You are here » home advanced search Gehyra oceanica

Gehyra oceanica (LESSON, 1830)

IUCN Red List - Gehyra oceanica - Least Concern, LC

Can you confirm these amateur observations of Gehyra oceanica?

Add your own observation of
Gehyra oceanica »

Find more photos by Google images search: Google images

Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Pacific Dtella 
SynonymStellio argyropus TILESIUS VON TILENAU 1820 (nomen oblitum)
Gecko oceanicus LESSON 1830: 42 (in DUPERREY)
Gehyra Pacifica GRAY 1834: 100 (fide MCCANN 1955)
Hemidactylus Oualensis DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1836: 350
Gehyra gularis — GRAY 1842 (nom. nud. fide CHRAPLIWY et al. 1961)
Gehyra oceanica — GRAY 1842
Peropus (Perodactylus) oualensis — FITZINGER 1843
Gehyra oceanica — BOULENGER 1885: 152
Hemidactylus ovalensis WERNER 1900
Gehyra oceanica — GARMAN 1901: 3
Peropus oceanicus — BARBOUR 1912
Gehyra oceanica — DE ROOIJ 1915: 44
Hemidactylus ovalensis — CAMP 1923: 409
Gehyra oceania — BROWN 1956
Gehyra oceanica — WERMUTH 1965: 35
Gehyra oceanica — DRYDEN & TAYLOR 1969
Gehira oceanica — COCHEREAU 1974
Gehyra oceanica — KLUGE 1993
Gehyra oceanica — RÖSLER 1995: 118
Gehyra oceanica — COGGER 2000: 240
Gehyra oceanica — FLECKS et al. 2012 
DistributionPapua New Guinea, Guam ?, Society Islands,
most island groups in Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia (incl. Toga, Loh, Tegua, Hiu, Uman District Islands),
Australia (questionable records from the islands of Torres Strait, questionable records from Queensland and Northern Territory), Nauru, Vanuatu, Cook Islands (Rarotonga),
Western Samoa, Solomon Islands [McCoy 2000], Fiji, Rotuma, Tonga (most islands);
Indonesia (Halmahera), Palau
Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan) (Hileman et al. 2020)

Type locality: Tahiti and Borabora, Oceania.

Type locality: Ovalan Island = Kusai, Caroline archipelago 08°00'N 14°00'E (MNHN 1776, 6608); Tongatabu Tonga, 20°00'S 175°00'W (MNHN 2293), fide King & Horner 1989.

TypesSyntypes: MNHN-RA 2293, Tongatabou; MNHN-RA 1776, Oualan, MNHN-RA 6608, Oualan (based on Brygoo's list of gecko types in the Paris collection). The illustration of this species appeared prior to the description, and hence it is the illustration rather than the written description that must be considered the definition of the species. The illustration cannot be matched with any of these specimens (Lescure, 2015), and none are from O-Taïti (Tahiti) or Borabora, the only localities specified by Lesson in the written description. It is possible that the specimen that was used for the illustration was lost prior to the expedition's return, as the first part of the collection was sent from Sydney, and the ship carrying that part of the collection was wrecked off the Cape of Good Hope (Weijola et al., 2017).
Holotype: MNHN-RA 1776, from Oualan [Hemidactylus oualensis] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): (modified after de Rooij 1915) Limbs pentadactylic; digits strongly dilated, free or webbed at the base; inferior transverse lamellae undivided, grooved or medially divided; distal phalanges free, elongate, compressed, clawed, rising from within the extremity of the dilated part; inner digits without free distal phalange, clawless, or with a very indistinct retractile claw; dorsal surface covered with small juxtaposed scales; ventral surface with cycloid imbricate scales; pupil vertical; males with femoral or preanal pores (from King & Horner 1989). 
CommentDistribution: Records from Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island are erroneous. Records from New Zealand are accidental, non-established introductions. Tonione et al. (2015) found evidence for six independent evolutionary lineages (candidate species) within G. oceanica that diverged between the Pliocene and the early Pleistocene, with high diversity through northern Melanesia.

Conservation: Populations on Guam may now be extinct as a result of predation by the introduced snake Boiga irregularis.

Nomenclature: see discussion in Bauer (1994) for nomenclatorial issues. Kealley et al. (2018) argued in favor of Gehyra over dtella as the common name “as the generic name is already available and just as easy or difficult to remember than an additional name fabricated for use as a common name.” The name ‘dtella’, however, is not fabricated but appears to be the indigenous name for Gehyra from the Chillagoe region of north-eastern Queensland (Broom 1898).

Type species: Gehyra Pacifica GRAY 1834: 100 is the type species of the genus Gehyra GRAY 1834. 
EtymologyPresumably named after the Latin oceanus (ocean) plus the suffix -ica (from), relating to the species coming from the islands of Pacific Oceania. (G. Shea, pers. comm., 9 Feb 2024) 
  • Bassett, Lawrence Grant; Ferris Eric-Hisham Zughaiyir, Michael R. J. Forstner 2021. Description of an abnormal tail bifurcation in Gehyra oceanica (Lesson, 1830). Herpetology Notes 14: 588-589 - get paper here
  • Bauer, A.M. 1994. Liste der rezenten Amphibien und Reptilien: Gekkonidae I (Australia). Das Tierreich, Vol. 108, W. de Gruyter & Co. (Berlin)
  • Beckon, W.N. 1992. The giant Pacific geckos of the genus Gehyra: morphological variation, distribution, and biogeography. Copeia 1992 (2): 443-460 - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G. A. 1897. A list of reptiles and batrachians from the Congo Free State, with the description of two new snakes. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (6) 19: 276-281 - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1885. Catalogue of the lizards in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) I. Geckonidae, Eublepharidae, Uroplatidae, Pygopodidae, Agamidae. London: 450 pp. - get paper here
  • Broom, R. 1898. On the lizards of the Chillagoe District, N Queensland. Proc. Linn. Soc. New South Wales 22: 639-645 [1897] - get paper here
  • Buden, D.W. 2008. The reptiles of Nauru. Pacific Science 62 (4):499 – 507 - get paper here
  • Buden, Donald W. 2015. Reptiles of Lukunor Atoll, Mortlock Islands, Chuuk State, Federated States of Micronesia. Pacific Science 69 (1):117–124 doi:10.2984/69.1.9 - get paper here
  • Buden, Donald W. 2015. Reptiles of Uman District Islands (Southeastern Chuuk Lagoon and Kuop Atoll), Federated States of Micronesia. Pacific Science 69 (2): 271-279 - get paper here
  • Buden, Donald W. & Danko Taboroši 2016. Reptiles of the Federated States of Micronesia. Island Research and Education Initiative, 311 pp. - get paper here
  • Buden, Donald W.; Danko Taboroši, Maria Kottermair, Andrea Jalandoni & Matthew Martin 2020. Reptiles of the Northern Marshall Islands. Pacific Science 74 (2): 189-209 - get paper here
  • Burt, Charles E.; Burt, May Danheim 1932. Herpetological results of the Whitney South Sea Expedition. VI. Pacific island amphibians and reptiles in the collection of the American Museum of Natural History. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 63 (5): 461-597 - get paper here
  • Cagle, F.R. 1946. Eggs of the Lizard Gehyra oceanica Copeia 1946 (2): 101. - get paper here
  • Camp, Charles Lewis 1923. Classification of the Lizards. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 48 (11): 289-481. - get paper here
  • Chrapliwy, P. S., H. M. Smith, and C. Grant. 1961. Systematic status of the geckonid lizard genera Gehyra, Peropus, Hoplodactylus and Naultinus. Herpetologica 17: 5-12 - get paper here
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • Crombie, R.I., & Steadman, D.W. 1987. The lizards of Rarotonga and Mangaia, Cook Island group, Oceania. Pacific Science 40 (1-4): 44-57.
  • Crombie, Ronald I. and Gregory K. Pregill 1999. A Checklist of the Herpetofauna of the Palau Islands (Republic of Belau), Oceania. Herpetological Monographs 13: 29-80 - get paper here
  • de Rooij, N. de 1915. The Reptiles of the Indo-Australian Archipelago. I. Lacertilia, Chelonia, Emydosauria. Leiden (E. J. Brill), xiv + 384 pp. - get paper here
  • Dryden, G.L. & TAYLOR, E.H. 1969. Reptiles from the Mariana and Caroline Islands. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 48 (8): 269-279 - get paper here
  • Duméril, A.M. C. and G. Bibron. 1836. Erpetologie Générale ou Histoire Naturelle Complete des Reptiles. Vol. 3. Libr. Encyclopédique Roret, Paris, 528 pp. - get paper here
  • Fisher, R. N. 1997. Dispersal and evolution of the Pacific Basin gekkonid lizards Gehyra oceanica and Gehyra mutilata. Evolution 51: 906-921 - get paper here
  • Flecks M., Schmitz A., Böhme W., Henkel F. W. & Ineich I. 2012. A new species of Gehyra Gray, 1834 (Squamata, Gekkonidae) from the Loyalty Islands and Vanuatu, and phylogenetic relationships in the genus Gehyra in Melanesia. Zoosystema 34 (2): 203-221. http://dx.doi. org/10.5252/z2012n2a1 - get paper here
  • Garman, S. 1901. Some reptiles and batrachians from Australasia. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 39: 1-14 - get paper here
  • Gill B J. 1993. The Land Reptiles of Western Samoa. Journal of the Royal Society Of New Zealand 23 (2): 79-89. - get paper here
  • Gray, J. E. 1842. Description of some new species of Reptiles, chiefly from the British Museum collection. Zoological Miscellany 2: 57-59. - get paper here
  • Gray, J.E. 1834. Characters of two new genera of reptiles (Geoemyda and Gehyra). Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1834: 99-100 - get paper here
  • Hediger, H. 1934. Beitrag zur Herpetologie und Zoogeographie Neu-Britanniens und einiger umliegender Gebiete. Zool. Jahrb. (Syst.) 65: 441-582
  • Henle,K. 1990. Beobachtungen an Reptilien auf den Gesellschaftsinseln. Salamandra 26 (1): 45-49 - get paper here
  • Hileman, Eric T.; Bradley A. Eichelberger, Jill Liske-Clark, Patrick D. Barnhart, Robert N. Reed, Amy A. Yackel Adams, Melia G. Nafus 2020. Landscape dominance of introduced herpetofauna on an oceanic island. Global Ecology and Conservation - get paper here
  • Ineich, I. 2009. The terrestrial herpetofauna of Torres and Banks Groups (northern Vanuatu), with report of a new species for Vanuatu. Zootaxa 2198: 1-15 - get paper here
  • Ineich, I. 2011. Amphibians and reptiles. In: Bouchet P., Le Guyader H. & PascaL O. (eds), The Natural History of Santo. pp. 187-236. MNhN, Paris; Ird, Marseille; PNI, Paris. 572 pp. (Patrimoines naturels; 70). - get paper here
  • Ineich, I. 2016. Reptiles terrestres et marins des îles Marquises:des espèces communes mais des populations isolées. In:Biodiversité Terrestre et Marine des Îles Marquises, PolynésieFrançaise; Galzin, R., Duron, S.-D., Meyer, J.-Y.,Eds. Paris, France, Société Française d’Ichtyologie, pp. 365–390. - get paper here
  • Irschick, D.J. Austin, C.C.; Petren, K.; Fisher, R.N.; Losos, J.B. & Ellers, O. 1996. A comparative analysis of clinging ability among pad-bearing lizards. Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 59: 21-35 - get paper here
  • Kealley, Luke; Paul Doughty, Mitzy Pepper, J. Scott Keogh, Mia Hillyer and Joel Huey 2018. Conspicuously concealed: revision of the arid clade of the Gehyra variegata (Gekkonidae) group in Western Australia using an integrative molecular and morphological approach, with the description of five cryptic species. PeerJ 6:e5334; DOI 10.7717/peerj.5334 - get paper here
  • King,M. & Horner, P. 1989. Karyotype evolution in Gehyra (Gekkonidae: Reptilia). V. A new species from Papua New Guinea and the distribution and morphometrics of Gehyra oceanica (Lesson). The Beagle 6: 169-178
  • Lesson, R.P. 1830. Description de quelques reptiles nouveaux ou peu connus. In: M.L.I. Duperrey, Voyage Autour du Monde Execute par Ordre du Roi, sur la Corvette de La Majeste, La Coquille, Pendant les Annees 1822, 1823, 1824 et 1825. 2. Zoologie Tome 2, Partie 1. Arthur Bertrand, Paris: 1-65 [published 1829 fide Ivan Ineich] - get paper here
  • McCann, C. 1955. The lizards of New Zealand. Gekkonidae and Scincidae. Dominion Museum Bulletin (17): 1—127.
  • McCoy, M. 2000. Reptiles of the Solomon Islands. ZooGraphics, Kuranda (Australia), CD-ROM.
  • McCoy, M. 2006. Reptiles of the Solomon Islands. Pensoft Series Faunistica 57, 212 pp.
  • McCoy, M. 2015. A Field Guide to the Reptiles of the Solomon Islands. Michael McCoy, Kuranda - get paper here
  • Mitchell, F. J. 1965. Australian geckos assigned to the genus Gehyra Gray (Reptilia, Gekkonidae). Senckenbergiana Biologica 46: 287—319
  • Morrison, C. 2003. A Field Guide to the Herpetofauna of Fiji. Suva, Fiji: Institute of Applied Sciences, University of the South Pacific, 121 pp.
  • Rieppel, O. 1994. Studies on Skeleton Formation in Reptiles - Patterns of Ossification in the Limb Skeleton of Gehyra oceanica (Lesson) and Lepidodactylus lugubris (Dumeril & Bibron). Annales Des Sciences Naturelles - Zoologie et Biologie Animale 15 (2): 83-91 - get paper here
  • Rösler, H., Glaw, F.& R. Günther 2005. Aktualisierte Liste der Geckos von Neuguinea (Sauria: Geckonidae: Gekkoninae) mit vorläufiger Charakterisierung von neun Formen aus den Gattungen Cyrtodactylus Gray, 1827, Gehyra Gray, 1834 und Nactus Kluge, 1983. Gekkota 5: 33-64 - get paper here
  • Rösler, Herbert 1995. Geckos der Welt - Alle Gattungen. Urania, Leipzig, 256 pp.
  • Rösler, Herbert 2017. Gecko-Chorologie (Squamata: Gekkota). Gekkota (4): 1-160
  • Setiadi, M. I. & A. Hamidy, 2006. Jenis-Jenis Herpetofauna di Pulau Halmahera. Kerjasama antara Pusat Studi Biodiversitas dan Konservasi Universitas Indonesia dan Museum Zoologicum Bogoriense, Puslit Biologi Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia. - get paper here
  • Tanner, V.W. 1950. Pacific islands herpetology. No. III, Moroai Island. Great Basin Naturalist 10: 1-30 - get paper here
  • Tonione, M. A., Fisher, R. N., Zhu, C. and Moritz, C. 2015. Deep divergence and structure in the Tropical Oceanic Pacific: a multilocus phylogeography of a widespread gekkonid lizard (Squamata: Gekkonidae: Gehyra oceanica). Journal of Biogeography 43: 268–278. doi:10.1111/jbi.12645 - get paper here
  • ZUG, G.R. 2013. Reptiles and Amphibians of the Pacific Islands. University of California Press, Berkeley, 306 pp. - get paper here
  • ZUG, GEORGE R.; ALISON M. HAMILTON & CHRISTOPHER C. AUSTIN 2011. A new Emoia samoensis group lizard (Squamata: Scincidae) from the Cook Islands, South-central Pacific. Zootaxa 2765: 47–57 - get paper here
  • Zug,G. R. 1991. The lizards of Fiji: Natural history and systematics. Bishop Mus. Bull. Zool. 2: 1-136
External links  
Is it interesting? Share with others:

Please submit feedback about this entry to the curator