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Aristelliger reyesi DIAZ & HEDGES, 2009

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Higher TaxaSphaerodactylidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Cuban Croaking Gecko, Reyes’ Caribbean Gecko 
SynonymAristelliger reyesi DIAZ & HEDGES 2009 
DistributionCuba (Matanzas Province, Península de Hicacos)

Type locality: along the trail Los Musulmanes (23°11'37''N, 81°09'26''W), Reserva Ecológica Varahicacos, sea level (elevation 0 m), Península de Hicacos, Matanzas Province.  
Reproductionoviparous (not imputed, fide Zimin et al. 2022) 
TypesHolotype: MNHNCu 4665, an adult male collected by Luis M. Díaz, Ernesto Reyes, and Ariatna Linares, on 5 June 2007. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A small species (maximum SVL: 63.6 mm) of the subgenus Aristelligella (Fig. 1 in DIAZ & HEDGES 2009) according to size, and by the arrangement of friction pads and lateral postmentals. Both sexes have a dark stripe (almost black) that extends laterally through the head and over shoulders, fading from there as dorsolateral bifurcated brown zones that reach the tail base. From Aristelliger barbouri it differs in having a conspicuous pattern of longitudinal zones (vs. a more faded coloration in A. barbouri, with lateral stripes only reaching shoulders), and a higher number of total fourth toe lamellae (21–29, vs. 18–19 in A. barbouri). In A. cochranae, dark lateral zones similar to those found in A. reyesi are conspicuous in juveniles and subadults, but less evident or absent in adults, where they are substituted by many pale dots and blotches (Fig. 1); the number of loreal scales is lower in A. reyesi than in A. cochranae (11–15 vs. 15–16, respectively), the snout-to-center of eye distance averages shorter with respect to SVL (13.0–14.4%, x=13.8; vs. 14.2–15.8%, x=15.2%, in A. cochranae) and the ratio of the ear opening longest diameter/ SVL is smaller (1.7–2.9, x=2.3; vs. 2.9–4.2, x=3.4). Aristelliger reyesi requires closer comparison with A. expectatus. The new species is longer than A. expectatus (63.6 mm maximum SVL in A. reyesi, vs. 55 mm in A. expectatus), and has a more robust body. Typically, A. expectatus has a more distinctive dorsal “ladder” pattern than A. reyesi, because the lateral darker zones (if defined) are connected to each other by bridges, “saddles” or bands (only pairs of middorsal dots or small chevrons are present in A. reyesi) (Fig. 2); the hemipenes of A. reyesi have two prominent horn-like asulcal papillae, which are absent in A. expectatus (Fig. 3); the number of total fourth toe lamellae is 22–29 (x=24) in A. reyesi, vs. 16–22 (x=19) in A. expectatus; the dorsal scales of snout are smaller (and higher in number) in A. reyesi (16–19, x=18) than in A. expectatus (14–16, x=15); the ear opening is rounded in A. reyesi and narrow in A. expectatus (horizontal diameter 47.6–112.5%, x= 76.5%, of longest diameter in A. reyesi, vs. 18.7–39.3%, x= 28.8%, in A. expectatus) [from DIAZ & HEDGES 2009]. 
EtymologyNamed after Ernesto Reyes, who provided the first evidence of its existence. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • DÍAZ, LUIS M. & S. BLAIR HEDGES 2009. First record of the genus Aristelliger (Squamata: Sphaerodactylidae) in Cuba, with the description of a new species. Zootaxa 2028: 31-40 - get paper here
  • Rodríguez Schettino, Lourdes, Carlos A. Mancina & Vilma Rivalta González 2013. REPTILES OF CUBA: CHECKLIST AND GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTIONS. Smithsonian Herp. Inf. Serv. (144): 1-96 - get paper here
  • Zimin, A., Zimin, S. V., Shine, R., Avila, L., Bauer, A., Böhm, M., Brown, R., Barki, G., de Oliveira Caetano, G. H., Castro Herrera, F., Chapple, D. G., Chirio, L., Colli, G. R., Doan, T. M., Glaw, F., Grismer, L. L., Itescu, Y., Kraus, F., LeBreton 2022. A global analysis of viviparity in squamates highlights its prevalence in cold climates. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 00, 1–16 - get paper here
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