To promote awareness & interest in amphibians and reptiles and their conservation - New Zealand Herpetological Society


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Woodworthia maculatus
Common Gecko

Previously Hoplodactylus maculatus


Description:

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.

Distribution:

Widespread, especially in the North Island, rarely seen in Stewart Island.

Ecology

H. maculatus spends much of its time on the ground, but does climb tees and shrubs, and sun-basks.

Habitat:

Forests, scrub and grassland, from sea shore to alpine vegetation zone.

Notes:

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].

 

Photo: A. Kingsley-Brown

Photo: Mike Meads & B.W. Thomas

Photo: Rod Morris
Photos used with permission from the Information Resource Centre, Department
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