Kawekaweau / Giant gecko

I’ve always had a fascination for New Zealand geckos and skink’s. So it was hard not to get excited when I stumbled across a photo of a poorly stuffed specimen of a giant gecko that was the thickness of a man’s forearm and about 60 cm long, and believed at the time to have originated from New Zealand. It would have been truly amazing to have seen this animal wandering through the New Zealand bush.
After spending hours researching this amazing gecko and only finding the same old photos of the undignified and bedraggled looking specimen I decided to have a go at bringing him to life in a more dignified way through one of my paintings.
These paintings were only created for the pleasure of painting it, and were created with the help of Aaron M Bauer’s paper ” Hoplodactyus delcourti n. the largest known gecko” for measurements and scale patterns, and some advice from¬† Tony Jewell. I also used photos of New Caledonia’s “Rhacodactylus lechianus” the words biggest surviving gecko, and other “Hoplodactylus” species as reference. The Little Barrier Giant Weta is for a size comparison.

You can read more about kawekaweau at the New Zealand Herpetological Socity –¬†Hoplodactylus delcourti | NZHS

Over Lockdown 2020 I received this flattering email –
Hello Mark! I am writing a piece about the kawekaweau for a post-graduate assignment. I was wondering if it would be possible to use your astounding image of H. delcourti for this?
I have been obsessed with this image of yours for the longest time! Your image is the only one I’ve seen that really brings this animal to life and offers a useful glimpse at a past that once may have been. I was delighted to find your website and see all your other images of incredible New Zealand wildlife such as Naultinus, Powelliphanta/Paryphanta and giant weta etc!! Absolutely beautiful!
Kindest regards,
Samuel Purdie
Its hard not to say yes when someone says that about your art, and its even harder to say no when they write like this




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