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Sphaerodactylus dunni SCHMIDT, 1936

IUCN Red List - Sphaerodactylus dunni - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaSphaerodactylidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Dunn's Least Gecko 
SynonymSphaerodactylus dunni SCHMIDT 1936
Sphaerodactylus dunni — WERMUTH 1965: 166
Sphaerodactylus dunni — HARRIS & KLUGE 1984: 42
Sphaerodactylus dunni — KLUGE 1993
Sphaerodactylus dunni — KÖHLER 2000: 51
Sphaerodactylus dunni — MCCRANIE 2018 
DistributionHonduras; Utila Island, elevation: 100-230 m

Type locality: Naco River near Cofradia, Honduras.  
TypesHolotype: MCZ 32199 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: The combination of lacking moveable eyelids, having the dorsal surface of the head covered with granular scales, having the claws displaced laterally by the expanded terminal subdigital lamella, and having a superciliary spine distinguishes Sphaerodactylus dunni from all other Honduran lizards, except the remaining Sphaerodactylus. Sphaerodactylus dunni differs from those remaining Honduran Sphaerodactylus by the combination of having the third supralabial at the level below the anterior half of the eye, having keeled dorsal scales, having the subcaudal scales in alternating series, and usually having the superciliary spine located posterior to the level of mideye (McCranie 2018: 107).

Color in life of an adult female (USNM 579605): dorsal surface of body Mikado Brown (121C) with dark brown flecking; dorsal surface of tail Kingfisher Rufous (240); nuchal band Sepia (119) with yellowish white lines; top of head True Cinnamon (139) with dark brown lines; side of head dark brown with pale yellow lines; venter of head pale brown with dirty white lines; belly pale brown; subcaudal surface slightly paler brown than top of tail; iris Mikado Brown. Meyer and Wilson (1972: 109–110) provided a composite color in life description of two adult males (LACM 47303; LSUMZ 22450; the latter now C&S): ‘‘Dorsum brown with light transverse markings, which decrease in intensity posteriorly. Nape region black, grading into orange-brown laterally and anteriorly, crossed by three white bands, which are more or less confluent with a lateral white stripe on each side. Dorsal surface of the head orange-brown to light brown, with a reddish-brown nasal blotch and a dark reddish to orange-brown parietal blotch, outlined by a Y-shaped white to pinkish-white marking, the arms of which are confluent with the light ground color of the head; lateral head color orange-brown, with pinkish-white upper labials [1⁄4 supralabials]. Chin white with orange to brown reticulate or streaklike markings; throat with a mixture of white, orange, and brown scales. Venter light brown. Tail orange-brown to reddish-brown dorsally and orange ventrally. Iris red.’’ (McCranie 2018: 107). 
CommentRelative abundance in Honduras: rare

Distribution: not on Cuba (Powell & Henderson 2012). 
EtymologyNamed after Emmett Reid Dunn (1894-1956) [obituary in Schmidt 1957: 75]. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Brown TW, Manwaring N, Höfling D, Honschek O. 2020. Unexpectedly high Sphaerodactylus diversity on a Caribbean island: new locality for the Honduran endemic Sphaerodactylus dunni Schmidt, 1936 (Gekkonidae: Sphaerodactylidae) on Utila Island, Honduras. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 14(2) [General Section]: 165–171 (e244)
  • Harris D M; Kluge A G 1984. The Sphaerodactylus (Sauria: Gekkonidae) of Middle America. Occasional Papers of the Museum of Zoology University of Michigan (No. 706): 1-59 - get paper here
  • Köhler, G. 2000. Reptilien und Amphibien Mittelamerikas, Bd 1: Krokodile, Schildkröten, Echsen. Herpeton Verlag, Offenbach, 158 pp.
  • Köhler, G. 2008. Reptiles of Central America. 2nd Ed. Herpeton-Verlag, 400 pp.
  • McCranie, J. & Castañeda, F.E. 2005. The herpetofauna of Parque Nacional Pico Bonito, Honduras. Phyllomedusa 4 (1): 3-16 - get paper here
  • McCranie, James R. 2015. A checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of Honduras, with additions, comments on taxonomy, some recent taxonomic decisions, and areas of further studies needed. Zootaxa 3931 (3): 352–386 - get paper here
  • McCranie, James R. 2018. The Lizards, Crocodiles, and Turtles of Honduras. Systematics, Distribution, and Conservation. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Special Publication Series (2): 1- 666 - get paper here
  • Meyer, J. R., & WILSON, L. D. 1971. Taxonomic studies and notes on some Honduran amphibians and reptiles. Bull. So. Calif. Acad. Sci., 70: 106-114. - get paper here
  • Schmidt, K.P. 1936. New amphibians and reptiles from Honduras in the Museum of Comparative Zoology. Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington 49: 43-50. - get paper here
  • Schmidt, K.P. 1957. Emmett Reid Dunn, 1894-1956. Copeia 1957 (2): 75-77 - get paper here
  • Solís, J. M., L. D. Wilson, and J. H. Townsend. 2014. An updated list of the amphibians and reptiles of Honduras, with comments on their nomenclature. Mesoamerican Herpetology 1: 123–144 - get paper here
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