We’ve got exciting news for New Zealand reptile lovers! This is the first rough gecko (Naultinus rudis) neonate to be born at Auckland Zoo in eight years – an incredible win for our expert ectotherm team.

Under New Zealand’s threat classification system, the species is listed as Nationally Vulnerable and data on these geckos is quite poor. As with most of our native fauna, the rough gecko is under threat from habitat loss and invasive introduced predators and keeper Georgia says “sadly, they’re an easy meal for rodents”.

Despite their ‘rough’ name, their scales are actually quite soft! Their beautiful colours – males are olive green with white spots and females have shades of soft green spots - help to keep them camouflaged as they evolved with birds as their only natural predators. It’s these unique scale colourations that our ectotherm team use to identify the rough geckos in our care.

Native to the hills above Kaikoura, our team mimics their natural environment and climate. In the winter months they live in a dedicated back of house area with climate controls to replicate the cold they are well adapted for.

We hope the birth of this rough gecko will be the first of many to come. We’ll keep you posted!