Detailed species information from your search of the Atlas.
Scientific name:
Naultinus gemmeus
Common name:
jewelled gecko
Naming authority:
McCann, 1955
Bio status category:
Indigenous (Endemic)
IUCN threat status:
Lower Risk: near threatened
NZ threat classification:

Refer to for NZ threat classification system details.

jewelled gecko. Photo: Tony Jewell.
jewelled gecko


  • Forest and scrub, including beech forest, manuka/kanuka shrubland, coprosma shrubland, including groves of shrubs in grassland.
  • From the coast upwards to just above the tree line.
  • Arboreal.
  • Largely diurnal (plus limited records of nocturnal feeding), basks among foliage.
  • Does not co-exist with other members of Naultinus genus.


  • Bright green with rows of diamond-shaped patches, or continuous stripes, that may be pale green, white or yellow and are often finely outlined with dark brown or black.
  • Some males from Canterbury are grey or brown, and some females from Canterbury have grey-brown flanks.
  • In Southland and Stewart Island, only the head is strongly marked.
  • Undersurface pale (grey, green yellow or bluish) and often with longitudinal streaks or stripes.
  • Mouth lining blue, tongue bluish black in Otago, pink to dark grey with an orange tip in Canterbury.
  • Eye olive or brown.
  • Measures about 50-80 mm from snout tip to vent.


  • Canterbury (south of Waiau River) southwards to Foveaux Strait area, including Green and Codfish Islands.
  • Generally sparse, becoming rare and seldom encountered from inland Otago southwards.


  • Notes about NZ threat classification (Hitchmough, et al 2007): Identify taxonomy of Foveaux Strait and Codfish Island populations.
  • No confirmed sightings from mainland Stewart Island.
  • The scientific name means 'set with gems', in reference to the markings.
  • Notes about 2008-10 cycle of NZ threat classification for Reptiles (Hitchmough et al 2010): Concern about decline, but records very widespread through south Canterbury, Hunter Valley as well as Coastal Otago and Banks Peninsula, genetics do not support separation of Otago and Canterbury populations, poaching issues.
  • Notes about 2012-14 cycle of NZ threat classification for Reptiles: (Hitchmough, et al.
  • 2012): Salvage from poaching for one Otago Peninsula population has occurred.
  • Intensive survey and monitoring work on Banks and Otago Peninsulas has identified good numbers in many scattered populations.
  • More sites identified in South Canterbury.
  • Southern island populations confirmed to be this species.
  • Poaching has been a real threat for some populations.
  • Anecdotal evidence of population losses.
  • Most populations likely to still be declining through predation, habitat loss and poaching.
  • Habitat protection is inadequate with current district plan rules.

Statistical information and distribution map

  Before 1988 Since 1988
Live Specimen 111 352
Dead Specimen 0 2
Total 111 354

  Live or dead specimen or shed skin
  Bone or fossil

jewelled gecko Distribution Map.'
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