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Christinus marmoratus (GRAY, 1845)

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Marbled Southern Gecko, Marbled Gecko 
SynonymPhyllodactylus porphyreus DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1836 (partim)
Phyllodactylus Peronii FITZINGER 1843: 95
Diplodactylus marmoratus GRAY 1845
Goniodactylus australis GRAY 1845
Gonatodes australis — BOULENGER 1885: 72 (?)
Phyllodactylus marmoratus — BOULENGER 1885: 88
Phyllodactylus macrodactylus BOULENGER 1885: 89
Phyllodactylus affinis — BOULENGER 1885: 89
Phyllodactylus marmoratus — LOVERIDGE 1934
Phyllodactylus marmoratus — COGGER 1983
Christinus marmoratus — WELLS & WELLINGTON 1984
Christinus biggsae WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985: 10
Phyllodactylus marmoratus marmoratus — STORR 1987
Christinus marmoratus marmoratus — RÖSLER 2000: 62
Christinus marmoratus macrodactylus — RÖSLER 2000: 62
Christinus marmoratus — COGGER 2000: 208
Christinus marmoratus — WILSON & SWAN 2010: 60
Christinus marmoratus — HEINICKE et al. 2014 
DistributionAustralia (New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia)

Type locality: restricted to West- and South Australia (Kangaroo Island, Swan River, Freemantle, Champion Bay, Houtman’s Abrolhos, Norfolk Island, Aneitum).

Type locality: “Australia” and “Houtman’s Abrollos” [GRAY 1845].

Type locality: Australia [macrodactylus].  
TypesLectotype: BMNH xxi.9.a. Designated by Wells & Wellington (1985) (marmoratus)
Syntypes: MNHN 6734, 6734A [Peronii]
Holotype: BMNH [affinis]
Holotype: BMNH xxii.86a [australis]
Syntypes: BMNH [macrodactylus]
Holotype: AMS 116977 [biggsae] 
DiagnosisDefinition (genus). Christinus is distinguishable from all other geckos based on the following combination of characters: size large (70–80 mm max. SVL), with a moderately pro- portioned head, 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; 3–4 cloacal spurs are present. The eye bears a vertical pupil with crenate margins. The skull dis- plays no co-ossification with the overlying skin. Nasals are fused; frontal single; parietal paired; stapes imperforate; 14 scleral ossicles; 12-13 premaxillary and between 30 and 39 dentary tooth loci; hyoid with second ceratobranchial carti- lages. There are 27–28 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.
Four cranial osteological apomorphies were found for Christinus marmoratus: lateral vertex of the postorbito- frontal located anterior to the frontoparietal suture (95-00, Fig. 28); length of the exposed portion of the frontal shorter than the width of the frontoparietal suture (127-20, Fig. 28); number of premaxillary tooth loci 12 or 13 (368-00).
Christinus has more presacral vertebrae than any other genus of leaf-toed gecko. It can be distinguished from all other Australian leaf-toed gecko genera (which belong to the family Diplodactylidae) based on possession of enlarged scales on the dorsal surface of the broadened ter- minal adhesive pads, as well as all traits that distinguish gekkonids from diplodactylids (including L-shaped meatal closure muscles, hard-shelled eggs, and a single centre of ossification in the premaxilla; Kluge, 1987) [HEINICKE et al. 2014]

Diagnosis (Christinus): The genus Christinus Is characterised by the following: Round rostral and mental, with postmentals enlarged; enlarged lablals; no preanal pores; digits lay flat, long and thin, somewhat depressed; distal expansion of digits form distinct pads; apical sub-digital lamellae as large pair; sub-digital lamellae enlarged but smaller than apical; digits have dorsal scales which are larger distally than at base; all digits possess retractile claws which fit into a groove in the apical lamellae; dorsal scales small, smooth and homogeneous; clutch size two, but practices communal egg-laying behaviour; size up to 80 mm SVL. A relictual group of endemics confined to southern Australia and the Lord Howe and Norfolk Island groups. A colour plate of Christinus marmoratus is in Cogger, (1983, pI. 85) and a plate of Christinus guentheri can be found in Cogger, Sadlier and Cameron, (1983) [from WELLS & WELLINGTON 1984].
CommentKaryotype: Christinus marmoratus marmoratus is a composite of two chromosomally distinct, but morphologically very similar taxa.

Type species: Diplodactylus marmoratus GRAY 1845 is the type species of the genus Christinus WELLS & WELLINGTON 1994. See comments in Bauer 1994 for a discussion of nomenclatorial issues.

Subspecies: Christinus marmoratus macrodactylus is not recognized as subspecies any more (Glenn Shea, pers. comm. Feb 2019). 
EtymologyEtymology (Christinus): Named for Miss Christine Biggs of London. 
  • Bauer, A.M. 1994. Liste der rezenten Amphibien und Reptilien: Gekkonidae I (Australia). Das Tierreich, Vol. 108, W. de Gruyter & Co. (Berlin)
  • 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
  • Bush, B. 1981. Reptiles of the Kalgoorlie-Esperance Region. B. Bush, Perth, 46 pp - get paper here
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • Donnellan,S.C.; Aplin,K.P. & Dempsey,P.J. 2000. Genetic and morphological variation in Australian Christinus (Squamata: Gekkonidae): preliminary overview with recognition of a cryptic species on the Nullarbor plain. Australian Journal of Zoology 48: 289-315 - get paper here
  • Fitzinger, L. 1843. Systema Reptilium, fasciculus primus, Amblyglossae. Braumüller et Seidel, Wien: 106 pp. - get paper here
  • Gray, J. E. 1845. Catalogue of the specimens of lizards in the collection of the British Museum. Trustees of die British Museum/Edward Newman, London: xxvii + 289 pp. - get paper here
  • Hallermann, J. 2020. An annotated list of reptiles and amphibians from the 1905 Hamburg expedition to southwest Australia deposited in the Zoological Museum Hamburg. Evolutionary Systematics 4: 61 - get paper here
  • 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
  • How, RA, Cowan, MA, Teale, RJ, Schmitt, LH. 2020. Environmental correlates of reptile variation on the Houtman Abrolhos archipelago, eastern Indian Ocean. J Biogeogr. 47: 2017– 2028 - get paper here
  • Kay, G.M.; D. Michael; M. Crane; S. Okada; C. MacGregor; D. Florance; D. Trengove; L. McBurney; D. Blair; D.B. Lindenmayer. 2013. A list of reptiles and amphibians from Box Gum Grassy Woodlands in south-eastern Australia. Check List 9 (3):476-481 - get paper here
  • King, M.; Rofe, R. 1976. Karyotypic variation in the Australian gekko Phyllodactylus marmoratus (Gray) (Gekkonidae: Reptilia). Chromosoma 54(1):75-87 - get paper here
  • Michael, D.R.; D.B. Lindenmayer; M. Crane; C. MacGregor; R. Montague-Drake; L. McBurney. 2011. Reptilia, Murray catchment, New South Wales, southeastern Australia. Check List 7 (1):25-29 - get paper here
  • Rösler, H. 2000. Kommentierte Liste der rezent, subrezent und fossil bekannten Geckotaxa (Reptilia: Gekkonomorpha). Gekkota 2: 28-153
  • Rösler, H. 2000. Studien an den Begattungsorganen der Geckos (Reptilia: Gekkota) - 5. Der Hemipenis von Christinus marmoratus marmoratus (GRAY 1845) (Gekkonidae: Gekkoninae). Gekkota 2: 255-258
  • Rösler, Herbert 1995. Geckos der Welt - Alle Gattungen. Urania, Leipzig, 256 pp.
  • Rösler, Herbert 2017. Gecko-Chorologie (Squamata: Gekkota). Gekkota (4): 1-160
  • Storr, G. M. 1987. The genus Phyllodactylus (Lacertilia: Gekkonidae) in Western Australia. Rec. West. Austr. Mus. 13 (2): 275-284 - get paper here
  • Wells, R. W. and Wellington, C. R. 1985. A classification of the Amphibia and Reptilia of Australia. Australian Journal of Herpetology, Supplementary Series (1): 1-61 [sometimes cited as 1983] - get paper here
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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