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Bauerius ansorgii (BOULENGER, 1907)

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common Names 
SynonymPhyllodactylus ansorgii BOULENGER 1907: 212
Phyllodactylus ansorgii — LOVERIDGE 1947: 246
Phyllodactylus ansorgii — KLUGE 1993
Afrogecko ansorgii — BAUER et al. 1997: 476
Afrogecko ansorgii — HEINICKE et al. 2014
Bauerius ansorgii — LOBON-ROVIRA et al. 2022 
DistributionW Angola (Maconjo/Benguela; Mocamedes Province)

Type locality: Maconjo, Benguela, Angola; restricted to the vicinity of the streams Conjo, Conjo Pequeno, and Cocumba (12°52’S, 13°21’E, 355 m asl), 20 km south of Uche, Benguela Province, Angola, by Vaz Pinto et al. 2019.  
TypesSyntypes: BMNH 1946.8.24.52-53, adult females (NHMUK) 
DiagnosisDescription: Loveridge 1947: 246.

Original description: “Head rather small, oviform, much longer than broad; snout not longer than the distance between the eye and the ear opening, which is small and oval. Body very elongate; limbs moderate. Digits moderately depressed, with large, subtrapezoid terminal expansions; eight lamellae under the fourth toe. Head and body covered with uniform, smooth, flattened granules, which are larger on the snout and on the belly. Rostral twice as broad as deep, without cleft above; symphysial small, a little longer than broad; ten upper and as many lower labials; rostral and first upper labial entering the nostril; no chin-shields. Tail cylindrical, tapering, covered with uniform, small, quadrangular, smooth scales. A curved transverse series of eight or nine enlarged praeanal scales (indicating praeanal pores in the male?). Pale greyish brown above, with a series of large whitish spots along each side of the back; a dark streak on each side of the head and neck, passing through the eye; upper lip and lower parts white, with small brown spots.” (Boulenger 1907)

Definition (genus). Bauerius gen. nov. is distinguished by the other leaf-toed geckos based on combinations of the following characters: moderate size (45 mm maximum SVL), with largely elongated head and body, and slender, rounded, semi-prehensile and non-ornamented tail. Well-ossified skull, elongated, oval (almost egg shaped), which displays no co-ossification with the overlying skin, and wider posterior snout region than postoccipital region. Parietal and fronto-parietal sutures well sealed. Frontal and nasal unpaired. Otostapes imperforate. Maxilla widely overlapping frontal, nasal, and prefrontal bones. Jugal bone reduced, almost vestigial. 14 scleral ossicles. 25–26 maxillary, 10–11 premaxillary and 31 dentary tooth loci. Surangular and compound bone fused. Splenial bone small and uniform, without alveolar foramen. 3 pairs of cervical ribs, 2 pairs of sternal ribs, and 3 pairs of uniform mesosternal ribs. Bauerius gen. nov. has 26 presacral vertebrae (paired Atlas, Axis, 5 cervical, 18 thoracic and 1 lumbar vertebrae) and one pair of well-developed cloacal bones. Digits are free and bear a single pair of dilated terminal adhesive pads (‘leaf toes’); the phalangeal formula is 2-3-4-5-3 (manus)/2-3-4-5-4 (pes); claws greatly reduced but present on all digits. Dorsal scalation consists of small and smooth granular scales, without tubercular scales. Males with 6–8 precloacal pores. One pair of postcloacal spurs. The eye bears a vertical pupil with crenate margins. (LOBON-ROVIRA et al. 2022)

Detailed revised description (Fig. 3–4). Bauerius ansorgii is a small, slender and elongated gecko with sexual dimorphism exhibited between females and males (maximum SVL 45.8 mm in females versus 40.6 mm in males). Males possess 7–9 precloacal pores corresponding to enlarged scales found in females. Cloacal bones are present in males. Tail elongated (maximum tail length 31.6 mm; TL/SVL: 0.70), semi-prehensile and non-ornamented. Head oviform and elongated (HW/HL 0.62), nape distinct. Canthus rostralis not prominent. Eye size moderate (eye diameter mean = 2.11±0.17 mm), with vertical pupil and crenulated margin. Supraciliar scales small, granular, and rounded. Snout moderate (eye to snout mean = 3.45±0.45 mm). Ear to eye distance larger than orbit diameter (mean 3.19±0.21 mm). Snout rounded. Frontal scales granular, rounded, and double the size of occipital scales. Well-developed rostral scale in contact with 1st supralabial, nostril, prenasal, and two internasal scales. Nostril small surrounded by larger prenasal, and one small supranasal, one postnasal scale. 9–11 supralabial and 10–11 infralabials. First supralabial in contact with the nostril. One row of scales between supralabials and the orbit. Mental scale semi- triangular rounded posteriorly, smaller or same size than 1st infralabials. 5 small postmental scales, which reach 2nd infralabial. Post-postmental scales with same size as postmental and first line of gular scales. Gular scales small and granular, which decrease in size until they reach the ventral region of the body. Well-developed endolymphatic calcium deposits, present in males and females. Non-significant osteological differences were found between males and females.
Ventral scales larger than dorsal, smooth, imbricate from nape to tip of the tail. The dorsal pholidosis is homogeneous with small granular scales along the dorsum region and tail. Non tubercle rows are present. Tail stout, semi-prehensile, slightly constricted at base, with rounded tip.
Fore- and hindlimbs moderately short and stout. Digits relatively long, bearing vestigial or reduced claws. All digits with granular basal scales and more distal widened undivided lamellae. One pair of leaf-like terminal scansors separated by a small groove. Number of scansors: 5-5-6-7-5 (manus)/5-6-8-9–5 (right pes). Relative length of digits manus and pes: IV. (LOBON-ROVIRA et al. 2022).

Coloration. In life (Fig. 5): dorsal coloration from light brownish to grayish, with darker background colour in the dorsum. Two pairs of black spots are present in the dorsum between the nape and the forelimb. Anterior part of the tail with marked hourglass-shape pattern. Dorsal part of the fore- and hindlimb slightly lighter than rest of the dorsum. Venter light cream with dark brown sparkles from snout to the medial section of the tail. Ventral region of tail tip dark brown. (LOBON-ROVIRA et al. 2022) 
CommentAbundance: This species was only known from the type specimens (Heinicke et al. 2014) until it was rediscovered by Vaz Pinto et al. 2019.

Type species: Phyllodactylus ansorgii BOULENGER 1907: 212 is the type species of the genus Bauerius LOBON-ROVIRA et al. 2022. Phyllodactylus ansorgii is rather distantly related to Afrogecko porphyreus, hence LOBON-ROVIRA et al. 2022 erected a new genus for this clade. 
EtymologyNamed after the collector of the type, Dr. W.J. Ansorge.

The genus was named after Professor Aaron M. Bauer, renowned herpetologist at Villanova University (USA), in recognition of his large contributions to African herpetology, mainly to the biodiverse Gekkonidae group. The name is a conversion to the Latin nominative of the name “Bauer”. 
  • Bauer A M. Good D A. Branch W R. 1997. The taxonomy of the Southern African leaf-toed geckos (Squamata: Gekkonidae), with a review of Old World "Phyllodactylus" and the description of five new genera. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. 49 (14): 447-497. - get paper here
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G. A. 1907. Descriptions of three new lizards and a new frog, discovered by Dr. W. J. Ansorge in Angola. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (7) 19: 212—214. - get paper here
  • Heinicke, Matthew P.; Juan D. Daza, Eli Greenbaum, Todd R. Jackman & Aaron M. Bauer 2014. Phylogeny, taxonomy and biogeography of a circum-Indian Ocean clade of leaf-toed geckos (Reptilia: Gekkota), with a description of two new genera. Systematics and Biodiversity 12 (1): 23-42, DOI:10.1080/14772000.2013.877999 - get paper here
  • Loveridge, A. 1947. Revision of the African lizards of the family Gekkondiae. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 98: 1-469 - get paper here
  • Marques, Mariana P.; Luis M. P. Ceríaco , David C. Blackburn , and Aaron M. Bauer 2018. Diversity and Distribution of the Amphibians and Terrestrial Reptiles of Angola -- Atlas of Historical and Bibliographic Records (1840–2017). Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. (Ser. 4) 65: 1-501 (Supplement II)
  • Vaz Pinto P, Luis Veríssimo L, Branch WR. 2019. Hiding in the bushes for 110 years: rediscovery of an iconic Angolan gecko (Afrogecko ansorgii Boulenger, 1907, Sauria: Gekkonidae). Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 13(2) [Special Section]: 29–41 (e182) - get paper here
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