The gecko is my 'aumakua. The grayish, almost camouflaged gecko pictured above is one of the friendly fellows that visits my lanai during the day, and chirps away at night.
Known as Hemidactylus frenatus, this common house gecko arrived in Hawai'i from Asia around World War II. Aside from bringing good luck to my home, the gecko eats roaches and mosquitoes. While it takes both a male and a female common gecko to reproduce, the mourning gecko (of which only the female inhabits the islands of Hawaii) clones itself.
In Hawaiian mythology, an 'aumakua is a family god, often a deified ancestor, that takes the form of an animal. If ones chosen 'aumakua appears, it is regarded as a good omen. Many legends tell of an 'aumakua manifesting itself to save a descendant from harm.
Although more popular forms of 'aumakua among Hawaiians are the crow, turtle, shark, owl, and hawk, I've chosen the gecko as my 'aumakua for two reasons. First, because I am a kama'aina (a word describing Hawai'i residents regardless of their racial background, as opposed to kanaka which means a person of Native Hawaiian ancestry), I would not presume to choose a more traditional Hawaiian form. Second, the gecko is considered good luck to have in the home, almost a blessing which is a revered practice in Hawai'i.
Actually, there is a third reason: Geckos are just so darned cute.