Difficult to distinguish from other members of the Dactylocnemis pacificus species-complex, but adults generally smaller and are more frequently striped.
The tag name is a reference to the island on which the species was first discovered. Once considered a population of Woodworthia chrysosireticus (Pickard & Towns 1988), but since 1997 known as Hoplodactylus sp. 'Matapia' (Hitchmough 1997), and currently as Dactylocnemis sp. 'Matapia'.
This gecko may be similar to striped specimens of Dactylocnemis sp. 'North Cape Pacific gecko' or D. pacificus and also Woodworthia maculatus, however adult geckos are smaller and more frequently striped, and in the case of H. maculatus, the rostral scale contacts nostrils in D. sp. 'Matapia' whereas it does not contact in W. maculatus. Sympatry or syntopy is at present undetermined for the above species on the mainland, however the species is sympatric with D. sp. 'North Cape Pacific gecko' on Matapia Island.
On Matapia and Motuopao Island, geckos are smaller ~45-60 mm SVL and more striped than those on the mainland (to 65 mm, with more variable markings such as banding or blotching).
Matapia gecko; Matapia Island gecko
A small to medium sized gecko (Hitchmough 1997, Jewell 2008), Dorsal surfaces reddish tan or dark olive colour with paler dorso-lateral longitudinal stripes. Ventral surfaces uniform or with minute speckling. Mouth lining and tongue pink, with grey tip. Eye brown, sometimes with olive overtone. Size ~45-60 mm SVL on islands, but larger on the mainland (to 65 mm) with more variable markings such as banding or blotching. Rostral in broad contact with nostril, upper labial scales 10-13, lower labial scales 8-12, pointed cloacal spurs in series of 3-4, distinct webbing between toes 2, 3, and 4, and with prehensile tail (Hitchmough 1997, R. Hitchmough pers. comm. in Jewell 2008). 3 g in weight (Hitchmough 1997).
Dactylocnemis sp. 'Matapia'
Hoplodactylus sp. 'Matapia', Dactylocnemis sp. 'Matapia'.
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