Previously Hoplodactylus maculatus
A variety of shades of brown and grey, with paler patches which may be stripey, or irregular markings (as seen on the right). The underside is usually paler. A broad head in relation to the body. ‘Maculatus’ refers to the speckles on the underside of the museum specimen used to name the species, the ‘type’ specimen.
Widespread, especially in the North Island, rarely seen in Stewart Island.
H. maculatus spends much of its time on the ground, but does climb tees and shrubs, and sun-basks.
Forests, scrub and grassland, from sea shore to alpine vegetation zone.
A study on the predator-free Motunau Island, Canterbury (Bannock et al, 1999), showed the H.maculatus inhabitants to have long lives – ten individuals were estimated to be more than thirty-six years old. In a cool temperate climate the geckos mature late, and live long, and have low annual birth rates.
[Bannock, C.A., Whitaker, A.H. and Hickling, G.J. (1999) Extreme longevity of the common gecko, (Hoplodactylus maculatus) on Motunau Island, Canterbury, New Zealand. N.Z. J. Ecology, 23 (1): 101-103].