Shared Moment: Sneaking a Peek

A "cute" critter to some and a nuisance to others, this invasive gecko outcompetes some native Hawaiian species.

  • Photograph by Kenneth Sheide
  • PhotoZone
  • Feb 01, 2021

WITH ITS BLUE "EYESHADOW," flashy stripes and seemingly coy grin, the gold dust day gecko is a photographer’s dream. Kenneth Sheide caught this one peeking over the edge of a bromeliad leaf while visiting O‘ahu, Hawai‘i, last year—and the shot won an honorable mention in our 2020 photo contest. “I find this image cute,” says Sheide, “but responses to photos are very subjective.” Biologists may find this animal far from charming. Native to Madagascar and some Indian Ocean islands, the species was illegally brought to Hawai‘i in the 1970s and now is spreading, gobbling insects needed by native species.

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More from National Wildlife magazine and the National Wildlife Federation:

See the National Wildlife Photo Contest 2020 Winners »
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Hawai‘i at the Crossroads »

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