Lizards frequently rely on chemical cues to detect the presence of a conspecific or a predator, or to sample and detect potential prey. Male lizards in particular, may chemically sample potential refuges to avoid rivals. We tested whether male common barking geckos (Ptenopus g. garrulus) that normally take refuge in burrows, avoid refuges scented with a rival male. Geckos were equally likely to use an artificial refuge scented by another male compared to a control. We conclude that scent is an unimportant cue for rival male recognition in P. g. garrulus based on 1) the result of this experiment; 2) during 510 man hours of field work we did not observe a single gecko tongue-flick; and 3) males respond aggressively to recordings of rival males and this appears to be the primary mechanism maintaining male spatial patterns.