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Phyllodactylus angustidigitus DIXON & HUEY, 1970

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Higher TaxaPhyllodactylidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Narrow Leaf-toed Gecko 
SynonymPhyllodactylus angustidigitus DIXON & HUEY 1970: 16
Phyllodactylus angustidigitus — KLUGE 1993
Phyllodactylus angustidigitus — RÖSLER 2000: 103 
DistributionPeru (beaches of Paracas, Peninsula and associated islands)

Type locality: Peru, Ica, Pisco  
TypesHolotype: TCWC 27915, adult male, collected by James R. Dixon and John W. Wright, 11 November 1968 
DiagnosisDefinition. A moderate-sized gecko, maximum known snout-vent length of 57 mm; large preanal plate present; scales of head, body, tail, and limbs uniform in size; tubercles absent; no enlarged scales beneath tail; tail 48 to 52 percent of total length; mental much longer than wide, without enlarged postmentals; terminal lamellae very small, claw greatly extended beyond tip of terminal lamellae; fourth toe lamellae numerous (15 to 20) (fig. 8a, 8b).
Diagnosis: Phyllodactylus angustidigitus differs from all other species of Phyllodactylus except gerrhopygus and heterurus, by having an enlarged preanal plate; from heterurus by absence of tail tubercles and small terminal lamellae; from gerrhopygus by small terminal lamellae and high number of fourth toe lamellae, 15 to 20, rather than 12 to 15. (Dixon & Huey 1970)

Description of holotype. Rostral about twice as wide as high, its dorsal edge with a broad "M" shape, with dorsal vertical groove one-half depth of rostral; two internasals, somewhat rounded, their median edges separated by two granules, bordered posteriorly by two granules and postnasal of each side; nostril surrounded by rostral, labial, internasal, and two postnasals; first labial in narrow contact with ventral edge of nostril; shallow depression between internasals, no depression in frontal region; 10 scales on line between nostril and eye; scales in posterior loreal region about twice size of midorbital scales; 15 scales across snout at level of third labial, 14 scales at anterior edge of orbits, 18 midorbital scales; eye large, its diameter contained in snout length 1.7 times; eyelid (brille) with one row of granules and one larger outer row of scales, last three to four are pointed; diameter of ear contained in diameter of eye 2.3 times; ear opening denticulate on posterior margin; all dorsal scales small, smooth, slightly convex; seven supralabials and six infralabials to point below center of eye; mental with parallel sides, about 2.5 times longer than wide, bordered posteriorly by six chin scales; enlarged postmentals absent; dorsum with 75 granules and scales around body; venter with 29 scales across belly, from throat to vent 79; postanal tubercles number four on one side, three on opposite side; dorsal surfaces of limbs similar to dorsum; lamellae formula for hand 7-11-12-13-11, foot 7-12-16-18-16; claw completely visible when viewed from below; terminal lamellae very small, not much wider than width of fifth lamella counted from base of digit. (Dixon & Huey 1970)

Measurements in mm; snout-vent length 53.5, axilla-groin length 25.8, length of leg 24.0, length of arm 18.0, length of tail 55.0, length of head 13.3, depth of head 6.2, width of head 10.5, length of snout 5.0, diameter of eye 2.9, diameter of ear 1.2, distance from eye to ear 3.8. (Dixon & Huey 1970)

Color in life: ground color yellowish tan; dorsum with fine network of thin, dark brown, reticulating lines, broken at midbody by median stripe of ground color, bordered on each side by dark brown line; paravertebral lines begin at shoulder and terminate at level of groin; arm with four light brown bands with interspaces of ground color; lower part of leg with three indistinct light brown bands; upper part of thigh with faint indication of bands with irregular edges; tail with II broad, brownish black bands that contain light brown diffuse spots within their borders, interspaces ground color, about one-third width of dark bands; head with fine network of light brown , reticulating lines; diffuse brownish black stripe from nostril to eye; iris of eye blue gray with black and silver flecks; ventral surfaces dirty white, with grayish wash across chest and throat. (Dixon & Huey 1970)

Variation. Snout-vent lengths of young adult and adult males vary from 41 to 57 mm (50.3), females from 37 to 54 mm (47.8), juveniles from 30 to 36 mm (32.8), and males plus females average 48.7 mm; postmentals absent in 99.3 per cent of sample, two of 254 individuals had three enlarged postmentals; number of chin scales immediately following and touching mental vary from 3 to 8 (5.8); scales across snout at level of third labial vary from 13 to 17 (15.1), across midorbital region 16 to 20 (18.2); internasals separated by small granules in 99.5 per cent of sample; scales bordering internasals vary from 7 to 10 (8.7); scales across venter vary from 23 to 28 (25.6), from throat to vent 64 to 70 (67.5); enlarged preanal shield without scale covering, 20 to 25 times larger than surrounded scales; scales between eye and nostril vary from 10 to 12 (11.0); number of fourth toe lamellae vary from 15 to 20 (16.8).

Ventral color generally uniform dirty white with some grayish wash on chest and throat; dorsal coloration highly variable, from almost uniform wash of yellowish tan to broad, dark brown bands; majority of individuals with some form of dark dorsal reticulations or bands, usually heavily suffused with ground color; tail generally banded, but width of dark bands and light interspaces highly variable; regenerated tails either near black with light areas or ground color with dark flecks; ground color variable, from light tan to very dark grayish brown. (Dixon & Huey 1970) 
EtymologyNamed after Latin “angustus, -a, -um” = narrow and “digitus” = finger. 
  • Dixon, James R. & Huey, Raymond B. 1970. Systematics of the lizards of the Gekkonid genus Phyllodactylus on mainland South America. Contributions in Science, Los Angeles County Museum (192): 1-78 - get paper here
  • Goldberg, Stephen R. 2016. Note on Reproduction of Phyllodactylus angustidigitus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Peru. Bull. Chicago Herp. Soc. 51(3): 45-46 - get paper here
  • Mendoza A, Pérez J, Alvarado E, Barrera D, Castillo E, Fernandez M, Milla J, Olivera D, Ramirez C, Santa Cruz R, Salazar E, Torres-Ccasani G, Aguilar-Puntriano C. 2023. Anfibios y reptiles del departamento de Ica con comentarios sobre su distribución. Revista peruana de biología 30(1): e23425 001- 014 (Marzo 2023)
  • Rösler, H. 2000. Kommentierte Liste der rezent, subrezent und fossil bekannten Geckotaxa (Reptilia: Gekkonomorpha). Gekkota 2: 28-153
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