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


Gecko (Duvaucel's gecko) Hoplodactylus duvaucelii

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Gekkonidae
Genus: Hoplodactylus
Species: H. duvaucelii
Binomial name: Hoplodactylus duvaucelii
Common name: Duvaucel's gecko, Giant gecko

Hoplodactylus duvaucelii (Duvaucel's gecko), is a native gecko found on predator-free offshore islands of New Zealand, north of Cook Strait. They are found in scrub and on the shoreline of the islands they inhabit and are abundant at estimates of up to 750 per hectare. The latest estimate is that they can live to 50+ years.

They are New Zealand’s largest geckos weighing up to 120 grams and growing up to a total length of 300 mm. The snout to vent measurement is up to 160 mm. It is a heavy bodied animal with a relatively large head, and long toes with expanded 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, active at same time as rats!. They sometimes bask in the sun. Their senses of smell and hearing are better than their sight. It eats relatively large prey, such as puriri moths (New Zealand's largest moth) and weta (the world heaviest insect).They give birth to live young, usually twins. 

Their predators are tuatara, birds of prey, cats, dogs, ferrets, stoats, possums and rats.




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