Tuesday, 15 January 2008


Common Gecko, Green-tree Gecko Nautinus elegans
The largest New Zealand Gecko and one of the largest in the world.
They are about 14 cm long and can live for 17 years

I was trying to recall when and why I said that I would be doing a posting on Geckos. Then I remembered. It was A Quiet Day .

Geckos are small to average sized lizards belonging to the family Gekkonidae which are found in warm climates throughout the world. There are 1,196 different species of geckos. The name stems from the Malay word gekoq, imitative of its cry.

New Zealand geckos are some of the world’s most anatomically primitive geckos and were in the New Zealand region before its separation from Gondwanaland 80 million years ago.

Geckos have an excellent sense of smell, sight & hearing. Most are vocal, communicating by clicks & squeaks. When acting aggressively they arch their backs, open their mouths in a threatening manner, & flick their tails from side to side. There is a great variety in colour & size, from bright-greens & yellows to bark-like greys and browns. Geckos are renowned for their climbing ability, some being able to climb vertical glass using rows of incredibly fine 'hairs' on their toe pads.

Ranging in size from 55mm to 370mm (the size of the only known specimen of Kawekaweau Hoplodactylus delcourti the largest gecko in the world and now extinct), New Zealand's geckos are unique amongst the geckos of the world for many reasons, the most notable of which is that they bear live young, rather than laying eggs, generally giving birth to twins in summer.

Geckos live in a variety of habitats all over New Zealand, from forest dwellers to mountain ranges to shorelines. This diversity is also expressed by the hugely varied lifestyles of our native geckos - there are nocturnal and diurnal geckos, species that live in colonies of up thirty or forty and animals that roam great distances during the course of their lives.

I have yet to see one in the wild and photograph it. One day....

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