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

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 Mokopirirakau granulatus
Forest Gecko

Previously Hoplodactylus granulatus


This species is hard to see disguised as bark or lichen on trees. They can change colour to match their surroundings. The colours range from dark brown to pale grey. They have a yellow or orange mouth lining. The soles of their feet are yellow. The size from nose to base of tail is up to 89mm.


This species is found throughout New Zealand, but not in the very far North, Marlborough or Canterbury.


H. granulatus eats insects found in the crevices of bark, moths, flies, fruit and nectar. They sun-bask, but are nocturnal hunters. They usually give birth to twins.


H. granulatus live in forest and scrub, to high altitudes, in leatherwood and shrub areas, as well as beech forest, mixed broadleaf, podocarp forest and manuka scrub.


The specific name describes the granular skin texture. The oldest in captivity at present is 45 years. These geckos can change their shade of grey/brown/green to enhance their camouflage with the background. A dark brown animal taken from the leaf litter may become significantly paler, and grey, when placed on a pale branch.


Photos: Warwick Brown
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