystems around the world. They are prey for many animals, including snakes, birds, and mammals. Additionally, geckos help to control insect populations by feeding on a variety of insects, including mosquitoes and cockroaches.

Why Geckos Love to Lick Their Eyeballs


In conclusion, geckos are fascinating creatures with many unique behaviors, including their ability to lick their own eyeballs. While this behavior may seem strange to humans, it serves an important purpose for geckos by keeping their eyes clean and moist. Geckos are important members of many ecosystems, and their presence helps to maintain a healthy balance of predators and prey.


  1. Do all species of geckos lick their eyeballs?
  • Yes, all species of geckos are able to lick their own eyeballs.
  1. Can geckos survive without licking their eyeballs?
  • While geckos may be able to survive without licking their eyes, it is an important behavior for maintaining good vision and eye health.
  1. How often do geckos need to clean their eyes?
  • Geckos should clean their eyes as often as necessary to remove any debris or shed skin.
  1. Do geckos use their tongues for anything besides cleaning their eyes?
  • Yes, geckos also use their tongues to catch prey, which is essential for their survival.
  1. How long can a gecko’s tail continue to move after it has been detached?
  • A gecko’s tail can continue to move for several minutes after it has been detached.

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