Despite suggestions as early as the mid 1960s (Sharell 1966, Wilkinson 1977) that this gecko was a distinct species, this gecko was not formally described until 1980. This gecko was named in a popular book (Robb 1980a) before it was actually formally described (Robb 1980b). The specific name is derived from the Greek chrysos, gold, and seiretion, stripe. This recognises its common name, the "gold-stripe gecko" (Robb 1980).
Some individuals of common gecko, Woodworthia maculatus may be striped similarly, but undersurfaces of such common geckos often do not have scattered black speckles, and their stripes are often not continuous. Pacific geckos, Dactylocnemis pacificus, also have some striped individuals, but the rostral scale is in contact with the nostril. Geographically isolated from other similar species.
The Mana Island population appear to have a more uniform colour pattern than Taranaki populations (Flannagan 2000).
A black specimen was captured in the 1990's in rural Waiwaikahio area of Taranaki and released in the Paritutu area (T. Bell, unpub. data).
The goldstripe gecko is an agile, slender medium-sized gecko reaching 130-150 mm total length (Wilkinson 1977, Wilkinson 1981). The SVL is about 70-80mm (Robb 1980, Hudson 1994, Flannagan 2000). The body colour ranges from a light golden brown, dark brown, olive or a dark greenish-brown. Individuals are able to vary the intensity of their general body colour, but not the markings (Wilkinson 1977, Robb 1980). All specimens have variations of arrow markings on the head, a straight and prominent canthal stripe, bordered below by a dark olive or brown streak running from the nostril to eye, and a number of dark and defined longitudinal stripes along the body, divided by lighter stripes of the same basic colour (Jewell 2008). These lighter stripes are sometimes interspersed with dark flecks (Wilkinson 1977). Occasional specimens have a pair of white stripes, one on each side of the mid-dorsal line. Two longitudinal dorsal stripes come together abruptly at the base of tail. The ventral surface is light pale, with fine black speckling under the body and tail, but not throat or head (Wilkinson 1977, Wilkinson 1981). Some specimens have a salmon-pink colouration under the tail (Wilkinson 1977). The mouth and tongue are very pale pink but the tongue darkens to red when the lizard is licking or drinking (Robb 1980, Wilkinson 1981). The eye is light brown, hazel to yellowish-hazel. Rostral widely excluded from nostril, digits broadly expanded, lamellae 12-18 (Bauer 1986, Jewell 2008). Males have one enlarged blunt scale on each side at base of tail.
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