Mokopirirakau cryptozoicus

Herpetofaunal category
Jewell and Leschen, 2004
Common names
Takitimu gecko
Takatimus gecko
Image to come
Image attribution
google pics


Dorsal surfaces are grey to dark brown with bright pale herringbone patches and narrow stripes. Some individuals sport two tone orange or red spots (or very rarely the entire animal being orange). Ventral surface speckled/mottled. Lining of mouth bright orange; pink or dark grey tongue, sometimes with orange colouration on tip or sides. Eyes pinkish/brown with a black outline to the iris. Toe pads very narrow, 7-12 straight lamallae.

Takitimu gecko reach SVL (snout-vent-lengths) of up to 87mm SVL; tail shorter than SVL.

Click here for information on how Takitimu gecko differ in appearance from other species in the Mokopirirakau complex.

Life expectancy

Estimates for captive animals of the Mokopirirakau species complex range from 20-30 years (D. Keall, personal communication, September 21, 2016).


South Fiordland north to Richardson Mountains, including Takitimu Mountains. A full distribution map is available on the Mokopirirakau species complex page.

Ecology and habitat

Takitimu gecko exist from lowland areas up to 1450m; inhabits alpine screes, rocky outcrops and bluffs, rainforest. In captivity Takitimu gecko have been recorded as being active in temperatures as low as 2.8°C.

Social structure

Mokopirirakau species are generally solitary. Vocalisation among Mokopirirakau can be described as chirrups or shrill squeals when stressed.

Breeding biology

Takitimu gecko are viviparous giving birth to one or two live offspring annually January – April.


Mokopirirakau species eat insects, moths, flies, fruit and nectar.


Largely unknown.


DOC classify the species as 'nationally vulnerable'.


  • Jewell, T. (2011). A photographic guide to reptiles and amphibians of New Zealand. Auckland: New Holland Publishers.
  • Hitchmough, R.A. (1997). A systematic review of the New Zealand Gekkonidae. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Victoria University: Wellington, New Zealand.
  • Hitchmough, R.A., Barr, B., Lettink, M., Monks, J., Reardon, J., Tocher, M., van Winkel, D., Rolfe, J. (2016). Conservation status of New Zealand reptiles, 2015; New Zealand threat classification series 17. Wellington: New Zealand Department of Conservation.
  • Nielsen, S.V., Bauer, A.M., Jackman, T.R., Hitchmough, R.A., & Daugherty, C.H. (2011). New Zealand geckos (Diplodactylidae): cryptic diversity in a post-Gondwanan lineage with trans-Tasman affinities. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 59, 1–2.
  • Robb, J. (1980). New Zealand amphibians and reptiles in colour. Auckland: William Collins Publishers Ltd.
  • Robb, J. (1986). New Zealand amphibians and reptiles. Auckland: Collins.