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Chondrodactylus fitzsimonsi (LOVERIDGE, 1947)

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Button-scaled Gecko, Fitzsimons’ Thick-toed gecko 
SynonymPachydactylus laevigatus tesselatus FITZSIMONS 1938: 172
Pachydactylus laevigatus fitzsimonsi LOVERIDGE 1947: 400 (nom. nov.)
Pachydactylus laevigatus fitzsimonsi — WERMUTH 1965: 119
Pachydactylus fitzsimonsi — BENYR 1995: 50
Pachydactylus laevigatus fitzsimonsi — BAUER et al. 1995
Pachydactylus fitzsimonsi — BRANCH 1998: 255
Pachydactylus fitzsimonsi —BAUER et al. 2000
Pachydactylus fitzsimonsi — RÖSLER 2000: 98
Chondrodactylus fitzsimonsi — BAUER & LAMB 2005
Chondrodactylus fitzsimonsi — MARQUES et al. 2018
Chondrodactylus fitzsimonsi — HEINZ et al. 2021: 180
Condrodactylus fitzsimonsi — LOBÓN-ROVIRA et al. 2022 (in error) 
DistributionSW Africa, Angola,Namibia (Kunene Region, Khorixas District).

Type locality: Kamanyab [= Kamanjab], Namibia.

laevigatus tesselatus: Type locality: Kamanjab (Namibia).  
TypesHolotype: DNMNH (= TM) 17202, adult, (collector V. F. M. FitzSimons). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A moderate-sized Chondrodactylus (SVL to 89.3 mm SVL; CAS 176273; Bauer et al., 1993) bearing prominent subdigital lamellae. Body robust, somewhat depressed; head large, triangular, very broad across adductor musculature and angle of jaws (approximately as broad as long), snout moderately elongate, rounded (Fig. 5C), canthus rostralis relatively prominent, interorbital region weakly concave. Crown of head wide, flat; parietal table rectangular. Chin and gular scales enlarged, juxtaposed, either rounded or polygonal, a row of 5 chin scales approximately twice the width of a paravertebral dorsal tubercle (Fig. 7C). Dorsal head scales large, flattened (chiefly in midline) weakly domed (laterally), never keeled, larger on loreal region than on crown, largest above ears and across occiput. Anterior margin of ear bearing 3–4 enlarged conical tubercles. No discrete rows of enlarged dorsal tubercles. Dorsal scales large, heterogeneous in size, flat, and juxtaposed, rounded to polygonal, in some cases forming a virtual pavement of juxtaposed scales; interstitial granules absent or rare in northern specimens. Dorsal scales rounded, slightly raised but flat-topped in southern populations, never bearing a keel or mucro; interstitial granules often present (Fig. 6C). Scales on thighs flattened to weakly conical, smooth, not keeled or mucronate. Tail weakly (Fig. 11C) to strongly (Fig. 11D) verticillate, each whorl at tail-base bearing six enlarged conical (dorsal) to mucronate (lateral) tubercles, less prominent than in congeners; tubercles per whorl decreasing distally (Heinz et al. 2021).

Coloration: Dorsal coloration either dark, with almost black cross-barring or pale, oatmeal-colored with darker dorsal markings. Typically with a dark band on nape ventrolaterally coalescent (or nearly so) with a wide band across shoulders, the space between enclosing a lighter brown area. Additional broad bands at midbody, above mid-abdomen, and across hips, posterior border of each band darkest, anterior border from bold to diffuse, intermediate area paler; in some specimens only the dark posterior borders of these markings remain in adults. Small dark spots present or absent within pale spaces between body bands. White scales, when present, adjacent to darkest posterior borders of dorsal bands. Tail with alternating light and dark bands. Light bands moreor-less uniform; dark bands with bold anterior and especially posterior borders and fading to intermediate brown centrally. Approximately 7–8 dark bands on original tails. Pale lines from nostril through eye and on to upper temporal region less pronounced and more diffuse than in congeners. Iris bronze to coppery (Heinz et al. 2021). 
CommentDistribution: See map in Heinz et al. 2021: 183 (Fig. 12). 
EtymologyNamed after Vivian F. M. Fitzsimons (1901-1975), South African herpetologist. See also Haacke 1975. 
  • Baptista NL, António T, Branch WR. 2019. The herpetofauna of Bicuar National Park and surroundings, southwestern Angola: a preliminary checklist. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 13(2) [Special Section]: 96–130 (e203) - get paper here
  • Bauer, A.M. & Lamb, T. 2005. Phylogenetic relationships of southern African geckos in the Pachydactylus group (Squamata: Gekkonidae). African Journal of Herpetology 54 (2): 105-129 - get paper here
  • Bauer, A.M., Lamb, A.C., and Branch, W.R. 2000. Additional records of uncommon Pachydactylus (Reptilia: Gekkonidae) from northern and central Namibia. African Herp News (30): 2-3 [1999] - get paper here
  • Benyr, G. 1995. Systematik und Taxonomie der Geckos des Pachydactylus bibronii-laevigatus Komplexes (Reptilia: Squamata: Gekkonidae). Diploma thesis, Univ. Wien, 75 pp.
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Branch, W. R. 1998. Field Guide to the Snakes and Other Reptiles of Southern Africa. 3rd ed. Fully Revised and Updated to Include 83 New Species. Ralph Curtis Books (Sanibel Island, Florida), 399 pp.
  • Fitzsimons,V.F.M. 1938. Transvaal Museum Expedition to South-West Africa and Little Namaqualand, May to August 1937 - Reptiles and Amphibians. Annals Transvaal Mus. 19 (2): 153-209 - get paper here
  • Gamble, T; Greenbaum, E; Jackman, TR; Russell, AP; Bauer, AM 2012. Repeated Origin and Loss of Adhesive Toepads in Geckos. PLoS One 7 (6):10.1371/journal.pone.0039429 - get paper here
  • Gates, Bruce C. 2010. Day Geckos of Damaraland: Rhoptropus barnardi Hewitt, 1926, Rhoptropus boultoni Schmidt, 1933, and Rhoptropus diporus Haacke, 1965. Gekko 6 (1): 56-60
  • Haacke, W. D. 1975. Obituaries on African Herpetologists- Fitzsimons, V. F. M. 1901 - 1975. J. Herp. Assoc. Africa (14): 33-35 - get paper here
  • Heinz, Morgan D.; Ian G. Brennan, Todd R. Jackman & Aaron M. Bauer 2021. Phylogeny of the genus Chondrodactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) with the establishment of a stable taxonomy. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 163(5): 151–210. - get paper here
  • Herrmann, H.-W.; W.R. Branch 2013. Fifty years of herpetological research in the Namib Desert and Namibia with an updated and annotated species checklist. Journal of Arid Environments 93: 94–115 - get paper here
  • Lobón-Rovira J, Vaz Pinto P, S. Becker F, Tolley KA, Measey J, Bennet B, Boon B, de Sá S, Conradie W 2022. An updated herpetofaunal species inventory of Iona National Park in southwestern Angola. Check List 18(2): 289-321 - 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)
  • Rösler, H. 2000. Kommentierte Liste der rezent, subrezent und fossil bekannten Geckotaxa (Reptilia: Gekkonomorpha). Gekkota 2: 28-153
  • Schleicher, Alfred 2015. Reptilien Namibias. Namibia Scientific  Society, 276 pp.
  • Schleicher, Alfred 2020. Reptiles of Namibia. Kuiseb Publishers, Windhoek, Namibia, 271 pp.
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