One thing you will notice if you visit my website is that the "In Cold Blood" section is rather lacking in the contributions department. To rectify this alarming oversight, I paid a visit to the library and acquired a beautiful photographic book entitled "Rare Wildlife of New Zealand". From its pages I selected two of the more dramatically coloured lizards of our fine country.
The first is the Sinbad Skink, endemic to Sinbad Valley in Fiordland. It remained undiscovered until 2004 and grows to nearly 20 cm in length. It is beautifully patterned and may be extremely rare - its habitat is difficult and dangerous to work in and its wild behaviour has thus not been recorded.
This one has flown off to a new home in Russia.
The second is the Harlequin Gecko. It is also limited in its range - being only found in southern Steward Island and was not discovered until 1969. They lead a more ground-dwelling lifestyle than most NZ geckos and are thus vulnerable to mammalian predation. This combined with their slow breeding behaviour, has led to them being regarded as rare and on a gradual decline.
And this one is destined for a new life with Itti.
A slightly modified VW drived through the wooded countryside. Perhaps it's taking Girlnouveau on a camping trip?