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


Gecko (Duvaucel's) Hoplodactylus duvauceli

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Sauria/Lacertilia
Infraorder: Gekkota
Family: Gekkonidae
Subfamily: Diplodactylinae
Genus: Hoplodactylus
Species: H. duvaucelii
Binomial name: Hoplodactylus duvauceli
Synonyms: Platydactylus duvauceli, Hoplodactylus Duvaucelii, Naultinus pacificus, Pentadactylus Duvaucelii, Naultinus pacificus, Hoplodactylus duvauceli, Hoplodactylus granulatus, Hoplodactylus duvancelii, Rhacodactylus trachyrhynchus, Hoplodactylus duvauceli,
Naultinus duvauceli, Hoplodactylus duvauceli, Hoplodactylus diwancelii, Hoplodactylus duvauceli, Woodworthia duvauceli, Hoplodactylus duvaucelii
Common name: Duvaucel's Gecko

Hoplodactylus duvauceli is a large species gecko (SVL 95–360 mm) that was till recently confined to 36 predator-free islands off the north-east coast of the North Island and the Cook Strait. On the offshore islands they are abundant with estimates that there are up to 750 per square hectare. In 2016 eighty were reintroduced to the mainland of New Zealand when they were released in the Tāwharanui Open Sanctuary on the Tawharanui Peninsula. Tāwharanui Peninsula is a finger of land projecting into the Hauraki Gulf from the east coast of the much larger North Auckland Peninsula.

Hoplodactylus duvauceli is a heavy bodied gecko (120g) with a relatively large head. The eyes have pupils with crenulated margins. Its long toes have subdigital pads. Its colouration is mainly grey, often with a faint olive-green hue. Usually there are 6 irregular blotches lying across the body from side to side between the back of the head and the base of the tail which is never striped. It is nocturnal but sometimes sun basks. Their senses of smell and hearing are better than their sight. It eats relatively large prey, such as puriri moths, and weta. These geckos both forage on the ground and are arboreal, living in scrub and forest. They are viviparous giving birth to live young, usually twins.  It is estimated that they can live for 50 years.
Their predators are tuatara, birds of prey, cats, dogs, ferrets, stoats, possums and rats.




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