Matoatoa brevipes (MOCQUARD, 1900)
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Matoatoa brevipes?
|Higher Taxa||Gekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)|
|Synonym||Phyllodactylus brevipes MOCQUARD 1900: 346|
Phyllodactylus porphyreus brevipes — KLUGE 1993
Phyllodactylus brevipes — GLAW & VENCES 1994: 264
Matoatoa brevipes — NUSSBAUM, RAXWORTHY & PRONK 1998
Matoatoa brevipes — HEINICKE et al. 2014
Type locality: Ambolisatra, Madagascar [probably today’s Ambolisaka, 10 km SE of Morombe, Toliara Province].
|Types||Holotype: MNHN 1899.341|
|Comment||Listed as synonym of Phyllodactylus porphyreus porphyreus by WERMUTH 1965 (who cites ANGEL 1942 and GUIBÉ 1956 as sources).|
SVL up to 40 mm.
Type Species: Phyllodactylus brevipes MOCQUARD 1900 is the type species of the genus Matoatoa NUSSBAUM, RAXWORTHY & PRONK 1998.
Definition. Matoatoa is distinguishable from all other geckos based on the following combination of characters: size moderate (40–58 mm max. SVL), with a narrow head, a long, tubular body, unusually short limbs and long neck, and round, thick, tapering, prehensile tail with scansorial scales encircling the tip but no subcaudal pad. Dig- its are free and bear a single pair of dilated terminal adhesive pads (‘leaf toes’); claws present on all digits. Body scalation consists of flat, beadlike granules arranged in transverse rings. Preanal pores are present; 1–3 cloacal spurs are present. The eye bears a vertical pupil with cre- nate margins. The skull displays prominent co-ossification with the overlying skin, especially on the nasals. Nasals are fused; frontal single; parietal paired; stapes imperfo- rate; 14 scleral ossicles; 11 premaxillary and approxi- mately 30 dentary teeth; hyoid with second ceratobranchial cartilages. There are 26 presacral verte- brae and one pair of very small cloacal bones. The phalan- geal formula is 2-3-4-5-3 (manus)/2-3-4-5-4 (pes); paraphalangeal elements are absent.
Matoatoa brevipes exhibits the following non-homoplastic apomorphic characters: raised sculpturing of der- mal bones (11-2, Fig. 10); broad contact between prefrontal and nasal (85-2, Fig. 10); postorbitofrontal fora- men present (94-0, Fig. 10); basipterygoid process not expanded distally (261-1, Fig. 20); bulge of anterior ampulla on brain case wall approaches the crista alaris (284-1, Fig. 15); posterior marginal teeth strongly tapering and pointed (not peg-like) (385-1).
Among leaf-toed geckos, cranial co-ossification is otherwise only known in some species of the relatively dis- tantly related Malagasy/Comoroan genus Paroedura. In addition, the arrangement of body scales in distinct transverse rings is unique among leaf-toed geckos and the extreme slenderness of the quadrate (Figs 15, 20) is exceptional among geckos as a whole [HEINICKE et al. 2014]
Habitat: dry, open, spiny forests, generally on sandy coastal soils. Also in more mesic, denser forests near boies of water. Often found inside hollow, dead branches of standing trees.
|Etymology||Etymology (genus): Named after the Malagasy word “matoatoa” meaning ghost, in reference to the elusive, mysterious, and secretive nature of the two species.|
Etymology: Named after Latin “brevis, -e” = short and “pes, pedis” = foot.
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