3 August 2019: New Zealand's Mokopirirakau (Cupola gecko) has rarely been seen since 1968

Elizabeth Freer

Active member
Mokopirirakau (Cupola gecko)
photo credits: Roger Waddell

Image 1 on left: The Cupola gecko was first seen in 1968, and has since been seen twice by trampers in the Nelson Lakes National Park but little else is known about it's distribution or ecology.
Image 2 on right: The Cupola gecko, sighted by Roger Waddell in 2007 while hiking in the Sabine Valley in the Nelson Lakes National Park.

In addition to Roger Waddell, this article mentions Dylan van Winkel & Tony Jewell.

Work in progress . . . . . .

"Proper" URLs; sometimes work.

Rare Alpine Gecko In Nelson Lakes Remains Mystery Despite Searches

A New Zealand friend told me this article can be accessed via tapping, but NOT via a Google search.

htt ps://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/114625398/rare-alpine-gecko-in-nelson-lakes-remains-mystery-despite-searches?

Have you seen this gecko?
"With only a few sightings since its discovery in 1968, the Cupola gecko (Mokopirirakau) remains elusive. A relative of the more familiar Forest gecko, the Cupola gecko is known to occur within the Nelson Lakes National Park. But, with so few sightings, little is known about its habitat preference or life history. Several dedicated searches by professional herpetologists have failed to locate more individuals and collect the necessary information required to understand and conserve this beautiful species."

4 March 2023 thread history:
Sometimes this link works & sometimes it does NOT work! Why would that happen???

"Proper" URL, but no longer works after 2.5 years.
Last edited:


New member
That's interesting. If they're sitting a rock in the open you wouldn't notice them unless they move. But maybe they stay in rock crevices for warmth where Im sure there's a good supply of food. And only come out in the sun when its much warmer.