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Sphaerodactylus townsendi GRANT, 1931

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Higher TaxaSphaerodactylidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Puerto Rican Sandy Geckolet, Townsend's Least Gecko, Townsend's dwarf sphaero 
SynonymSphaerodactylus townsendi GRANT 1931: 208
Sphaerodactylus nicholsi townsendi — THOMAS & SCHWARTZ 1966: 245
Sphaerodactylus townsendi — SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON 1991: 542
Sphaerodactylus townsendi — KLUGE 1993
Sphaerodactylus townsendi — RÖSLER 2000: 114 
DistributionPuerto Rico, Vieques, Caja de M.

Type locality: Northeast corner of Cabeza de San Juan, Puerto Rico.  
TypesHolotype: MCZ 34613. 
DiagnosisDESCRIPTION: Size small (SVL in males to 28 mm, in females to 28 mm); dorsals
moderately sized, acute, strongly keeled, flattened, imbricate, axilla to groin 20-28; no area of middorsal granules or granular scales; ventrals large, cycloid, imbricate, smooth, axilla to groin 22-29; dorsal caudal scales acute, imbricate, flat-lying or only slightly erected, ventral caudal scales smooth, enlarged midventrally; snout broad, short; snout scales small, granular, swollen, juxtaposed; 3 postnasals; 1-3 (mode 1; 2 occurs with some frequency) internasals; upper labials to mideye 3; gular scales keeled or smooth; chest scales smooth; midbody scales 35-45; escutcheon moderate, with extensions onto thighs, 3-7 x 10-22. Not sexually dichromatic; dorsum sandy gray to dull grayish brown or yellow brown, with irregular, darker brown mottling and spotting, sometimes as light-centered ocelli; buff dorsolateral lines often extending from eye to sacrum, at times indicated more by lack of spotting than by different color; scapular ocelli (when present) faint, irregular, and asymmetrical; dark scapular patch at times indicated but usually much reduced; sacral pattern a pair of black, parallel lines or a light-edged, black U, at times absent; head finely vermiculate darker brown on light brown ground; venter dirty white to gray; throat heavily marked with black streaking or mottling to unmarked; tail upper side with diffuse, darker brown markings, underside yellow,
orange, pale orange; iris golden or brown (Schwartz & Henderson 1991: 542). 
CommentFor illustrations see Grant, 1931; Thomas and Schwartz, 1966 (as S. nicholsi townsendi); Rivero, 1978 (as S. nicholsi townsendi). 
EtymologyNamed after Charles Haskins Townsend (1859-1944), a zoologist who worked for the U.S. Fish Commission (1883-1902). He explored northern California (1883-1884) and the Kobuk River, Alaska (1885), and was an expert before the Russo-American fisheries arbitration at The Hague (1896). 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Brendan J Pinto, James Titus-McQuillan, Juan D Daza, Tony Gamble 2019. Persistence of a geographically-stable hybrid zone in Puerto Rican dwarf geckos. Journal of Heredity, esz015 - get paper here
  • Grant, C. 1931. The sphaerodactyls of Porto Rico, Culebra and Mona islands. J. Dept. Agric. Puerto Rico 15: 199-213. - get paper here
  • Rivero, J.A. 1978. Los anfibios y reptiles de Puerto Rico. M. Pareja Montana, 16, Barcelona, Espafia: x + 152 + 148pp.
  • Rösler, H. 2000. Kommentierte Liste der rezent, subrezent und fossil bekannten Geckotaxa (Reptilia: Gekkonomorpha). Gekkota 2: 28-153
  • Schwartz, A. & Henderson, R.W. 1991. Amphibians and Reptiles of the West Indies. University of Florida Press, Gainesville, 720 pp.
  • 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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