Do Geckos Have Eyelids? A Comprehensive Guide to Geckos’ Eye Anatomy.

Geckos have large, spherical eyes that are positioned on the sides of their heads. The structure of their eyes is similar to that of other lizards, but with a few key differences. For example, their eyes are up to 350 times more sensitive to light than human eyes. This sensitivity is due to a high number of photoreceptor cells in the retina, which allows them to see in dim light.

Eye Functionality

Geckos’ eyes are highly efficient and perform several critical functions. They enable geckos to detect prey, predators, and mates. They also help geckos navigate their environment, including finding their way back to their territory or shelter. Geckos’ eyes are also essential for thermoregulation, which is the ability to regulate their body temperature. By basking in the sun, geckos can warm themselves up, and by seeking shade, they can cool down.

Do Geckos Have Eyelids?

Anatomy of Eyelids in Geckos

Unlike most other lizards, geckos do not have eyelids. Instead, they have a transparent membrane known as a spectacle or eyecap. The spectacle protects the eye and keeps it moist by secreting a clear fluid. The spectacle is shed periodically, and a new one grows in its place. During the shedding process, the old spectacle will become cloudy, which can impair the gecko’s vision. However, once the new spectacle has grown, their vision will return to normal.

Behavioral Aspects of Geckos Without Eyelids

Not having eyelids may seem like a disadvantage, but geckos have adapted to this by developing other ways to protect their eyes. For example, some gecko species have a transparent eyelid that covers their eyes when they sleep, providing an additional layer of protection. They also use their long tongues to clean their eyes and remove any debris that may have gotten into them.

How Do Geckos Protect Their Eyes?

The Role of the Cornea in Eye Protection

The cornea is a transparent layer located at the front of the eye that is responsible for protecting the eye and bending light to help the gecko see. In geckos, the cornea is thicker and more curved than in other lizards, which gives them better vision and helps protect their eyes from damage.

Adaptations for Eye Protection in Geckos

Geckos have developed other adaptations to protect their eyes, including having a unique arrangement of scales around their eyes that create a natural shield. Additionally, some species of geckos have a third eyelid, also known as a nictitating membrane, which closes across the eye when the gecko is underwater or in dusty environments.


In conclusion, geckos have unique eye anatomy that enables them to see in low light conditions and perform essential functions such as detecting prey and predators, navigating their environment, and thermoregulation. While they do not have eyelids, they have adapted to this by developing other methods of protecting their eyes, such as having a spectacle, a transparent eyelid, and a third eyelid. Geckos are fascinating creatures, and their eye anatomy is just one of the many things that make them so intriguing.

ThePetFaq Team