Gecko, probably Hoplodactylus pacificus.
We are very pleased to see our resident gecko back sunning herself in the same spot as last year on the gnarly old pine tree trunk. As this is apparently the behaviour of a pregnant female, it means we have more than one gecko in residence. If she was successful in bearing her babies from last year and they survived all the predators which includes adult geckos, it may mean we have several. Given that spotting one gecko is a rare occurrence (last year’s event caused considerable excitement amongst local herpetologists), we are never going to know, but we are hopeful that Glenys’s behaviour may become an annual event. The sunbathing is apparently part of the incubation process of the young.
It takes an eagle eye to spot a sunbathing gecko. We may well have others in less prominent spots and we may have had them here all the time and just never spotted one before. It is likely that Glenys is a fine specimen of Hoplodactylus pacificus.
Earlier stories from last year:
1) Gecko update
2) The first story (and best photo) about our gecko, as well as the flocking kereru and monarch butterflies which were delighting us at the time – Wildlife in the Garden, New Zealand style.
A kind reader from the herpetological society (www.reptiles.org.nz) rang to tell us that our gecko is most likely a heavily pregnant Hoplodactylus pacificus. This is good because it must mean that we have at least two resident gecko but it did necessitate a name change. Geck, or Gok was quickly renamed Glenys (Mark’s choice). She has been out sunbathing most days but apparently when she gives birth to her live young (probably two of them), we will no longer see her because she is largely nocturnal by nature, though we may catch sight of her babies which will apparently resemble matchsticks with legs. Alas, the babies are vulnerable to every predator you can think of, including other geckos, but we have our fingers crossed that this may indicate a hitherto unsuspected resident gecko population.
The flocking kereru have now increased to more than twenty and we are none the wiser as to why they are congregating here but we are pleased to have them around. They arrive in pairs or threes. Mark’s theory is that they are either introducing their young to their uncles and aunts or they are swapping slaves, or maybe troublesome adolescents.