Mokopirirakau 'Roys Peak'

Herpetofaunal category
Common names
Orange-spotted gecko
Roys Peak gecko
Mokopirirakau 'Roys Peak'
Image attribution

Description

Dorsal surface grey to brown or dark pinkish brown. Bands, blotches, chevrons and stripes are drab or bright, and often overlaid with orange or yellow spots or blotches, especially around the neck. Individuals recorded to undergo dramatic colour change in minutes. Mouth and tongue bright orange. Eyes usually grey brown, however, some individuals have bright sky blue eyes. Orange spotted gecko reach SVL (snout-vent-lengths) of 70-95mm.

Click here for information on how Roys Peak gecko differ in appearance to other species within the Mokopirirakau complex.

Life expectancy

Estimates for captive animals of the Mokopirirakau complex range from 20-30 years (D. Keall, personal communication, September 21, 2016).

Distribution

Central Otago, recorded from Roys peak.

Ecology and habitat

Orange-spotted gecko can be found in the alpine zone among rocky outcrops and boulder fields.

Social structure

Mokopirirakau species are generally solitary. Vocalisation among Mokopirirakau can be described as chirrups or shrill squeals when stressed.

Breeding biology

Orange-spotted gecko reproduce biennially, giving birth to one or two live offspring in October/November.

Diet

Largely unknown, likely to be similar to other Mokopirirakau species (invertebrates, fruit and nectar).

Disease

Largely unknown.

Conservation

DOC classify the species as 'nationally vulnerable'.

References

  • Robb, J. (1980). New Zealand amphibians and reptiles in colour. Auckland: William Collins Publishers Ltd.
  • Robb, J. (1986). New Zealand amphibians and reptiles. Auckland: Collins.
  • Jewell, T. (2011). A photographic guide to reptiles and amphibians of New Zealand, Auckland: New Holland Publishers.
  • Hitchmough, R.A. (1997). A systematic review of the New Zealand Gekkonidae. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Victoria University: Wellington, New Zealand.
  • Nielsen, S.V., Bauer, A.M., Jackman, T.R., Hitchmough, R.A., & Daugherty, C.H. (2011). New Zealand geckos (Diplodactylidae): cryptic diversity in a post-Gondwanan lineage with trans-Tasman affinities. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 59, 1–2.