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Mokopirirakau cryptozoicus (JEWELL & LESCHEN, 2004)

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Higher TaxaDiplodactylidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Takitimu gecko 
SynonymHoplodactylus cryptozoicus JEWELL & LESCHEN 2004
Mokopirirakau cryptozoicus — NIELSEN et al. 2011 
DistributionNew Zealand (Southland, Takitimu Mts)

Type locality: New Zealand, SL, southern branch of Spence Burn, Takitimu Mts, grid ref. NZMG 21099 57879, 45°42S, 167°51E, 1140m elevation.  
TypesHolotype: NMNZ, Re. 2514, juvenile female: 14 March 1996, Tony Jewell. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A medium-sized Hoplodactylus (86–87mm SVL); mouth lining bright orange with a pink tongue; tail shorter than SVL; body scales minute (average length 0.002 x SVL); 1–2 internasal scales present; colour pattern grey with variable markings involving an overall herringboned pattern, often decorated with (or replaced by) irregular orange patches. Distinguished from all described congeners by the combination of mouth colour and tail length. 
CommentHoplodactylus cryptozoicus is most similar to the Stewart Island species H. nebulosus (McCann) and the more widespread species H. granulatus by the sharing of similar colouration and the presence of orange or yellow mouth lining, a character which is also shared with the species H. kahutarae. 
EtymologyThe name cryptozoicus, masculine and used as an adjective, is derived from a combination of the Greek words kryptos (hidden) and zoikos (living), referring to the subsurface scree habitat. 
  • Hitchmough, Rodney A.; Geoffrey B. Patterson, and David G. Chapple 2016. Putting a Name to Diversity: Taxonomy of the New Zealand Lizard Fauna. in: Chapple, D.G. (ed). New Zealand Lizards. Springer, pp. 87-108 - get paper here
  • JEWELL, T.R. & R.A.B. LESCHEN 2004. A new species of Hoplodactylus (Reptilia: Pygopodidae) from the Takitimu Mountains, South Island, New Zealand. Zootaxa 792: 1-11 - get paper here
  • Jewell, Tony 2007. Hoplodactylus cryptozoicus (Reptilia: Diplodactylidae): Extensions to distribution, habitat and morphology. Herpetofauna, Sydney 37(1):27-31.
  • KNOX, CAREY; RODNEY A. HITCHMOUGH, STUART V. NIELSEN, TONY JEWELL, TRENT BELL 2021. A new, enigmatic species of black-eyed gecko (Reptilia: Diplodactylidae: Mokopirirakau) from North Otago, New Zealand. Zootaxa 4964 (1): 140–156 - get paper here
  • Nielsen, Stuart V.; Aaron M. Bauer, Todd R. Jackman, Rod A. Hitchmough and Charles H. Daugherty 2011. New Zealand geckos (Diplodactylidae): Cryptic diversity in a post-Gondwanan lineage with trans-Tasman affinities. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 59 (1): 1-22 - get paper here
  • van Winkel, D., Baling, M. & Hitchmough, R. 2018. Reptiles and Amphibians of New Zealand: A field guide. Auckland University Press, Auckland, 376 pp
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