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Sphaerodactylus rosaurae PARKER, 1940

IUCN Red List - Sphaerodactylus rosaurae - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaSphaerodactylidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Bay Islands Large-scaled Geckolet, Bay Island Least Gecko 
SynonymSphaerodactylus rosaurae PARKER 1940: 264
Sphaerodactylus rosaurae — WERMUTH 1965: 172
Sphaerodactylus rosaurae — KLUGE 1993
Sphaerodactylus rosaurae — KÖHLER 2000: 51
Sphaerodactylus rosaurae — MCCRANIE 2018 
DistributionHonduras: Helene Island

"Restricted to Islas de la Bahia (Honduras)" (Villa et al. 1988)

Type locality: Helene Island, Bay Islands, Honduras.  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1938.10.4.1, male 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: The combination of lacking moveable eyelids, having the dorsal surface of the head covered with small to granular scales, having the claws displaced laterally by expanded terminal subdigital lamella, and having a superciliary spine distinguishes Sphaerodactylus rosaurae from all other Honduran lizards, except the remaining Sphaerodactylus. Sphaerodactylus rosaurae differs from those species of Sphaerodactylus, except S. alphus, by having 1–3 middorsal rows of granular scales sharply and distinctively differentiated from the larger surrounding dorsal scales. Sphaerodactylus alphus has a white occipital spot and is known to reach a SVL of 41.2 mm (versus no white occipital spot and maximum known SVL 38.5 mm in S. rosaurae). Molecular studies also recovered those two species as separate evolutionary species (McCranie 2018: 131).

Color in life: (adult male, USNM 570201): dorsal surface of body Olive (30) with scattered black spots; dorsal surface of head rusty brown; dorsal surfaces of foreand hind limb Olive with black spots; dorsal surface of tail pale brown with dark brown mottling; lateral surface of head anterior to eyes pale brown, except supralabials with alternating dark brown and cream bars; cream, dark brown outlined postsubocular band present, band extends onto throat region; area around ear opening rust brown with yellowish brown mottling; ventral surface of body gray; subcaudal surface cream with dark brown reticulations; toe pads white; iris dark brown with pale brown rim (McCranie 2018: 131).

Sexual dimorphism: Wilson and Hahn 1973: 108 show sexually dimorphic specimen although some of them may now be assigned to other species, e.g. Sphaerodactylus alphus.

Ontogenetic change: Wilson and Hahn 1973: 108 show dramatically different juvenile and adult specimen although some of them may now be assigned to other species, e.g. Sphaerodactylus alphus. 
EtymologyNamed afer the yacht of Lord Moyne; the type was collected on a cruise on that yacht. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Frazier, Julius A., Nick Pollock, Matt Holding and Chad E. Montgomery. 2011. Geographic Distribution: Sphaerodactylus rosaurae (Bay Island least gecko). Herpetological Review 42 (3): 391 - 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, 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
  • Parker, H. W. 1940. Undescribed anatomical structures and new species of reptiles and amphibians. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (11) 5: 257-274 - 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
  • Villa, J., Wilson, L.D., Johnson, J.D. 1988. Middle American Herpetology - A Bibliographic Checklist. University of Missouri Press, 132 pp [review in Copeia 1989 (3): 802]
  • Wilson, L. D., & HAHN, D. E. 1973. The herpetofauna of the Islas de la Bahía, Honduras. Bulletin of the Florida State Museum 17: 93-150. - get paper here
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