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Bunopus tuberculatus BLANFORD, 1874

IUCN Red List - Bunopus tuberculatus - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Baluch Rock Gecko, Arabian desert gecko, Southern tuberculated gecko
G: Felsengecko 
SynonymBunopus tuberculatus BLANFORD 1874: 454
Alsophylax tuberculatus BOULENGER 1885: 20
Stenodactylus lumsdeni BOULENGER 1887
Alsophylax tuberculatus — BOULENGER 1887: 407
Alsophylax tuberculata PROCTER 1921
Alsophylax tuberculatus — SCHMIDT 1939
Bunopus blanfordii STRAUCH 1887
Alsophylax blanfordii PARKER 1931
Bunopus gabrielis [WERNER 1936]
Bunopus biporus WERNER 1938: 267
Alsophylax tuberculatus — LEVITON 1959
Bunopus abudhabi LEVITON & ANDERSON 1967: 164
Bunopus abudhabi — BROWN 1977
Bunopus tuberculatus — ARNOLD 1980: 278
Bunopus tuberculatus — FRYNTA et al. 1997
Bunopus tuberculatus — WILMS 2007
Bunopus tuberculatus — NASRABADI et al. 2017 
DistributionSyria, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, Oman, Yemen, Jordan, Afghanistan, E Pakistan (Sind), Balutschistan, S Turkmenistan

Type locality: Baluchistan, SW Iran; Terra typica restricta (M. A. SMITH 1935): Baluchistan

abudhabi: Type locality: Abu Dhabi region, Trucial coast, 23° 45’ N, 53° 35’ E.  
TypesLectotype: BMNH 1946.8.22.84 (but see BAUER & GÜNTHER 1991)
Types: ZSI 3428, 3429, 3431, ZSI 3432, ZSI 3434, ZSI 3436, ZSI 3437 ZSI 3458, 5271, ZSI 3459, ZSI 5273–77, ZSI 5278, ZSI 5279–80 (fide DAS et al. 1998)
Holotype: CAS 98089 [abudhabi] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): Digits straight, not dilated, clawed, with transverse subdigital lamellae which have projecting tubercles or pectinate anterior margins (seen under magnification; sometimes not evident if kyratinized layer has been lost or worn excessively, but usually visible at least on basal lamellae); dorsum with small juxtaposed scales mixed with large tubercles, the latter usually keeled, often trihedral; pupil vertical; males with preanal pores; medium size species, snout-vent length usually 45 mm or more in mature adults [from LEVITON et al. 1992].

Geographic variation: see Arnold 1980: 278

Diagnosis (tuberculatus): No postmental shields; belly covered with small, smooth, subcircular, subimbricate scales; subcaudal scales small, keeled. (Anderson 1999: 140).

Color pattern: Sandy above, with five or six (rarely seven or eight) more or less distinct chocolate-brown transverse bars; a dark curved mark on occipital region more or less distinct; hind limbs crossbarred or mottled with brown, forelimbs mottled; venter white, under side of tail flecked with brown. In some adults the dark bars of the back tend to break up into spots. (Anderson 1999: 140, Fig. 66).

Size (tuberculatus): Males reach 54 mm snout-vent length, tail 64 mm; females with eggs in ovaries from 34 -56 mm snout-vent. (Anderson 1999: 140).

Sexual dimorphism (tuberculatus): Only the males have distinct preanal pores, although one juvenile male examined seemed to lack them. (Anderson 1999: 140).

Diagnosis (abudhabi). No enlarged postmentals; scales of ventral surface of body and tail smooth; distal two-thirds of tail with a single series of transversely enlarged, smooth, plate-like subcaudals. (Leviton & Anderson 1967)

Description of holotype (abudhabi). Diameter of eye equal to distance between orbit and nostril; vertical diameter of elliptic ear opening equal to one-half diameter of eye. Length of head (to angle of jaw) contained 3.5 times in snout-vent length. Hind limb reaches shoulder: forelimb reaches tip of snout. Rostral quadrangular, broader than high; mental semicircular; no enlarged postmentals; 12/11 supralabials; 12/10 infralabials. Nostril between rostral, first supralabial, and three nasals; supranasals separated by a single small scale. Snout covered by swollen smooth scales, top of head covered by rounded, smooth tubercles, becoming keeled on occiput. Dorsum covered by small, flat, smooth, juxtaposed scales and 16 fairly regular longitudinal series of enlarged, keeled, trihedral tubercles. Scales of chin and throat small, granular, juxtaposed. Scales of venter flat, smooth, inbricate, the free margin of each finely denticulated. Dorsal surface of hind limbs covered by small, irregular, subimbricate scales and scattered enlarged trihedral tubercles; forelimbs covered above by imbricate keeled scales. Tail with annuli each composed of four transverse series of keeled imbricate scales dorsally, each series of four becoming progressively larger distally. Proximal fourth of tail covered below with weakly keeled scales, somewhat larger than those of dorsal surface; distal three-fourths of tail covered by a single series of large, smooth, plate-like scales, two in each annulus. Digits covered below with imbricate transverse lamellae, the free distal mar gin of each lamella with a fine denticulation, most distinct on the proximal lamel lae of each digit. The lamellae are not keeled or swollen. Ten preanal pores in a continuous series. (Leviton & Anderson 1967)

Color in preservative (abudhabi; initial fixation in formalin, transferred to alcohol) light tan above, with darker brown markings on the dorsum arranged in poorly defined transverse bars, one on neck, one between shoulders, three on back between limbs, and one on pelvic region. A broad dark band from tip of snout through eye to temporal and occipital regions; lips, chin, and throat flecked with brown; limbs and tail above with irregular dark cross bars. Each scale of dorsum has one to many melanophores. Venter white. (Leviton & Anderson 1967)

Comparisons (abudhabi): The paratypes, one adult and one juvenile, both females, lack preanal pores. This species is allied to Bunopus tuberculatus from which it is distinguished by the presence of enlarged, smooth, plate-like subcaudal scales on the distal portion of the tail, and by the less distinct denticulation on the free margins of the subdigital lamellae. It is readily distinguished from B. blanfordi by its less attenuate habitus, and its smooth ventral scales, as well as the enlarged subcaudals. Bunopus crassicaudus Nikolsky also has enlarged subcaudal plates, but is the only member of the genus examined having enlarged postmentals. This latter species also has very distinct dark transverse bars on the dorsum. (Leviton & Anderson 1967) 
CommentSynonymy: Most authors appear to consider Bunopus blanfordii as a synonym of B. tuberculatus (e.g. ARNOLD 1980, LEVITON et al. 1992, DISI & BÖHME 1996). Szczerbak and Golubev (1986:88-100) place B. blanfordi Strauch, 1887 and B. abudhabi in the synonymy of B. tuberculatus, as do Arnold (1980a:278) and followed Leviton et al. (1992:30-31). However, Bauer et al. 2013 “tentatively” recognize B. blanfordii as valid species.

Type species: Bunopus tuberculatus BLANFORD 1874 is the type species of the genus Bunopus BLANFORD 1874.

Diversity: Khosravani et al. identified 3 additional candidate species within Bunopus by DNA sequencing. However, their data set is relatively limited and they have not named these populations (yet).

Distribution: See map in SMID et al. 2014 for distribution in Iran and map in Burriel-Carranza et al. 2019 for map in UAE. 
EtymologyNamed after Greek bounos = hill, height, mound (Liddell, 1885) + Greek pous, -pus = foot, leg (Maggenti, 2005).

The species is named after Latin tuber hump + -cul, Latin diminutive suffix meaning: small + -at, Latin -at having (Borror, 1988). 
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