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Geckolepis megalepis SCHERZ, DAZA, KÖHLER, VENCES & GLAW, 2017

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos) 
Common Names 
SynonymGeckolepis megalepis SCHERZ, DAZA, KÖHLER, VENCES & GLAW 2017 
DistributionN Madagascar (Antsiranana)

Type locality: east side of Ankarana National Park (12.9564°S, 49.1172°E, ca. 150 m elevation), Antsiranana Province, north Madagascar.  
TypesHolotype. ZSM 2126/2007 (FGZC 1144), an adult of unknown sex, collected on 3 March 2007 by P Bora, H Enting, F Glaw, A Knoll & J Köhler.
Paratypes. ZSM 289/2004 (FGZC 554), probably a subadult, sex unknown, from between Mahamasina and the Petit Tsingy (exact coordinates not known, but ca. 12.9558°S, 49.1181°E, ca. 125 m a.s.l.), Ankarana National Park, Antsiranana Province, north Madagascar, collected 25 February 2004 by F Glaw, M Puente & R Randrianiaina; ZSM 232/2016 (FGZC 5476), an adult of unknown sex, from the private forest of the Ankarana Lodge (12.9613°S, 49.1499°E, 134 m a.s.l.), Ankarana massif, Antsiranana Province, north Madagascar, collected 28 August 2016 by F Glaw, K Glaw, T Glaw, Jaques & NA Raharinoro; FGZC 1606 (UADBA uncatalogued), sex and age unknown, from Petit Tsingy (ca. 12.9558°S, 49.1181°E, ca. 125 m a.s.l.), Ankarana National Park, Antsiranana Province, north Madagascar, collected 12 February 2008 by N D’Cruze, M Franzen, F Glaw & J Köhler. 
CommentHabitat: trees and tsingy limestone rock.

Behavior: When captured, these geckos showed a strong tendency to autotomize large parts of their scales, leading to partly ‘naked’ geckos without any visible (bloody) lesions (Fig. 3C). In a subjective comparison this tendency appeared to be even more developed than in other Geckolepis species.

Sympatry: Lygodactylus expectatus, Phelsuma roesleri

Abundance: only known from its original description (Meiri et al. 2017). 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is derived from the two Greek stems μεγας (mégas) meaning ‘very large’ and λεπ ́ις (lepís) meaning ‘scale’, and refers to the large size of the scales of this species in comparison to its congeners and other geckos, which aids also in its diagnosis. 
  • Meiri, Shai; Aaron M. Bauer, Allen Allison, Fernando Castro-Herrera, Laurent Chirio, Guarino Colli, Indraneil Das, Tiffany M. Doan, Frank Glaw, Lee L. Grismer, Marinus Hoogmoed, Fred Kraus, Matthew LeBreton, Danny Meirte, Zoltán T. Nagy, Cristiano d 2017. Extinct, obscure or imaginary: the lizard species with the smallest ranges. Diversity and Distributions - get paper here
  • Scherz MD, Daza JD, Köhler J, Vences M, Glaw F. 2017. Off the scale: a new species of fish-scale gecko (Squamata: Gekkonidae: Geckolepis) with exceptionally large scales. PeerJ 5:e2955 - get paper here
  • Scherz, M.D. & Glaw, F. 2017. Bizarre Feindabwehr: Gecko lässt die Hüllen fallen. Reptilia (Münster) 22 (127): 8-9 - get paper here
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