Duvaucel’s gecko

Seed retention times in New Zealand’s largest gecko, Hoplodactylus duvaucelii, and implications for seed dispersal

Fruit is an important component in the diet of many lizards, but their role as seed dispersers is often overlooked. Seed retention time and animal movement determine how far a fleshy fruited seed will be dispersed from the parent plant. Seed retention times were investigated in 78 captive Hoplodactylus duvaucelii (Duvaucel’s geckos). Geckos were offered fruits from 10 plant species. Fifty-one geckos consumed fruits and the mean seed retention time was 69 hours (range 31 to 145 hours).

Relative importance of sugar resources to endemic gecko populations in an isolated island ecosystem

In many ecosystems food-web dynamics are driven by spatial and temporal variation in the availability of sugar resources, which form the primary or even exclusive dietary constituents for many species. Scale insects (Hemiptera) produce sugar-rich honeydew, which can be a keystone sugar source in honeydew ecosystems worldwide. In New Zealand, most previous research in honeydew ecosystems has been conducted in areas where herpetofauna are heavily suppressed by introduced predators. Consequently, little is known about potential trophic interactions between endemic lizards and scale insects.