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Southern Alps gecko

Status: Not threatened


Southern Alps gecko (Woodworthia sp. ‘Southern Alps’) mokomoko (Māori) is a small robust gecko that grows up to 72mm. It is normally grey, olive-grey or -green with pinkish green or brown tones with transverse bands or blotches, often also with fine longitudinal streaks. In Canterbury, some appear to be streaked with silver markings. Striped specimens have been seen in Waitaki, and those in the Lindis area have had brighter markings. The canthal (from eye to mouth) stripe is usually prominent. Ventral (belly) surface is usually speckled or uniform. The eyes are light olive-grey or brown, and those in Hawea/Wanaka have a pale blue or green edge. The mouth is pink, and the tongue is pink with a grey tip.

  • Marlborough/North Canterbury: from Arthur’s Pass north its medium-sized and has simple transverse bands
  • Mackenzie: Similar size as the Marlborough/North Canterbury, but the colour is very silvery grey, often with streaky markings and a vertebral stripe
  • Tekapo: Smaller 55-60mm, and very dark colouring
  • South Canterbury/Otago: In the Waitaki and Hakataramea Valleys some are striped.
Distribution map
Distribution map

Conservation efforts

No specific conservation activities, although are likely to benefit from activities to protect other braided river birds.

Note: trapping that removes larger predators such as weasels, ferrets, stoats, and cats has the potential to increase the population of mice, which can have a devastating effect on reptiles and invertebrates.