Reptiles and Amphibians
Many travelers are taken aback by the pulsing, almost deafening, song of the bo-peeps, or coquis, at night. The call of these small frogs is often at first mistaken for the sound of crickets or cicadas. In the rainforest, they sing all day; in drier habitats, they sing only at night. Listen closely, and you will hear that they are saying their name: “ko-kee, ko-kee.”
Less melodious is the song of the giant toad, a brown, blotchy creature that can grow as large as a softball. They hide out during the day but often sing the praises of the rain at night.
One of the most delightful animals in the Virgin Islands is the lizard. Newcomers never fail to delight in their omnipresence, agile movement, and—in some cases—impressive shows. The most common kind of lizard is the ground lizard, a small, brown lizard that munches on insects. Tree lizards change colors to suit their surroundings, and males have rounded sacs under their throats. When they want to be threatening, the males will inflate their pouch and do “push-ups” in place. The third common type of lizard is the house gecko, or wood slave. These helpful creatures are used to people and are often found inside. House geckos have Velcro-like feet that allow them to climb on just about any surface. They feed on insects (great for killing mosquitoes that make it inside) and are active at night.
© Susanna Henighan Potter from Moon Virgin Islands, 4th edition