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Does the Chipkali Lizard Bite? (and is it Poisonous?)

If you are interested in learning about the Chipkali and in particular if it is a threat or could poison you, then read on. I was intrigued about this Chipkali and this led me to research this lizard.

Does the Chipkali Bite? Yes, but the bite is not vicious and is unlikely to cause any real harm. It may psychologically affect you, but physically it is not a real threat. They only really bite if they feel threatened, their natural response to humans is to run away.

After discovering that this lizard does not pose a real threat, I was interested to learn more about the Chipkali, where it comes from, where this name comes from, what they eat, and more. If this interests you, please read on.

What is a Chipkali Lizard?

In India, the Hindi word for gecko is Chipkali, so this lizard is effectively the common house Gecko lizard, but has the alias of Chipkali in India. Their official scientific name is Hemidactylus Frenatus. It also has another name of Hemidactylus Chipkali, but this is more of an unofficial name given to them in India.

Is the Chipkali Lizard Poisonous?

No, the Chipkali is not poisonous or venomous, but it has the potential to carry diseases. When it comes to poisonous, for your information, this is really not applicable to any lizard, lizards are either venomous or not. Poisonous is only applicable when you eat something. (More on this in detail later on in the article)

What is the House Lizard?

The common House lizard is also known as the common house gecko. In reality it has a number of aliases, including Chipkali, as discussed earlier. Its scientific name is Hemidactylus frenatus.

It is a native of south east Asia. It is mainly found in human houses, hence it’s the name of the house lizard. In warmer parts of the world such as India, where they call it “Chipkali”,  this lizard is seen in many homes and in some cases is deemed as a pest. Due to the fact that some houses are inundated with these lizards.

In captivity they are mainly found in the walls or in the ceilings of houses. They also enjoy damp humid surroundings such as dark basements, but more on this later in the article.

Can you keep the ex-lizard as a pet?

You can keep Chipkali lizard as a pet, just as you can with almost any lizard unless you are talking about the enormous Komodo dragon. In this article we will talk about what you need to consider if you would like to keep the Chipkali as a pet.

What do they eat?

The Chipkali is an insectivore meaning that it eats insects. For this reason, it is loved by some residents in captivity. So, in a way the lizard is dealing with a domestic problem that helps the owners. However, it does not stop the fact that some people see this lizard as a pest in its own right.

It is a nocturnal lizard, hence the reason it likes to wake up at night and grab insects and roam around looking for its prey.

What housing do they need?

In an ideal world they need 20 gallons. Obviously the bigger the better to make them feel comfortable and at home.

One word of warning though, do not mix the male lizards together because they are naturally territorial and will end up fighting. However, the female lizards can be mixed together without any issues.

What accessories do they need?

They like to climb and discover new things so it is a good idea to look for items such as branches of wood for them to climb. Other examples of this would be plants, driftwood and any kind of substrate that holds moisture well, which they require.

An example of some substrate that they will appreciate is coconut fibre, in particular the shredded type. They also like reptile bark, which is another good consideration.

They like a humid environment, so bear that in mind with whatever you choose. One word of warning, do not use sand or reptile carpeting inside the housing because these items do not keep the housing humid, which they prefer.

What lighting do they prefer?

Bear in mind that this lizard is from a sub-tropical climate, therefore they like to have it quite warm. So, when you are considering lighting and anything that affects the temperature it has to be warm.

In particular daytime temperatures need to be in the region of 75 to 90°F. As for night-time, the ideal temperature is 65 to 75°. A heat mat or reptile bulbs are a good way of achieving this.

When it comes to choosing the correct colours of lightbulbs. It is a good idea to choose white coloured ones for the daytime, and for the night-time red or purple coloured bulbs is a good idea, to keep your lizard happy.

Humidity Requirements

As discussed earlier this lizard likes to keep the housing humid due to its natural habitat. In particular you need to keep the humidity in between 60 to 65%.

To help you achieve this you can use our hygrometer to measure this. You also need to make sure that you mist the tank regularly.

Make sure that you provide regular fresh bowls of water. It is also a good idea to use a Fogger. You may find that you lizard will drink the droplets of water that appear from the humidity in the tank, this is fine.

Are there any known health issues for them?

One thing to consider with these lizards is they are known to carry salmonella on the surface of their skin. Therefore, when it comes to pets such as dogs or cats, or even kids for that matter, you need to be careful so that this does not pass onto them and cause them any harm.

Do they lay eggs or livebirth?

They lay eggs and they actually prefer moist areas to lay their eggs. In particular ideal places for them are household basements, where you may find lots of lizards congregating.

They can lay as much as 15 eggs per session. They are also known to lay multiple batches of eggs at a time, which can cause an infestation of these lizards. This is why in some parts of the world, such as India, this lizard is seen as a pest.

What water requirements do they have?

Make sure that you provide fresh daily water. Particular they do not like water that has chlorine in it so it is not a good idea to simply provide them with water that comes out of your household tap.

Another thing to stay clear of is distilled water, this has no nutritional benefits of them and it’s not a good idea to provide them this.

What does the baby Chipkali lizard eat?

That baby Chipkali lizard requires feeding on a regular basis, in particular up to 6 times per week. It needs high protein diet.

Things to consider feeding your lizard will be insects such as crickets, cockroaches, mealworms or even wax worms. If you would like to know a rough guide of how you can make sure you do not feed them insects that they cannot handle, a good rule of thumb, is to never feed them an insect which is longer than the width of their head.

When it comes to cleaning up after feeding your lizard insects, it is a good idea to remove any leftover insects that your lizard hasn’t eaten after mealtime.

It may be tempting, but do not consider feeding your lizard wild in insects, it is because they may have diseases that will pass onto your pet.

It is a good idea to preload the insects before you give them to your lizard. This basically means that you pre-feed the insects at least the day before you give them to your lizard. Make sure that the insects are fed a good nutritional meal so that they will pass on this goodness to your lizard.


Hi, this is me with my daughter and my Lizard friend. I hope you enjoy my research. Please feel free to check out my "About Me" page to find out more about me.