T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Gecko (Cromwell) Woodworthia 'Cromwell'

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Diplodactylidae
Genus: Woodworthia
Species: Woodworthia 'Cromwell'
Synonyms: Hoplodactylus sp. 'Cromwell', Woodworthia sp. 'Central Otago', Hoplodactylus sp. 'Cromwell Gorge'
Common name: Cromwell gecko, Kawarau gecko

Woodworthia 'Cromwell' is a nocturnal small, indigenous (endemic) gecko species found from lowland areas up to altitudes >1300 m. in the Clutha River catchment, from Clyde and the Dunstan Mountains across to Queenstown and Wanaka, including Ruby Island (Lake Wanaka).
They favour creviced schist rock and associated scrubby vegetation. Though mainly nocturnal they can be seen sun-basking at the entrance to their creviced retreats. They are usually terrestrial but they may climb shrubs and dense vines at night.
Woodworthia 'Cromwell' measures up to 78 mm from snout tip to vent (opening through which the animal defecates) and they can weigh up to 4-5 g. They are typically grey, olive-grey or a brown colour. Geographical and altitudinal colour variations occur, they include specimens that are a dark brown, straw-brown or olive-green. Dorsal markings are usually transverse banded or blotched but partially to fully striped individuals are frequently seen. The lizards under surface are usually speckled. There is a broad, triangular stripe on the dorsolateral edge of the snout, between the nostril and eye. The lizards ventral surface is usually grey and it is often heavily flecked with dark grey. Eyes range from a greenish to pale golden-brown, grey-brown, or very dark brown with green flecks. The mouth lining is pink, the tongue is also pink with a grey tip.

Photographed in the Cromwell Gorge. 

Map showing Woodworthia 'Cromwell' distribution in Otago, South Island

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/