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Reptiles

Green Gecko

green gecko

Naultinus elegans

Distribution:

Upper third of North Island of New Zealand, some Hauraki Gulf islands

Habitat:

The habitat of this gecko is forest or scrub, especially kanuka and manuka

Diet:

In the zoo the green gecko is fed live insects and fruit puree

Gestation:

Usually two young are born

Longevity:

Live about 20 years

Predators:

Birds of prey, kingfishers and many introduced animals such as magpies, cats, rats, ferrets, mice and hedgehogs

Conservation status:

Protected native species, endemic

General:

Usually a bright apple-green, this gecko may also be a bright yellow. It may be unmarked or have stripes, blotches or spots of yellow, pink or white. Inside the mouth is bright blue. It has excellent camouflage. This lizard is diurnal and arboreal, hunting and foraging mainly in trees and shrubs.

Most geckos will lose their tails if threatened. The tail is important for balance, grip and fat storage, so always take care not to hold any lizard by the tail. Once lost, although the lizard will recover and regrow its tail, it is a serious loss of resource.

A pregnant lizard is referred to as 'gravid', whether carrying eggs or live young.

Green geckos have several subspecies and they all differ slightly according to the region they come from. The Northland sub-species have a red tongue but the Auckland has a blue tongue. Hamilton Zoo holds the Northland sub-species.