- Scientific name:
- Mokopirirakau kahutarae
- Common name:
- black-eyed gecko
- Naming authority:
- (Whitaker, 1985)
- Bio status category:
- Indigenous (Endemic)
- IUCN threat status:
- Lower Risk: near threatened
- NZ threat classification:
- Nationally Vulnerable
Refer to www.doc.govt.nz/nztcs for NZ threat classification system details.
- Rock bluffs and associated rock outcrops with deep crevices in alpine areas about 1200-2200 m above sea level, in habitat commonly snow-bound for 3-5 months of the year.
- Secretive, largely nocturnal but sun-basks at entrance to retreat.
- Light to dark olive-grey with paler bands or chevron markings, and undersurface uniform grey.
- Eyes totally black.
- Mouth lining pink or orange, tongue pink to orange.
- Measures 75-91 mm from snout tip to vent.
- Tail equal or slightly longer than snout-vent length.
- Mountainous areas of Nelson and Marlborough.
- Recorded from Mount Arthur and the Inland and Seaward Kaikoura Ranges.
- Distribution range overlaps that of forest gecko but isolated at higher altitude.
- Southern distribution limit unknown.
- The only alpine lizard in New Zealand, occurring up to 400 m higher than any other species.
- Usually sparse, difficult to detect.
- Moko-piri-rakau is the Maori name for forest gecko.
- Named after the Kahutara Saddle where the type specimens were found.
- Can forage at lower air temperatures than other lizards - as low as 6 degrees Celsius.
- Notes about 2008-10 cycle of NZ threat classification for Reptiles (Hitchmough et al 2010): Range could be much larger than currently known.
- Notes about 2012-14 cycle of NZ threat classification for Reptiles: (Hitchmough, et al.
- 2012): New records from Kahurangi (extends known range and habitat) and the Clarence Reserve (within known range).
- High altitude, large-bodied species, no evidence of decline based on resurvey of known sites, but inferred (conservatively) to be declining at 10% over 3 generations, which we estimated at 60 years.
- Fewer than 15 known sub-populations.
Statistical information and distribution map
|Before 1988||Since 1988|
Live or dead specimen or shed skin
Bone or fossil