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Sphaerodactylus macrolepis GÜNTHER, 1859

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Higher TaxaSphaerodactylidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos) 
SubspeciesSphaerodactylus macrolepis ateles THOMAS & SCHWARTZ 1966
Sphaerodactylus macrolepis grandisquamis STEJNEGER 1904
Sphaerodactylus macrolepis guarionex THOMAS & SCHWARTZ 1966
Sphaerodactylus macrolepis inigoi THOMAS & SCHWARTZ 1966
Sphaerodactylus macrolepis mimetes THOMAS & SCHWARTZ 1966
Sphaerodactylus macrolepis macrolepis GÜNTHER 1859
Sphaerodactylus macrolepis phoberus THOMAS & SCHWARTZ 1966
Sphaerodactylus macrolepis spanius THOMAS & SCHWARTZ 1966
Sphaerodactylus macrolepis stibarus THOMAS & SCHWARTZ 1966 
Common NamesBig-scaled Least Gecko, “Cotton ginner”
spanius: Common Gecko

Spanish: Salamanquita común (spanius) 
SynonymSphaerodactylus macrolepis GÜNTHER 1859: 215
Sphaerodactylus imbricatus FISCHER 1881: 234
Sphaerodactylus danforthi [GRANT 1931]
Sphaerodactylus ateles [THOMAS & SCHWARTZ 1966]
Sphaerodactylus macrolepis — BOULENGER 1885: 226
Sphaerodactylus macrolepis — SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON 1991: 505
Sphaerodactylus macrolepis — KLUGE 1993
Sphaerodactylus macrolepis — RÖSLER 2000: 112

Sphaerodactylus macrolepis grandisquamis STEJNEGER 1904
Sphaerodactylus grandisquamis — HEATWOLE et al. 1963
Sphaerodactylus macrolepis grandisquamis — SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON 1991
Sphaerodactylus macrolepis grandisquamis — BAUER 2013 (plates) 
DistributionPuerto Rico (Isla Verde, Isla Pineros), Antilles, Congo Key, St. Croix, Water, St. Thomas, St. John, Tortola, Virgin Gorda Ensenada Sun Bay (=Ensenada Sombe), Isla Vieques, Anegada Island, Anguilla, Dog Island, Green, Culebra, Great Camanoe, Guana, Jost van Dyke, Necker

macrolepis: islands east of Puerto Rico, US. and British Virgin Islands; Type locality: St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.

ateles: SW Puerto Rico; Type-locality: Balneario de Boqueron, Puerto Rico.

grandisquamis: Puerto Rico, extreme east; Cayo Santiago, Cayo Algodones, Cayo Batata, Isla Pilleros; Type-locality: Luquillo, Puerto Rico.

guarionex: Puerto Rico, northwest and north-central. elevation sea level to 900 ft.; Type-locality: Officer's Club Beach, Ramey Air Force Base, Puerto Rico.

inigoi: Isla Vieques, including satellites; Type-locality: Ensenada Sun Bay (= Ensenada Sombe), Isla Vieques.

mimetes: Puerto Rico, the south; Type-locality: 12.3 km SE Patillas, Puerto Rico.

phoberus: north-central Puerto Rico; intergrades with S. m. grandisquamis near Loiza Aldea; Type-locality: Isla Verde (San Juan International Air- port), Puerto Rico.

spanius: Puerto Rico, Cordillera Central, Sierra de Cayey. elevation 1100 ft. to 2800 ft.; Type-locality: 17.7 km NE Utuado (about 8 km airline), Puerto Rico.

stibarus: Isla Piñeros; Type-locality: Isla Piiieros, Puerto Rico. 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.
TypesSyntypes: BMNH 1946.8.30.74-.75
Holotype: MCZ 81043 [ateles]
Holotype: USNM 27007 [grandisquamis]
Holotype: MCZ 81048 [guarionex]
Holotype: MCZ 81055 [inigoi]
Holotype: MCZ 81036 [mimetes]
Holotype: MCZ 81023 [phoberus]
Holotype: MCZ 81047 [spanius]
Holotype: MCZ 81022 [stibarus] 
CommentIllustrations: Stejneger, 1904 (as S. grandisquamis); Schmidt, 1928; Grant, 1931; King, 1962; Thomas and Schwartz, 1966; Rivero, 1978; MacLean, 1982; Grobman, 1983.

Sphaerodactylus macrolepis parvus KING 1962 has been elevated to species status by POWELL & HENDERSON 2001.

Ecology: The Dwarf Gecko Sphaerodactylus macrolepis from the Virgin Islands is the world's “densest” terrestrial vertebrate at a density of 21,367 per acre (52,800 per hectare) and a biomass of about 8.9 pounds per acre (10 kilograms per hectare), which is similar to that of the African elephant, Loxodonta africana (Bauer 2013).

Distribution: Not in Costa Rica fide SAVAGE 2002 and SAVAGE & BOLANOS 2009. Not in Panama according to Köhler 2008, Jaramillo et al. 2010, Lotzkat 2015 (pers. comm., 23 Dec 2015). 
  • Allen, Kaitlin E. and Robert Powell 2014. Thermal Biology and Microhabitat Use in Puerto Rican Eyespot Geckos (Sphaerodactylus macrolepis macrolepis). Herp. Cons. Biol. 9 (3): - get paper here
  • Barbour,T. 1915. Recent notes regarding West Indian reptiles and amphibians. Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington 28: 71-78 - get paper here
  • Barbour,T. 1917. Notes on the herpetology of the Virgin Islands. Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington 30: 97-103. - get paper here
  • Bauer, A.M. 2013. Geckos - The Animal Answer Guide. Johns Hopkins University Press, 159 pp.
  • 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
  • Carey, W.M. 1972. The Herpetology of Anegada, British Virgin Islands. Carib. J. Sci.12(1/2): 79-89.
  • Daza, Juan D. and Aaron M. Bauer 2012. Temporal Bones of the Gekkota Support Molecular Relationships within the Pygopodoidea. Journal of Herpetology 46 (3): 381-386. - get paper here
  • Fischer, J. G. 1881. Herpetologische Bemerkungen vorzugsweise über Stücke des Naturhistorischen Museums in Bremen. Abhandlungen des Naturwissenschaftlichen Vereins in Bremen, 7: 225-238 [Nov. 1881]
  • Grant, C. 1931. The sphaerodactyls of Porto Rico, Culebra and Mona islands. Jour. Dept. Agric. Puerto Rico 15:199-213.
  • Grobman, A.B. 1983. The lizards of Virgin Gorda. Naturegraph Publ., Inc., Happy Camp, CA:5-23.
  • Günther, A. 1859. On the reptiles from St. Croix, West Indies, collected by Messrs, A. and B. Newton. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (3) 4: 209-217 - get paper here
  • Heatwole, H., D.S. Sade & R. Hildreth 1963. Herpetogeography of Puerto Rico. I. Herpetofauna of Cayo Santiago and Cayo Batata. Carib. J. Sci. 3 (1): 1-5.
  • Kaup, B. 2012. Farbenfrohe Winzlinge – Kugelfingergeckos im heimischen Wohnzimmer. Reptilia (Münster) 17 (97): 39-45 - get paper here
  • King, W. 1962. Systematics of Lesser Antillean lizards of the genus Sphaerodactylus. Bulletin of the Florida State Museum, Biological Sciences, 7:1-52 - get paper here
  • MacLean, W.P. 1982. Reptiles and amphibians of the Virgin Islands. MacMillan Caribbean, London:vii +54 pp.
  • Mayer,G.C. & Lazell,J. 1988. Distributional records for reptiles and amphibians from the Puerto Rico Bank. Herpetological Review 19 91): 23-24 - get paper here
  • Noble, G. K. 1921. The bony structure and phyletic relations of Sphaerodactylus and allied lacertilian genera, with the description of a new genus. American Museum Novitates (4): 1-16 - get paper here
  • Philibosian, R.; Yntema, J. A. 1976. Records and status of some reptiles and amphibians in the Virgin Islands. I. 1968-1975. Herpetologica 32 (1): 81-85 - get paper here
  • Philibosian, R.; Yntema, J. A. 1978. Records and status of some reptiles and amphibians in the Virgin Islands. II. 1975-1976. Herpetologica 34 (1): 47-51 - get paper here
  • Rivero, J.A. 1978. Los anfibios y reptiles de Puerto Rico. M. Pareja Montana, 16, Barcelona, Espafia: x + 152 + 148pp.
  • Rodda, G.H.; Perry, G.; Rondau, J. & Lazell, J. 2001. The densenst terrestrial vertebrate. J. Trop. Ecol. 17: 331-338
  • Rösler, H. 2000. Kommentierte Liste der rezent, subrezent und fossil bekannten Geckotaxa (Reptilia: Gekkonomorpha). Gekkota 2: 28-153
  • Sánchez Muñoz,A.J. & Rodda,G.H. 1999. Geographic distribution: Sphaerodactylus macrolepis macrolepis. Herpetological Review 30 (4): 234 - get paper here
  • Schmidt, K.P. 1928. Scientific Survey of Porto Rico and the Virgin Islands: Amphibians and land reptiles of Porto Rico, with a list of those reported from the Virgin Islands. New York Academy of Sciences 10 (1):160 pp.
  • Schwartz,A. & Henderson,R.W. 1991. Amphibians and Reptiles of the West Indies. University of Florida Press, Gainesville, 720 pp.
  • Stejneger, L. 1904. The herpetology of Porto Rico. Rept. United States Natl. Mus. 1902: 549-724.
  • Thomas, R., and A. Schwartz. 1966. Sphaerodactylus (Gekkonidae) in the greater Puerto Rico region. Bulletin of the Florida State Museum, Biological Sciences, 10:193—260 - get paper here
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