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


Gecko (Northland green ) Naultinus grayii

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Lacertilia
Infraorder: Gekkota
Family: Gekkonidae
Subfamily: Diplodactylinae
Genus: Naultinus
Species: N. graii
Binomial name: Naultinus grayii
Synonyms: Hoplodactylus grayi, Naultinus elegans, Naultinus elegans grayi, Naultinus simpsoni, Gymnodactylus grayii
Common name: Northland Green Gecko, Gray's Tree Gecko

Naultinus grayii is a medium to large gecko (>200 mm total length). Its body is a bright green and along each side there are bright grey, white or yellow spots or blotches, or continuous stripes, which are often edged with a narrow to broad outline of gold, dark green or black.
The males have a blue band along the sides just below the limbs. Underneath, the ventral surface of both sexes is bright pale green, sometimes with a yellow tinge. The inside of the mouth is deep blue with a bright orange or red tongue. This species are sexually dichromatic with the males having blue flanks.
This species of gecko is found only in the Northland region of New Zealand, from from Houhora Harbour north of Whangaroa and south to the Bay of Islands. It is one of the worlds rarest lizards.
New Zealand geckos have very few natural predators although several species of native birds will take them as prey, especially the Sacred Kingfisher (Todiramphus sanctus). Smuggling has also added to its decline. In 2001 a German tourist was fined $12,000 for attempting to smuggle Northland green geckos out of the country in his underwear.
Naultinus grayii is diurnal (non-nocturnal) and often found sun-basking. It has an arboreal lifestyle, especially favouring stands of Leptospermum scoparium (Manuka), Kunzea ericoides (Kanuka) and Coprosma propinqua (Mingimingi).



   


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