Geckos ("Cuizas") in Puerto
is in a tropical zone. That means we have lizards here.
Lizards love this climate.
It’s not unlikely that
you’ll encounter big lizards, like iguanas, in the
gardens surrounding your resort’s pool or patios.
Relax…they’re harmless, and in fact, beneficial…they
mostly eat insects, including mosquitoes. If you’re
the type of person who thinks lizards are yucky and scary,
don’t worry…they’re even more afraid of
you than you are of them.
One of the
most beneficial, cutest, and smallest lizards is the common
gecko. These little buggers are everywhere, and are considered
a blessing if you happen to have one in your room or house.
They scurry about the walls and ceiling, mostly at night,
eating bugs and wiggling from one corner to the next. If
you find one in your room, do not worry about him…in
fact, thank your lucky stars that he is there…he will
help keep your room bug-free, and not bother you a bit. They
don’t bite, sting, or otherwise pose any danger whatsoever
you don’t see them, you might hear them chirping to
each other in the night. For such a small animal, it’s
an amazingly loud sound, like keys tapping and scraping
on glass. They hide behind pictures and mirrors on the wall,
and will hang out near outdoor lights at night waiting for
the moths and other flying insects that the lights attract.
Baby geckos are smaller than your pinky nail, and at best
grow to about 3 or 4 inches long.
You can take a close look
at one if you move slowly toward it when you see one. They
are not spooked easily until you get within a foot or so
of them, then they will wiggle off toward the nearest escape.
They are nearly transparent, so you can actually see their
heart beat and lungs expand and contract if you get close
enough. If you have a laser-pointer you can play with them;
they will chase the point of light across the walls and
ceiling…but make sure you don’t let the light
hit their eyes, as it can blind them. It’s unlikely
you will ever succeed in catching one…these little
buggers are incredibly fast and manage to escape most attempts
at capture. Even if you do catch one, he will likely escape
by separating from his tail, which will grow back later.
These little lizard friends
are often referred to here as “cuizas”, pronounced
“Kwee-zsahs”. A private joke among Mexicans
is to refer to a particularly light-skinned person as a
‘cuiza’, meaning somebody who is so light-skinned
that you can see through them. Colorless people can make
friends among the typically darker-skinned Mexicans by referring
to themselves as a ‘cuiza’.
HERE to read about the Green Iguana.)