Detailed species information from your search of the Atlas.
Scientific name:
Mokopirirakau "Cupola"
Common name:
Cupola gecko
Naming authority:
Bio status category:
Indigenous (Endemic)
IUCN threat status:
** Not Classified **
NZ threat classification:
Data Deficient

Refer to for NZ threat classification system details.

Cupola gecko. Photo: Tony Whitaker.
Cupola gecko


  • The specimen was found in a scrubby boulder field above the tree line.


  • The small juvenile specimen is dark grey-brown with bright grey chevron markings and scattered spots of mustard-yellow.
  • Undersurface speckled.
  • Mouth lining bright orange.
  • Eye grey-brown.
  • Size of adults unknown (probably about 70-85 mm from snout tip to vent).


  • Know from a small juvenile in one location, found by John Pearson who was researching red deer based at the DSIR/NZFS hut in Cupola Basin.
  • It was found by day in a scrubby boulder-field not far above the hut.
  • Not known to co-exist with other members of the Mokopirirakau granulatus species complex but range appears to come close to that of the Northern Forest gecko.


  • Moko-piri-rakau is the Maori name for forest gecko.
  • Could be a distinct species, or perhaps a form of the Okarito or Southern North Island forest geckos.
  • Extensive searches of the area in 2006 failed to detect any geckos.
  • Notes about 2008-10 cycle of NZ threat classification for Reptiles (Hitchmough et al 2010): 2 individuals known, taxonomic distinctiveness yet to be confirmed.
  • Notes about 2012-14 cycle of NZ threat classification for Reptiles: (Hitchmough, et al.
  • 2012): No new data.

Statistical information and distribution map

  Before 1988 Since 1988
Live Specimen 1 1
Total 1 1

  Live or dead specimen or shed skin
  Bone or fossil

Cupola gecko Distribution Map.'
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