No cryptic species issues.
Named after the French naturalist Alfred Duvaucel (1793-1825), whom explored parts of India.
Juveniles can appear similar to Woodworthia maculatus or Dactylocnemis pacificus and affiliated species within these species complexes, however head size is usually disproportionate to the body, and usually has a bright grey patch across the nape. Adult geckos are too large to be confused with other species.
Large size, femoral pores present, cloacal spurs pointed, in a series of 3-4. precloacal pores extending in a narrow series along ventral surface of thighs. Lamellae 15-19, curved; mouth lining pink; adult = 100 mm SVL (Jewell 2006, Jewell 2008).
There is geographical variation in the northern and southern populations. Northern populations are larger (100-161 mm SVL) and more robust with small yellow or yellow-olive eyes and drab markings (Jewell 2008). SVL measurements of geckos from Aorangi Island, Poor Knights group by Whitaker (1968) ranged from 100-160 mm SVL , mean 144.0; which were larger than that given by McCann (1955)—117-139 mm SVL for all other populations. On the Poor Knights, the mean lamellae count was 19-25 (17-21), and also exceeded McCann's (1955) range of 15-19 (Whitaker 1968). Males were about 5% larger than females. Northern Hoplodactylus duvaucelii are drab compared to those of Cook Strait (McCann 1955, Whitaker 1968). Southern populations are smaller (95-120 mm SVL) and more slender with large brown eye and brighter markings, with a particularly well-defined nape patch (Jewell 2008).
Duvaucel's gecko; Giant gecko
This is a large nocturnal gecko, reaching 98-161mm SVL and up to 200-320 mm total length (Barwick 1982, Whitaker 1968). This gecko is also very robust, weighing up to 118g (Whitaker 1968), ranging from 70 to >100g, mean 57.3 g (Towns 1991, Towns 2002). Dorsal surface grey, olive-brown or olive-green with 5-6 irregular cross bars across body from nape of neck, never striped. Eye yellow, mouth and tongue pink. Ventral surface pale or uniform grey, may be weakly blotched. This gecko is very heavily-bodied with a broad head, thick trunk and tail and large feet. Toes have extended pads, and have a high number of lamellae (>15, McCann 1955, Whitaker 1968). Tail length is approximately equal to SVL, often regrown. This is New Zealand's largest extant lizard species, and also one of the world's largest geckos.
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