Yesterday morning there was an email in my inbox from Tony Lucas. Well, I always like getting emails from Tony; he is an eminently reasonable cove and furthermore, someone who on the whole is on the same wavelength as me. He is also interested in nuts and bolts natural history as well as crypto stuff (like I am) and we are both more or less disabled. But this email promised even more:
GIANT GECKO DISCOVERED ON MAINLAND,
Bloody Hell, I thought. At last! A living specimen of Hoplodactylus delcourti has been found. For those of you not in the know (and it has to be said that the story has been mentioned serveral times in these hallowed pages), H.delcourti is an enormous gecko known from one specimen now in a French museum. It is the largest gecko known to man and has been linked in many people's minds with a legendary beast known from Maori folklore. It is probably the Holy Grail for most New Zealand herpetologists.
So has it been rediscovered? Well, no. The lizard in question is a much smaller species that has not been seen on the mainland since about 1920, but it is an interesting story and well done to everyone involved.