Not known to be sympatric with other members of the Hoplodactylus (=Mokopirirakau) granulatus species-complex. The Takitimu gecko can be distinguished from M. sp 'Roys Peak' and M. sp. 'Southern forest gecko' by a predominately pink or grey tongue (vs uniform orange), and also from the southern forest gecko by the shorter intact tail (vs longer than SVL). Geographically isolated from other similar species.
From 1996-2004 known by the tag name, thereafter by the scientific name. The name 'cryptozoicus' is derived from a combination of the Greek words kryptos (hidden) and zoikos (living), referring to the subsurface scree habitat (Jewell & Leschen 2004). The common name, Takitimu gecko, is derived from the type locality.
A major identification conflict exists with the cloudy gecko, Mokopirirakau nebulosus. The diagnostic traits in Jewell & Leschen (2004) and Jewell 2007 in separating the species from M. nebulosus (i.e. M. cryptozoicus having a shorter tail length, smaller body scales, colour pattern—slate grey frequently with two-tone orange markings versus olive-grey or brown, never with orange markings—, smaller eyes with dark peripheral iris colour) are usually consistent within M. cryptozoicus over a broad span of distribution and habitat (Jewell 2007). The only exception is the absence of scattered dark specks in the Richardson Mountains and Waitutu specimens. These specks however may be a trait unique to the type population, or associated to a life stage (Jewell 2007). Further, the species is not known to be sympatric, and occur on different islands (South and Stewart Island respectively) (Jewell 2007).There also potential identification conflicts with the forest gecko, M. granulatus, but the species are not sympatric.
A specimen in the Richardson Mountains specimen differed only in that the eye was pinkish and olive-grey (versus brown in the type population), and the general colour pattern involves scattered dark specks (versus absent or indistinct for the type population) (Jewell 2007). Another specimen in the Waitutu Forest was more slender in general build, had a larger series of precloacal pores (34 wide, versus 23-28 wide), the mental and anterior labial scales were more elongate, and the irregular 'orange-red' markings across the body was two-toned brick-red (versus two-toned orange or orange-brown for the type population) (Jewell 2007). The general colour pattern involved some scattered dark specks (Jewell 2007).
Medium sized gecko, adult sizes c. 80–87mm SVL (Jewell 2006). Robust in build. Dorsal surface slate grey to dark grey; occasionally brown, olive-grey or rarely orange. Variable colour, with both longitudinal stripes and transverse chevron patterns, sometimes heavily overlain with reddish-orange blotches. A series of narrow herringbone patches down either side of the back, usually connected longitudinally with thin stripes, or sometimes connected across the back. Sometimes with bright, asymmetrical, two-tone orange or orange-brown spots or patches. Ventral surface lightly mottled or speckled uniformally. Eye brown or pinkish, with a prominent black edge to the iris. The eye profile is small, not prominent. The mouth lining is bright orange. Tongue pink, often with a dark grey patch, and sometimes with orange on tip or sides. The tail is shorter than the SVL, sometimes markedly so (0.82–0.91x SVL, Jewell & Leschen 2004). The toe-pads are very narrow, and the 7–12 lamellae are straight (Jewell & Leschen 2004, Jewell 2006, Jewell 2007).
Hoplodactylus sp. 'Takitimu Mountains'
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