Herpetofaunal category
Fischer, 1882
Common names
Rough gecko
Naultinus rudis
Image attribution


A medium-large gecko that reaches up to 72 mm snout to vent (SVL); total length up to 175mm. The dorsal (upper) surface is very distinctive with raised or domed, tubercule scales all over the body. The largest of these scales are on the snout and along the line between the nostril and the eye.

Dorsal colouration is variable, from dark green to grey with white or sometimes brown spots or blotches that may have black edging. Ventral (lower) surface pale grey or brown with longitudinal stripes. Lining of the mouth dark blue/purple; tongue dark grey at base becoming pink towards tip. Dark green eyes with pupils often highlighted with pale border.

Click here for information on how rough gecko differ in appearance from other species in the Naultinus group.

Life expectancy

Captive animals can live up to 20-25 years.


Inland Marlborough and northern Canterbury.

Ecology and habitat

An arboreal species most frequently found in manuka/kanuka scrub and forest. Generally diurnal but can also be active at night.

Social structure

Solitary, territorial.

Breeding biology

Rough gecko are viviparous, giving birth to live young (usually two) in March/April (D. Keall, personal communication, September 22, 2016).


Invertebrates and nectar.


Largely unknown.

Conservation status

DOC classify rough gecko as 'nationally vulnerable'.

Interesting notes

Both the scientific and common names refer to the granular scales the species is well known for.


  • Gill, B.J., & Whitaker, A.H. (2007). New Zealand frogs and reptiles. Auckland: David Bateman Ltd.
  • 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.
  • Jewell, T. (2011). A photographic guide to reptiles and amphibians of New Zealand. Auckland: New Holland Publishers.
  • Robb, J. (1980). Three new species of gekkonid lizards, genera Hoplodactylus Fitzinger and Heteropholis Fischer, from New Zealand. National Museum of New Zealand records 1(19), 305-310.