Claim:   The satanic leaf-tailed gecko has wings like a dragon.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, November 2014]

Satanic leaf tailed gecko photos are popping up that look incredibly shopped but I haven’t found any credible source for rebuttal.


Origins:   On 12 November 2014, the Twitter account @EarthBeauties posted a doctored photo of a satanic leaf-tailed gecko:

While the satanic leaf-tailed gecko (Uroplatus phantasticus) is a real animal, it does not actually have wings. Those dragon-like appendages were added to a photograph taken by author, entomologist, and photographer Piotr Naskrecki.

Naskrecki, who is also the photographer behind the amazing “puppy-sized spider” photos, posted the unaltered images of the satanic gecko on his blog The Smaller Majority on 22 September 2012:

The gecko grew wings about a year later when the photograph was posted to the Hybrid Animals subreddit:

This is a subreddit for photoshop cross-breeding, not for posting random creatures or monsters in general. Create new animals by combining species with each other and/or with any other stuff you find appropriate. Using Photoshop.

The photo began spreading on the Internet, and on 9 June 2013 it received a big viral push when it was retweeted by the Game Of Thrones Twitter account:

The doctored photograph of the satanic leaf-tailed gecko has seen a few spikes in popularity since it first went viral in 2013, and it will likely see a few more surges over the years. But regardless of how many times the photo goes viral, this gecko will never be a member of the dragon family.

Last updated:   2 June 2015