New Zealand Journal of Ecology (1999) 23(1): 101- 103

Extreme longevity of the common gecko (Hoplodactylus maculatus) on Motunau Island, Canterbury, New Zealand

Research Article
C. A. Bannock 1
A. H. Whitaker 2
G. J. Hickling 1
  1. Ecology and Entomology Group, P.O. Box 84, Lincoln University, Canterbury, New Zealand
  2. Orinoco, R.D. 1, Motueka, New Zealand

The longevity of common geckos (Hoplodactylus maculatus) on predator-free Motunau Island, North Canterbury, was investigated. Sixteen of 133 individuals marked between 1967-75 were re-captured in the summer of 1996/97. A growth curve was generated to estimate the age of these geckos at first capture, and from this their age in 1996/97; 10 were estimated to be at least 36 years old. In this cool-temperate habitat, H. maculatus matures late and has a low annual reproductive output over an extended lifespan. This suggests that nearby mainland populations would be particularly slow to recover from the impacts of introduced mammalian predators.