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Afrogecko porphyreus (DAUDIN, 1802)

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Marbled leaf-toed gecko 
SynonymGecko porphyreus DAUDIN 1802: 130
Phyllodactylus porphyreus — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1836: 393
Phytodactylus porphyreus — WAINSON 1839: 371 (in error)
Phyllodactylus porphyreus — BOULENGER 1885: 87
Phyllodactylus porphyreus namaquensis HEWITT 1935: 320
Phyllodactylus porphyreus cronwrigthi HEWITT 1937: 205
Phyllodactylus porphyreus namaquensis — WERMUTH 1965: 143
Phyllodactylus porphyreus — KLUGE 1993
Afrogecko porphyreus — BAUER et al. 1997
Afrogecko porphyreus — HEINICKE et al. 2014 
DistributionRepublic of South Africa (S/SW Cape, Port Elizabeth),
Islands off the west coast of South Africa (Robben, Jutten, Dassen, Meeuw, Marcus, Malgas, Schappen). One questionable record from Cameroon (Tornier 1902), Namibia

Type locality: Santo Domingo Island. Terra typica designata (FlTZSIMONS 1943): Cape of Good Hope

namaquensis: Type locality: “Bitterfontein, Namaqualand”  
TypesHolotype: MNHN-RA 6732
Holotype: PEM R16091 (formerly AMG 6943) [namaquensis]
Syntype: PEM R16087 [cronwrigthi] 
DiagnosisDefinition (genus) Afrogecko is distinguishable from all other geckos based on the following combination of characters: size moderate (45–50 mm max. SVL), with a fairly large head and long snout, cylindrical body, and round, tapering tail. Digits are free and bear a single pair of dilated terminal adhesive pads (‘leaf toes’); claws are present on all digits. Dorsal scalation consists of small, smooth granules. Preanal pores are absent; one cloacal spur is present. The eye bears a vertical pupil with crenate margins. The skull displays no co-ossification with the overlying skin; fused nasals; frontal single; parietal paired; stapes imperforate; 14 scleral ossicles; 8-12 premaxillary, and between 30 and 35 dentary teeth; hyoid with second ceratobranchial cartilages. There are 26 presacral vertebrae and one pair of cloacal bones. The phalangeal formula is 2-3-4-5-3 (manus)/ 2-3-4-5-4 (pes); paraphalangeal elements are absent.
Afrogecko porphyreus exhibits the following nonhomoplastic apomorphic cranial characters: vomer overlapping the maxilla posterior to the fenestra vomeronasalis externa, incomplete neochoanate condition (17-1, 53-1, Fig. 21); frontal medial process longer than lateral processes (137-2, Fig. 11); surangular contacts the dentary anterior to coronoid-dentary contact (352-2, Fig. 16) [HEINICKE et al. 2014]. 
CommentDistribution: Records from Madagascar are in error since they refer to Phyllodactylus brevipes.

Subspecies: The subspecies described by HEWITT (1935, 1937) have been questioned and synonymized with the “nominate” form (see Bauer et al. 1997).

Type species: Gecko porphyreus DAUDIN 1802 is the type species of the genus Afrogecko BAUER, GOOD & BRANCH 1997. 
  • Bates, M.F.; Branch, W.R., Bauer, A.M.; Burger, M., Marais, J.; Alexander, G.J. & de Villliers, M.S. (eds.) 2014. Atlas and Red List of the Reptiles of South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland. Suricata 1. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, 512 pp.
  • Bauer A M. Good D A. Branch W R. 1997. The taxonomy of the Southern African leaf-toed geckos (Squamata: Gekkonidae), with a review of Old World "Phyllodactylus" and the description of five new genera. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. 49 (14): 447-497. - get paper here
  • Bauer, Aaron M. 1997. Family Gekkonidae. Genus Phyllodactylus. In: J. H. van Wyk (ed.): Proceedings of the Fitzsimons Commemorative Symposium, South African Lizards: 50 years of Progress. - Herp. Assoc. Africa (Matieland, South Afr.), pp. 24-28
  • 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
  • CONRADIE, WERNER; WILLIAM R. BRANCH, & GILLIAN WATSON 2019. Type specimens in the Port Elizabeth Museum, South Africa, including the historically important Albany Museum collection. Part 2: Reptiles (Squamata). Zootaxa 4576 (1): 001–045 - get paper here
  • Daudin, F. M. 1802. Histoire Naturelle, Générale et Particulière des Reptiles, Vol. 4. F. Dufart, Paris, 397 pp. - get paper here
  • Duméril, A.M. C. and G. Bibron. 1836. Erpetologie Générale ou Histoire Naturelle Complete des Reptiles. Vol. 3. Libr. Encyclopédique Roret, Paris, 528 pp. - get paper here
  • Essex, R. 1925. Descriptions of two new species of the genus Acontias and notes on some other lizards found in the Cape Province. Rec. Albany Mus. 3: 332-342.
  • Heinicke, Matthew P.; Juan D. Daza, Eli Greenbaum, Todd R. Jackman & Aaron M. Bauer 2014. Phylogeny, taxonomy and biogeography of a circum-Indian Ocean clade of leaf-toed geckos (Reptilia: Gekkota), with a description of two new genera. Systematics and Biodiversity 12 (1): 23-42, DOI:10.1080/14772000.2013.877999 - get paper here
  • Herrmann, H.-W.; W.R. Branch 2013. Fifty years of herpetological research in the Namib Desert and Namibia with an updated and annotated species checklist. Journal of Arid Environments 93: 94–115 - get paper here
  • HESTER, E.; A. SCHAEFER & A. M. BAUER. 2018. Afrogecko porphyreus (Daudin, 1802). Reproduction. African Herp News (67): 20 - get paper here
  • Hewitt, J. 1935. Some new forms of batrachians and reptiles from South Africa. Rec. Albany Mus. 4: 283-357
  • Hewitt, J. 1937. Descriptions of South African lizards. Ann. Natal Mus. 8: 199-209
  • Rösler, Herbert 2015. Bemerkungen über einige Geckos der Zoologischen Staatssammlung München. Gekkota, Suppl. (2): 3-54
  • Schönecker, P. 2014. Südafrika. Auf Reptiliensuche entlang der Garden Route. Reptilia (Münster) 19 (105): 80-93
  • Swainson, W. 1839. The natural history of fishes, amphibians, & reptiles, or monocardian animals. Vol. 2. Longman, Orme, Brown, Green and Longmans, London - get paper here
  • Tornier, G. 1902. Die Crocodile, Schildkröten und Eidechsen in Kamerun. Zool. Jahrb., Abt. Syst., 15 (6): 663-677 - get paper here
  • WITBERG, M. 2012. The herpetofauna of Schaapen Island, Langebaan, South Africa. African Herp News (56): 11-16 - get paper here
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