Diseases of New Zealand Reptiles



There are considerable gaps in our knowledge of the endemic diseases that are present in New Zealand lizards. The area which has received the most attention is the parasites of lizards, but even here the focus of scientific endeavour has, until recently, been on taxonomy of parasites rather than on any pathogenic effects on the host. There are gaps in our knowledge of the effects of reptile diseases that are currently exotic to New Zealand but may threaten our native lizard species if they are introduced by smuggling or legal importation. For the first section of this chapter, I report the results of a retrospective review of post-mortem databases held at the Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences at Massey University in New Zealand. Using this information, I identify the major causes of mortality identified in the post-mortem examination of reptiles in New Zealand. Bacterial and mycotic infections were the most commonly identified cause of death for native geckos and tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus) and for exotic species of reptiles kept in New Zealand. Renal disease was the most common cause of death identified for native skinks. For the second part of this chapter, I briefly review major diseases and disease agents found in reptiles in New Zealand.


Bacterial infection Captive reptiles Gecko Mycotic infection New Zealand Parasite Skink Tuatara 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wildbase, Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical SciencesMassey UniversityPalmerston NorthNew Zealand

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