Arboreal

Living in trees and shrubs.

Adventive

Introduced to the country, not endemic.

Arthropod

Insects and spiders.

Basking

Lying in the sun to absorb heat.

Canthal scale

Scales along the upper surface of the canthal rostralis.

Canthus

Angle between flat crown of head and the side of the head between the eye and the snout.

Carapace

Upper shell of a tortoise/turtle.

Caudal autotomy

Self amputation of the tail.

Chromophores

Pigment cells responsible for colour.

Conspecifics

Members of the same species.

Crepuscular

Active in the morning and evening.

Crest

Decorative ride of skin or spikes on the neck, back, or tail.

Debride

Removal of dead or necrotic tissue.

Diurnal

Active during daylight hours.

Divaricating

Branching pattern characteristic of NZ shrubs (e.g. Muehlenbeckia complexa).

Dorsal

Towards the back (spinal area).

Dorsoventral

Dorsal and lateral sides of the body.

Dysecdysis

Difficulty shedding skin.

Ectoparasite

Parasites living outside (on) the body.

Ectothermic

Animal whose regulation of body temperature depends on external sources. Commonly called ‘cold blooded’ (an incorrect term).

Endemic

Native and unique to an area (found no-where else), not adventive.

Endoparasite

Parasites living inside the body.

Endothermic

Ability to regulate own (body) temperature, commonly referred to as warm blooded.

Epiphyte

A plant growing on another plant but not organically connected.

Femoral pores

Enlarged pores found inside thighs of males and females. Males have larger pores, can be used to sex individuals.

Habitat

Region where a species or individual lives.

Hemipenes

Paired sex organs of a male, bulges at the base of the tail.

Herpetoculture

Keeping and breeding of reptiles and amphibians in captivity.

Herpetology

Study of reptiles and amphibians.

Lateral

Sides.

Mental scale

Triangular scale on the tip of the lower jaw.

Native

Naturally found in a particular area (not adventive/introduced by man).

Nocturnal

Active during night.

Oviparous

Producing eggs that hatch outside the body.

Ovoviviparous

Eggs carried and hatched within the body, giving birth to live young.

Parietal eye

Photosensory organ found in tuatara.

Rostral scale

Median plate on the tip of the snout that borders the mouth opening.

Setae

Singular ‘seta’, tiny hair like projections on toe pads of some gecko species. Enables geckos to climb on vertical surfaces.

Sloughing

Shedding of old skin.

STL

Measurement from snout to tail (snout-tail-length).

SVL

Measurement from snout to vent (snout-vent-length).

Taxonomy

Classification of organisms.

Ultraviolet light

Otherwise known as UV, radiant energy between 100-380 nanometers (nm).

Vent

Slit at the base of the tail (urogenital opening).

Ventral

Lower or belly side of body.

Vivparous

Bears live young rather than laying eggs.

VTL

Measurement from snout to vent (vent to tail length).