This species is not known to co-exist with other members of the Hoplodactylus (=Mokopirirakau) granulatus species complex, but distribution limits poorly understood.
The former common name 'blue-eyed' refers to the typically blue iris; 'Southern forest' refers to it being one of three geckos in the Hoplodactylus (=Mokopirirakau) granulatus species complex known to inhabit forest of southern New Zealand.
This species can be distinguished from Mokopirirakau cryptoziocus by the uniform orange tongue (versus predominantly pink or grey in M. cryptozoicus) and the longer intact tail (versus shorter than SVL in M. cryptoziocus). Otherwise, geographically isolated from similar species.
Blue-eyed gecko; Southern forest gecko
A small to medium sized gecko (~68-83 mm SVL, 13.5 g, R. Hitchmough, unpub. data, Tocher et al 2000, Jewell 2006). Dorsal surfaces brown, grey or olive with creamy-yellow, green or whitish markings. Dorsal markings consist of a row of ‘W’- or ‘H’-shaped patches along the back, sometimes with partial striping linking these markings along the edges of the back. Individuals sometimes have regular or irregular mustard-yellow, orange or brick-red patches. Ventral surface is pale, speckled, often with large pale blotches. Eye brown, grey-brown (often with a bluish sheen) to sky-blue. Mouth and tongue colour are vivid orange (Jewell 2006). Of moderate body proportions, with slender toes, and 11-14 straight lamellae. The intact tail is slightly longer than the SVL.
Mokopirirakau sp. 'Southern forest gecko'
Hoplodactylus sp. 'Southern forest gecko', Mokopirirakau sp. 'Southern forest gecko'
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