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Hemidactylus mabouia (MOREAU DE JONNÈS, 1818)

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: House gecko, Moreau’s Tropical House Gecko, Wood slave
G: Hausgecko 
SynonymGekko mabouia MOREAU DE JONNÈS 1818: 138
Gekko incanescens WIED 1824: 101
Gecko tuberculosus RADDI 1823 (syn. fide LOVERIDGE 1947),
Gekko armatus WIED 1824 (syn. fide LOVERIDGE 1947)
Gecko aculeatus SPIX 1825: 16
Gecko cruciger SPIX 1825
Gekko incanescens WIED 1825 (syn. fide LOVERIDGE 1947)
Hemidactylus tuberculosus FITZINGER 1826: 105
Gecko mabuia CUVIER 1829: 54 (nomen substitutum pro Gecko mabouia)
Hemidactylus mabouia - DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1836: 362
Hemidactylus mercatorius GRAY 1842: 58 (fide BROADLEY & HOWELL 1991)
Hemidactylus (Tachybates) mabuya FITZINGER 1843: 105
Hemidactylus (Tachybates) armatus FITZINGER 1843: 105
Hemidactylus platycephalus PETERS 1854: 615 (syn. fide LOVERIDGE 1947)
Hemidactylus mabouia - GUICHENOT 1855:12
?Hemidactylus sakalava GRANDIDIER 1867: 233 (syn. fide LOVERIDGE 1947)
Hemidactylus exaspis COPE 1868
Hemidactylus frenatus var. calabaricus BOETTGER 1878 (syn. fide LOVERIDGE 1947)
Hemidactylus mabouia — BOULENGER 1885: 122
Hemidactylus benguellensis BOCAGE 1893: 115 (syn. fide LOVERIDGE 1947)
Hemidactylus gardineri BOULENGER 1909: 296 (fide BROADLEY & HOWELL)
Hemidactylus persimilis BARBOUR & LOVERIDGE 1928 (fide BROADLEY & HOWELL 1991)
Hemidactylus tasmani HEWITT 1932: 120 (syn. fide LOVERIDGE 1947)
Hemidactylus mandanus LOVERIDGE 1936: 167 (fide BROADLEY & HOWELL 1991)
Hemidactylus mabovia — BERTHOLD 1946
Hemidactylus mabouia mabouia — AUERBACH 1987: 82
Hemidactylus mabouia — SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON 1991: 414
Hemidactylus mabouia - CEI 1993
Hemidactylus mabouia — LINER 1994
Hemidactylus mabouia — GLAW & VENCES 1994: 278
Hemidactylus mabouia — PAUWELS et al. 2004
Hemidactylus mabouia — JACOBSEN et al. 2010
Hemidactylus mabouia — WILSON 2011 
DistributionAfrica: Mali, Senegal, Central African Republic, W/S Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire), Ghana, Benin, Togo, Nigeria, Guinea, Republic of South Africa (Eastern Cape etc.), Zimbabwe (Driefontein, Mission/Zimba), Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, Gabon (BOULENGER 1900), Ethiopia, Eritrea, Cameroon, Swaziland, Mozambique, Sao Tome, Principé (Gulf of Guinea), Chad (L. Chirio/MNHN), Namibia

Seychelles, Nossi Be = Nosy Bé, Nosy Fanihy, Nosy Mitsio, Nosy Sakatia, Nosy Tanikely,

Central America: Mexico, Honduras (Colón: introduced [HR 31: 113]), Costa Rica, Panama,

Caribbean: Antilles, Trinidad, Tobago, Puerto Rico (Isabela, Isla Cueva [HR 30: 110]), Mona, Vieques, Culebra, Virgin Islands, Grand Cayman (HR 33: 148), Martinique, Cuba, Caicos Islands (e.g. Big Ambergris Cay), Jamaica, Great Inagua

Colombia [Castro,F. (pers. comm.)], Ecuador, Peru (Pasco etc.), Bolivia (Beni, Pando, Santa Cruz), Brazil (Rio Grande do Sul, Bahia, Goias, Minas Gerais, Espírito Santo, Ceará, Mato Grosso, Sergipe, Rio de Janeiro, Amazonas, Rondônia, Pernambuco), French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, introduced to Venezuela (Nueva Esparta: Isla Margarita, Isla Patos, Caracas, Vargas, La Vela), Paraguay, Argentina (Misiones, Chaco [HR 31: 53]), Uruguay

USA (introduced to Florida)

Introduced to Madeira Island (Portugal).

Type locality: restricted to “Insel St. Vincent, Kleine Antillen” (STEJNEGER 1904, SMITH & TAYLOR 1950).

aculeatus: “Habitat in domiciliis prope urbem Rio de Janeiro” [Brazil, near Rio de Janeiro] according to the original description and Vanzolini (1981). Map legend:
TDWG region - Region according to the TDWG standard, not a precise distribution map.

NOTE: TDWG regions are generated automatically from the text in the distribution field and not in every cases it works well. We are working on it.
 
Reproductionoviparous 
TypesLectotype: MHNP 6573
Holotype: MCZ; Paratypes: TM 13286 [persimilis]
Lectotype: ZSM 166/0/1 (ZSMH 166/0 A in Hoogmoed & Gruber 1983), male, collected by Spix and Martius expedition to Brazil, 1817-1820, designated by Hoogmoed & Gruber (1983); Paralectotype: ZSM 166/0/2 (ZSMH 166/0 b in Hoogmoed & Gruber 1983), male, same data as lectotype [aculeatus]
Lectotype: SMF 8476 [calabaricus] 
CommentSynonyms after CEI 1993 and A. Schmitz (pers. comm.). Chromosomal variability may indicate cryptic species (McBee et al. 1987). Hemidactylus platycephalus PETERS 1854 is now considered as a valid species. Not listed for Honduras and Mexico by KÖHLER (2000).

Distribution: Originally this species is from Africa, but has been introduced to many other parts of the world. Reported from Madagascar (BARBOUR 1918). However, reports from Madagascar include H. mercatorius which is here considered as a valid species (although this has been refuted).

Type locality: The type locality of H. mabouia (Moreau de Jonne´s, 1818) has been restricted to St Vincent in the Lesser Antilles (Stejneger, 1904), but the type specimen does not belong to the taxon to which this name is usually applied. Instead it is a H. angulatus, being especially similar to those from the Greater Antilles and Colombia, particularly the latter (Kluge, 1969) [from CARRANZA & ARNOLD 2006].

Type species: Hemidactylus mabouia is the type species of the genus Hemidactylus OKEN 1817: 1183 (fide WERMUTH 1965). Kluge (2001:12) considered Oken’s (1811:1182) names to be nomina nuda, but offered no explanation for those decisions.

This species shares with H. angulatus broad transverse subcaudal plates and largely overlapping ranges of precloacal pores and tubercle rows. It is possible that some literature records of H. angulatus may be referable to H. mabouia. The biology of this species was recently considered by Gramentz (2000, 2003).

The species of Hemidactylus share a unique combination of derived features in toe morphology. These include the unusual form and interrelationships of the antepenultimate phalanx of digits III–V of the pes (Russell, 1977), the distal extent of the dorsal interossei muscles along the digit, and the means of tendinous
insertion of these muscles onto the scansors (Bauer and Russell, 1995; Russell, 1976, 1977). These features also occur in the monotypic South American Briba, in southeast Asian Cosymbotus, and in the two Indian species of Teratolepis (Bauer and Russell, 1995). Toe structure strongly suggests that all these geckos form a clade (Bauer and Russell, 1995). The monotypic Indian Dravidogecko, which has similar digits has already been placed in the synonymy of Hemidactylus (Bauer and Russell, 1995), and it may be appropriate to treat the other three genera similarly [from CARRANZA & ARNOLD 2006]. 
EtymologyGenus: named after the split lamella of the fingers and toes in this genus, i.e. the “half” (hemi) lamella under the fingers (Greek “dactylos”). 
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