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Chondrodactylus angulifer PETERS, 1870

IUCN Red List - Chondrodactylus angulifer - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Common Giant Gecko, South African Ground Gecko, Namib sand gecko; namibensis: Namib Giant Gecko
G: Sandgecko
Chinese: 南非地面壁虎 
SynonymChondrodactylus angulifer PETERS 1870: 111
Chondrodactylus angulifer — BOULENGER 1885: 10
Chondrodactylus weiri BOULENGER 1887: 340
Chondrodactylus angulifer — FITZSIMONS & BRAIN 1958
Chondrodactylus angulifer — HAACKE 1976
Chondrodactylus angulifer namibensis HAACKE 1976
Chondrodactylus angulifer angulifer — AUERBACH 1987: 91
Chondrodactylus angulifer — KLUGE 1993
Chondrodactylus angulifer namibensis — BRANCH 1994
Chondrodactylus angulifer — RÖSLER 1995: 101
Chondrodactylus angulifer namibensis — RÖSLER 2000: 62
Chondrodactylus angulifer namibensis — MASHININI & MAHLANGU 2013
Chondrodactylus angulifer namibensis — BATES et al. 2014: 103
Chondrodactylus angulifer angulifer — BATES et al. 2014: 102
Chondrodactylus angulifer — HEINZ et al. 2021 
DistributionRepublic of South Africa, Namibia, Botswana

Type locality: Calviniadistrict, Oorlogsriver” [= Northern Cape Province, Republic of South Africa].

namibensis: Namibia; Type locality: Amichab (= Anigab) Mountain, Namib Park, central Namib Desert (±23°11’S, 15°30’E), about 1000 m elevation, South West Africa (now Namibia),  
TypesLectotype: ZMB 6750A (designated by BAUER & GÜNTHER 1991).
Holotype: DNMNH (= TM) 32632, adult male [namibensis]
Holotype: BMNH 1946.8.23.58 (formerly BMNH; collector J.J. Weir) [weiri] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): “Earlier diagnoses of Chondrodactylus, then incorporating only C. angulifer, emphasized the highly autapomorphic digital features of that species (FitzSimons 1943; Loveridge 1947; Haacke 1976) and do not serve to distinguish the additional constituent taxa recognized here from other members of the Pachydactylus Group. We here re-diagnose Chondrodactylus on the basis of the following suite of characteristics: body large, robust (adults > 80 mm SVL); dorsal surface of skull rugose or sculptured; digit I of manus and pes hyperphalangic, with or without phalangeal loss in digit IV of manus (phalangeal formulae 3-3-4-5-3 or 3-3-4-4-3 manus and 3-3-4-5-4 pes), digits with or without subdigital scansors (if present 8-12 beneath digit IV of pes), lacking paraphalanges and interdigital webbing; precloacal pores lacking; tail weakly to moderately depressed; dorsal skin tuberculate, not fragile” (from BAUER & LAMB 2005).

Diagnosis (genus). Large sized gekkonid geckos (adult snout-to-vent length [SVL] typically .75 mm) with or without adhesive toepads. Manus and pes with hyperdactyly of digit I; phalangeal formulae (3-3-4-5-3 manus, 3-3-4-5-4 pes). Head large, body robust, tail short (63.2% SVL; Haacke 1976a) to moderate (110% SVL) in length. Claws minute or absent. Precloacal and femoral pores absent in both males and females. Dorsum gray to brown or reddish/ orange-brown, usually banded, although this pattern may be weak or the bands disrupted. Venter immaculate white. All species are typically sexually dichromatic with males exhibiting distinct white spots, particularly in the shoulder region (these may be absent in some C. angulifer; Haacke, 1976a), as first noted by Schmidt (1933) for C. pulitzerae (Heinz et al. 2021).

Diagnosis: A large Chondrodactylus (SVL to 113 mm; Haacke 1976a). This taxon is unambiguously distinguishable from all of its congeners by the absence of adhesive toepads under all digits. Its short, stubby, digits, as well as plantar surfaces, appear puffy and bear raised spiny scales (Fig. 1 inset), which appear to be one type of pedal specialization for movement in loose sand (see Bauer and Russell, 1991). Distal 2 phalanges of each digit greatly reduced in size and recurved. Digits of manus clawless. Body cylindrical, tail cylindrical, not depressed. Head large, deep, rounded; eyes large (Fig. 3). Extrabrillar ‘‘fringe’’ above eye prominent. Dorsum and flanks covered with rows of low, pointed, though nonkeeled tubercles. Original tail shorter than body length (63.2–80.5% SVL; Haacke, 1976a), distinctly verticillate. Dorsal pattern more-or-less uniform, speckled, or weakly to strongly banded and may be predominantly brownish, reddish, burnt orange or pale cream. Consistent pattern elements include a dark saddle across the shoulders and white to cream lines from the snout, through the dorsal part of the eye to the upper temporal region (Fig. 3). Iris bronze to coppery. See Haacke (1976a) for a detailed description of the species and variation in pattern (Heinz et al. 2021).

Description (weiri): Boulenger 1887: 340 
CommentType species: Chondrodactylus angulifer PETERS 1870 is the type species of the genus Chondrodactylus PETERS 1870.

Synonymy: Heinz et al. 2021 synonymized C. a. namibensis with angulifer.

Distribution: See map in Heinz et al. 2021: 172 (Fig. 4). 
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