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Chondrodactylus bibronii (SMITH, 1846)

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Bibron's (Thick-toed) Gecko
G: Bibrons Dickfingergecko 
SynonymTarentola bibronii SMITH 1846
Pachydactylus bibronii — BOULENGER 1885: 201
Pachydactylus [bibronii] var. stellatus — WERNER 1910: 309
Pachydactylus bibronii — FITZSIMONS & BRAIN 1958
Pachydactylus bibronii — AUERBACH 1987: 85
Pachydactylus bibronii — KLUGE 1993
Pachydactylus bibronii — BROADLEY & HOWELL 1991: 9
Pachydactylus bibroni — BRANCH 1994
Pachydactylus bibronii — RÖSLER 2000: 98
Chondrodactylus bibronii — BAUER & LAMB 2005
Pachydactylus bibronii — BRANCH & BAUER 2005
Chondrodactylus bibronii — BATES et al. 2014: 103
Chondrodactylus bibronii — HEINZ et al. 2021: 175 
DistributionRepublic of South Africa, S Namibia (Kamanjab area), Swaziland

Introduced to USA (Florida)

Type locality: ‘‘Southern Africa,’’ restricted to Southern Africa
(South Africa or Namibia) south of 26.48S and west of 26.48E by Heinz et al. 2021.  
Reproductionoviparous 
TypesLectotype: BMNH 1946.8.26.20 (collector Andrew Smith), Paralectotypes: BMNH 1946.8.26.21–28 (collector Andrew Smith), designated by Heinz et al. 2021.
Lectotype: NMW 17995:4 (collector Leonhard Schultze, 1903–1905; from the collection of Franz Werner), designated by Heinz et al. 2021 [stellatus] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A large Chondrodactylus (SVL to 108 mm, TM 18185) bearing prominent subdigital lamellae. Body very robust, somewhat depressed, habitus most similar to C. turneri among its congeners. Head large, subtriangular, both wide and high, area behind orbits squarish, with nearly parallel lateral sides (Fig. 5A), in contrast to the wide rectangular parietal table of C. fitzsimonsi and more rounded shape of other congeners; snout short and rounded with a shallow midline concavity. Canthus rostralis moderately well-developed, scales on snout and canthal region smooth, domed, equal to or larger than those on parietal region but smaller than those on occiput, which are heterogeneous, strongly keeled and stellate, with prominent striae radiating from the central keel. Circumauricular scales prominent and strongly keeled to mucronate. Scales between posterior rim of orbit and ear greatly enlarged, oblong, with prominent keels. Chin and gular scales minute and granular (Fig. 7A), approximately 5 contained within half the diameter of a paravertebral dorsal tubercle. Dorsal tubercles large, round, and very strongly keeled or mucronate (Fig. 6B), largest in paravertebral position just posterior of midbody, becoming mucronate on flanks (Fig. 6A) and in lumbar region; tubercles in 14–16 longitudinal rows (several shorter rows continue onto the flanks, but only near the midbody), tubercles within a single row usually separated by granular scales from each other, but tubercles of adjacent longitudinal rows often in touch with one another. Vertebral midline covered by a series of small keeled tubercles alternating with even smaller smooth scales, each several times the size of intertubercular granules (Fig. 6B). Scales on dorsal surfaces of thighs, shanks, upper arms, and forearms mucronate. Tail approximately equal to or slightly greater than SVL, strongly verticillate, each whorl at tail-base bearing 6–8 enlarged, raised mucronate tubercles; tubercles per whorl decreasing distally. Across the body as a whole, the scalation of C. bibronii is typically more heavily sculptured than in its congeners giving it a distinctly rugose appearance that contrasts strongly with the button-scaled morphology of western clade C. laevigatus, the only toe-padded congener with which it is sympatric. Dorsal coloration usually light to midbrown or grayish with moderately welldeveloped to bold dark brown dorsal crossbars, especially dark on the nape and shoulders. Basic pattern similar to congeners with nape, shoulder, mid-body, midabdomen, and hip bands, which may appear as wide bands, each becoming paler anteriorly or as a series of chevrons or zigzag lines formed only by the darker posterior border of each band. Bright white markings, when present, typically immediately posterior to dark bands. Tail banded, with 7–8 dark bands fading ventrolaterally (Fig. 9). Iris bronze to coppery (Heinz et al. 2021). 
CommentSubspecies: Pachydactylus bibronii turneri (GRAY 1864) has been elevated to species status. Pachydactylus bibronii pulitzerae has been transferred to P. laevigatus. Distribution not corrected for this elevation.

Synonymy: after Heinz et al. 2021.

Distribution: See map in Heinz et al. 2021: 172 (Fig. 4). 
EtymologyNamed after Gabriel Bibron (1806-1848), French zoologist. 
References
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  • Barts, M. 2004. Dickfingergeckos - Pachydactylus turneri & Pachydactylus bibronii. Natur und Tier Verlag, Münster, 61 pp. - get paper here
  • Bates, Michael F.;Heideman, Neil J. L. 1997. Report on a collection of lizards from Owambo District, Northern Namibia. African Herp News (26): 16-21 - get paper here
  • Bauer, A.; Branch, W.R. 1996. Pachydactylus bibronii. Predation. Herpetological Review 27 (2): 79-80 - get paper here
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  • Monard, ALBERT 1937. Contribution à l'herpétologie d'Angola. Arq. Mus. Bocage, Lisbon 8:19-153.
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  • Rösler H 1982. Zum Verwechseln ahnlich: Pachydactylus bibronii bibronii (Smith 1864) und Pachydactylus laevigatus laevigatus (Fischer 1888) - zwei Geckos aus der Republik Südafrika. AQUARIA (ST GALLEN) 29 (12): 189-197
  • Russell, Anthony P. and Garrett S. Oetelaar 2015. Limb and digit orientation during vertical clinging in Bibron's gecko, Chondrodactylus bibronii (A. Smith, 1846) and its bearing on the adhesive capabilities of geckos. Acta Zoologica, DOI: 10.1111/azo.12128 - get paper here
  • Schleicher, Alfred 2015. Reptilien Namibias. Namibia Scientific  Society, 276 pp.
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