Both the scientific and common name refer to the knobbly tubercule scales all over the body. Fischer's (1882) description is detailed and accurate, although the poor condition of the type specimen places limits on its usefulness (Bauer 1986). Thomas (1982) suggested synonymizing N. manukanus with N. rudis and described variation throughout the range of the two taxa.
South Island only, with enlarged scales all over body.
There appears to be a clinal variation within the distribution of this species from the northern to southern ends (Thomas 1982). Robb (1980) suggested that grey individuals occur at around 300-400m asl in rock tumbles in scrubland.
This medium to large gecko (up to 72 mm SVL, total length 175 mm, Jewell 2008) is highly distinctive with a enlargened head scales, particularly on the snout and canthal areas, and also a large number of smaller raised scales, some pointed, some domed; scattered over body. Colouration is highly variable from dark green with dark-edged white splotches. Sexually dichromatic with females green, males grey with brown and white splotches. Ventral surface light grey or brown with pale longitudinal streaks or stripes. Ventral scales uniform. Mouth lining dark blue, tongue greenish-yellow. Eye dark olive-green. Toes narrow and tapering without expanded pads. Tail slender; prehensile, seldom shed. The pattern of enlarged body scales is unique to this species (Jewell 2008).
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