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How does your garden grow?  
By Eric Danell


A guardian angel; the Tokay lizard

The part to the left is the scolopender’s rear end. The scolopender’s head with its powerful curved ‘jaws’ (they are in fact modified legs) is seen to the right. Both animals are big. In this photograph they are slightly smaller than natural size.

In Thailand and other parts of Southeast Asia the barking tockay gecko lizards are hunted to support the superstitious Chinese medicine with raw material. I spoke to a Swedish lady who has a lot of experience from keeping terrarium animals, and I asked her what she thought of the tockay as a terrarium pet? She said its ferocious behaviour made it so dangerous it should not be allowed as a pet at all. It is like a small crocodile, running up and down the walls attacking anything it can swallow. Is it of importance to man?
Yesterday evening, towards midnight, I walked to the bathroom at Dokmai Garden. To my great surprise I saw the silhouette of a giant scolopender hanging from the roof tiles. Using a flash light I realized this poisonous centipede was caught between the jaws of a tockay gecko.
As described earlier, such scolopenders may inflict a very painful and poisonous bite. Having a blue chap with a clown face taking care of such pests makes me feel safe. He watches over me while I am asleep, and his poo will become orchid fertilizer.

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

A guardian angel; the Tokay lizard