Detailed species information from your search of the Atlas.
Scientific name:
Mokopirirakau nebulosus
Common name:
cloudy gecko
Naming authority:
(McCann, 1955)
Bio status category:
Indigenous (Endemic)
IUCN threat status:
** Not Classified **
NZ threat classification:

Refer to for NZ threat classification system details.

cloudy gecko. Photo: BW Thomas.
cloudy gecko


  • Forest and scrub.
  • Has been found in both arboreal and terrestrial situations, from the coast up to about 500 m above sea level.
  • Largely nocturnal, but sun-basks near retreat.
  • Arboreal or terrestrial.


  • Olive-grey to dark pinkish-brown (rarely dark olive-green), individuals usually only undergo minor colour changes.
  • Patterned with drab W-shaped bands or broad herringbone patches, often with broad stripes on neck and shoulders.
  • Overall effect very drab and moss-like.
  • Undersurface speckled or with dull, irregular longitudinal stripes.
  • Mouth lining bright orange, tongue orange with a dark grey patch.
  • Measures 76-80 mm (rarely 85 mm) from snout tip to vent.
  • Tail usually equal or slightly longer than snout-vent length.


  • Stewart Island and outliers, including some very small, exposed islands.
  • Abundant on several offshore islands but rarely encountered on the Stewart Island mainland.
  • Not known to co-exist with other members of the Hoplodactylus granulatus species complex.


  • Moko-piri-rakau is the Maori name for forest gecko.
  • The species part of the scientific name means "cloudy", probably in reference to the drab colour pattern.
  • Placed in synonomy of Mokopirirakau granulatus by Thomas (1981), but recognized by Hitchmough (1997) and now widely accepted.
  • Notes about 2008-10 cycle of NZ threat classification for Reptiles (Hitchmough et al 2010): Believed to have gone from most of main Stewart Island, recovering on Codfish, Big South Cape, etc.
  • Notes about 2012-14 cycle of NZ threat classification for Reptiles: (Hitchmough, et al.
  • 2012): Believed to have gone from most of main Stewart Island - uncertain whether they are functionally extinct there (which affects trend assessment).
  • Likely to be recovering on Codfish, Taukihepa and other southern islands, but no actual evidence of this.
  • Limited access to islands makes it difficult to assess status.
  • Taukihepa eradicated of mammals since last listing.

Statistical information and distribution map

  Before 1988 Since 1988
Live Specimen 16 15
Dead Specimen 0 1
Skin 0 1
Total 16 17

  Live or dead specimen or shed skin
  Bone or fossil

cloudy gecko Distribution Map.'
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