Northland green gecko | Kawariki
Length: SVL up to 100mm, with the tail being longer than the body length
Weight: up to 23 grams
A large and often beautifully patterned green gecko from the far north of New Zealand. Northland green geckos - along with the barking gecko (Naultinus punctatus) - are regarded as the largest species in the genus Naultinus.
Dorsal (upper) surface green, often with grey or gold markings along dorsal edges. Males may have faint pale blue flanks. Ventral (lower) surface bright pale green, sometimes with yellow tinge. Canthal scales (scales on the snout) are flat. Deep blue lining of mouth with bright red tongue, lower lip white. Eyes are light orange/brown. Soles of feet are light grey green.
Can be differentiated from elegant geckos (Naultinus elegans) by a red (versus blue) tongue, and from Aupōuri geckos (Naultinus flavirictus) by a blue (versus mauve) mouth colour. Northland green geckos can be distinguished from both species by having flat (versus domed) canthal scales.
Reports on life expectancy vary, Northland green gecko may live up to 25 years.
Upper Northland: Bay of Islands to Houhora Harbour area.
Ecology and habitat
Northland green gecko are diurnal (active during the day) and strongly arboreal (tree dwelling) although they will move through grasslands and ground cover between habitats. They often inhabit pioneer scrubland and regenerating forest types, in particular occupying the foliage of trees and shrubs, including manuka and kanuka trees.
All green geckos have prehensile tails which act as a climbing aid.
All green gecko species are solitary and can often be aggressively territorial. In captive group situations green geckos can often display aggressive behaviour, particularly biting, towards conspecifics (particularly aggression between males as a result of competition for mates). Green geckos will also display aggressive behaviour if threatened; this consists of mouth gaping, biting, lunging, and vocalisation (a barking sound).
Northland green gecko are viviparous, giving birth to one or two live young. Sexual maturity is reached between one and two years. Some keepers have noticed that green gecko in captivity appear to express ‘choice’ as to when to mate and reproduce according to conditions (D. Keall, personal communication, September 22, 2016).
Northland green gecko give birth from late summer to early autumn with a gestation period of 7.5 months.
The diet of Northland green gecko is omnivorous, and consists primarily of invertebrates such as flies, beetles, spiders and moths. Green geckos are generally ‘sit and wait’ predators for invertebrates, however will forage for soft berries and nectar from native flowers within their home range.
Northland green gecko have a number of recorded parasites, bacteria and fungi including: the nematode Skrjabinodon poicilandri; Basidiobolus ranarum; Aeromonas; Pseudomonas; Citrobacter; Serratia; Streptococcus; Salmonella; Proteus; Enterobacter; Rhodotorula glutinis; Kloeckera africana, Cryptococcus a. albinus; Acanthamoeba sp; Mastigamoeba sp; Naegleria sp; Vahlkamfia sp.
Xanthomatosis has been recorded in Northland green gecko.
DOC classify Northland green gecko as 'at risk' with a predicted decline of 10-70%.
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