Detailed species information from your search of the Atlas.
Scientific name:
Woodworthia "Southern Alps"
Common name:
southern Alps gecko
Naming authority:
Bio status category:
Indigenous (Endemic)
IUCN threat status:
** Not Classified **
NZ threat classification:
Not Threatened

Refer to for NZ threat classification system details.

southern Alps gecko. Photo: Tony Jewell.
southern Alps gecko


  • Scree, outcrops, talus slopes and creviced bluffs (mostly among greywacke rock) and associated scrubby vegetation.
  • Limited occurrence in creviced schist habitat (Wanaka, Hawea).
  • Sparse records from beech and kanuka forests.
  • Lowlands up to at 1800 m above sea level.
  • Largely nocturnal, but sun-basks at entrance to retreat.
  • Usually terrestrial but may climb shrubs and dense vines at night; some populations arboreal.


  • Typically grey, but in some areas often dark olive with dull pink shadings, or brown.
  • Markings consist of bands or blotches (or rarely stripes) that are usually drab, and some animals in Canterbury are silver-streaked in appearance.
  • Undersurface speckled, or in Otago sometimes uniform.
  • Often with narrow, pale stripe running from nostril to eye.
  • Mouth lining pink, tongue pink with grey tip.
  • Eye greenish or brown, sometimes with a blue edge.
  • Measures 50-65 mm from snout tip to vent (in high altitudes sometimes up to 73 mm snout-vent length).


  • Inland areas from northern Otago (Wanaka, Chain Hills, Hawkdun Range and Kye Burn) northwards through the mountainous and arid regions of Canterbury, to southern Marlborough.
  • Occurs on all islands in Lakes Wanaka and Hawea except Ruby Island.


  • Notes about 2012-14 cycle of NZ threat classification for Reptiles: (Hitchmough, et al.
  • 2012): Poaching has occurred recently, but widespread and locally abundant in many habitats.
  • 2020: Recircumscribed to split northern populations off as a separate taxon.

Statistical information and distribution map

  Before 1988 Since 1988
Live Specimen 531 2175
Dead Specimen 0 4
Skin 2 11
Total 533 2190

  Live or dead specimen or shed skin
  Bone or fossil

southern Alps gecko Distribution Map.'
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