Lepidodactylus listeri (Boulenger, 1889:535)

Lister's gecko, Christmas Island gecko, Christmas Island chained gecko



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Gecko listeri Boulenger, 1889:535 (basionym)


Conservation Status

Last record: 1979

Rediscovered in 2010

Extinct in the wild, last record October 2012 (Andrew et al., 2016).

IUCN RedList status: Extinct in the Wild



Christmas Island, Australia


Biology & Ecology

"Ecology: closed forest, arboreal, nocturnal; oviparous, arthropod-feeder."

(Cogger et al., 1983:92)



Holotype: BMNH 1946.8.25.91 M (Cogger et al., 1983:92)

Type locality: "Christmas Is., Indian Ocean" (Cogger et al., 1983:92)






Original scientific description:

Boulenger, G. A. (1889). On the reptiles of Christmas Island. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1888: 534-536.


Other references:

Agius, Jessica Esther et al. (2021). Genomic Insights Into the Pathogenicity of a Novel Biofilm-Forming Enterococcus sp. Bacteria (Enterococcus lacertideformus) Identified in Reptiles. Frontiers in Microbiology 12: 635208.

Andrew, Paul, Cogger, Hal, Driscoll, Don, Flakus, Samantha, Harlow, Peter, Maple, Dion, Misso, Mike, Pink, Caitlin, Retallick, Kent, Rose, Karrie, Tiernan, Brendan, West, Judy and Woinarski, John C. Z. (2016). Somewhat saved: a captive breeding programme for two endemic Christmas Island lizard species, now extinct in the wild. Oryx 52(1): 171-174.

Boulenger, G. A. (1900). Reptilia, pp. 51-54. In: Andrews, C. W. (ed.). A Monograph of Christmas Island (Indian Ocean). British Museum of Natural History, London, UK.

Brown, W. C. and Parker, F. (1977). Lizards of the genus Lepidodactylus (Gekkonidae) from the Indo-Australian Archipelago and the islands of the Pacific, with descriptions of new species. Proceedings of the Californian Academy of Sciences (4) 41(8): 253-265.

Chapple, D., Tingley, R., Mitchell, N., Macdonald, S., Keogh, J. S., Cox, N., Bowles, P., Shea, G., & Woinarski, J. (2019). The action plan for Australian lizards and snakes 2017. CSIRO Publishing.

Cogger, Harold G. (2005). Background Information on Lister’s Gecko, Lepidodactylus listeri and the Christmas Island Blind Snake, Typhlops exocoeti. Prepared for the Department of the Environment and Heritage: Canberra.

Cogger, Harold G. (2006). National Recovery Plan for Lister’s Gecko, Lepidodactylus listeri and the Christmas Island Blind Snake, Typhlops exocoeti. Prepared for the Department of the Environment and Heritage: Canberra.

Cogger, Harold G. (2014). Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia: Seventh Edition. Collingwood, Victoria: CSIRO Publishing.

Cogger, Harold G., Cameron, Elizabeth E. and Cogger, Heather M. (1983). Gekkonidae, pp. 78-100. In: Zoological Catalogue of Australia. I. Amphibia and Reptilia. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service. vi + 313 pp. [p. 92]

Cogger, Hal G., Cameron, Elizabeth E., Sadlier, Ross A. and Eggler, Peter. (1993). The Action Plan for Australian Reptiles. Canberra: Australian Nature Conservation Agency. [pp. 34-37]

Cogger, Hal G, Mitchell, N. M and Woinarski, J. C. Z. (2017). Lepidodactylus listeri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T11559A83321765. Accessed on 10 June 2022.

Cogger, Hal G. and Sadlier, R. A. (1981). The terrestrial reptiles of Christmas Island, Indian Ocean. Australian Museum, Sydney. 194 pp. Report to the Australian National Parks & Wildlife Service.

Cogger, Hal G, Sadlier, R. A. and Cameron, E. (1983). The Terrestrial Reptiles of Australia's Island Territories. Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service, Special Publication No. 11. Australian Government Publishing Service: Canberra. 80 pp.

Dalrymple, S. E., Abeli, T., Ewen, J. G., Gilbert, T. C., Hogg, C. J., Lloyd, N. A., Moehrenschlager, A., Rodríguez, J. P. and Smith, D. (2023). Addressing Threats and Ecosystem Intactness to Enable Action for Extinct in the Wild Species. Diversity 15: 268.

Tristram Dodge, Katherine Farquharson, Claire Ford, et al. Genomes of two Extinct-in-the-Wild reptiles from Christmas Island reveal distinct evolutionary histories and conservation insights. Authorea. November 29, 2022. DOI: 10.22541/au.166974487.73559017/v1

Emery, Jon-Paul. (2021). Planning the recovery of two Extinct in the Wild lizards on Christmas Island. PhD thesis, The University of Western Australia.

Emery, Jon-Paul et al. (2021). The lost lizards of Christmas Island: A retrospective assessment of factors driving the collapse of a native reptile community. Conservation Science and Practice 3:e358. doi:

Geyle, Hayley M. et al. (2021). Reptiles on the brink: identifying the Australian terrestrial snake and lizard species most at risk of extinction. Pacific Conservation Biology 27: 3-12.

Kluge, A. G. (1968). Phylogenetic relationships of the gekkonid lizard genera Lepidodactylus Fitzinger, Hemiphyllodactylus Bleeker, and Pseudogekko Taylor. Philipp. J. Sci. 95: 331-352.

Lister, J. J. (1888). On the natural history of Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, 512-531. [relevant citation?]

Low, Tim and Booth, Carol. (2023). GONE: Australian animals extinct since the 1960s. Invasive Species Council Inc.

Oliver, Paul M., Blom, M. P. K., Cogger, Hal G., Fisher, R. N., Richmond, J. Q. and Woinarski, J. C. Z. (2018). Insular biogeographic origins and high phylogenetic distinctiveness for a recently depleted lizard fauna from Christmas Island, Australia. Biol. Lett. 14: 20170696.

Range to Reef Environmental. (2016). EPBC Act Protected Matters Risk Assessment. Beaconsfield.

Smith, Donal et al. (2023). Extinct in the wild: The precarious state of Earth’s most threatened group of species. Science 379(6634): eadd2889.

Smith, Michael J. et al. (2012). An oceanic island reptile community under threat: the decline of reptiles on Christmas Island, Indian Ocean. Herpetological Conservation and Biology 7(2): 206-218.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee. (2013). Conservation Advice Lepidodactylus listeri. Australian Government.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC). (2014). Commonwealth Conservation Advice for Lepidodactylus listeri (Christmas Island Gecko). Department of the Environment, Canberra.

Tiernan, B. (2018). The last stand: Geckoes and skinks on the brink. Wildlife Australia 55(1): 36-39.

Washington, Haydn. (2018). The last stand. Wildlife Australia 55(1): 36-39. [Abstract]

Woinarski, John C. Z., Braby, M. F., Burbidge, A. A., Coates, D., Garnett, S. T., Fensham, R. J., Legge, S. M., McKenzie, N. L., Silcock, J L. and Murphy, B. P. (2019). Reading the black book: The number, timing, distribution and causes of listed extinctions in Australia. Biological Conservation 239: 108261.


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