The jewelled gecko lives in trees (arboreal) and is a diurnal species which means it is active during the day. It can live in a wide range of tree and shrub species including matagouri and loves to bask in the sun on top of vegetation.
It is a species that can live for over 30 years. While they can be found all over the South Island, loss of forest and shrubland means distribution can be a bit patchy in the Mackenzie Basin. Its name refers to the typical pattern of diamonds on its back. Depending on their location and range their colouring can be quite different – males in the project area can be an even mixture of green and grey/brown, while the females appear to be green in base colour.
The jewelled gecko eats a wide variety of insects and moths. It also eats berries and, more rarely, nectar. Like other lizards it is an important pollinator and disperser of seeds.
Photos : David Sarar, Aalbert Rebergen, Antje Leseberg