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Coleonyx switaki (MURPHY, 1974)

IUCN Red List - Coleonyx switaki - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaEublepharidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Switak’s Banded Gecko
G: Gebänderter oder Switaks Barfuß-Gecko
S: Geco Descalzo 
SynonymAnarbylus switaki MURPHY 1974
Coleonyx swaitaki [sic] — STEBBINS 1985: 112
Coleonyx switaki — KLUGE 1993
Coleonyx switaki — RÖSLER 2000: 63
Coleonyx switaki— PIANKA & VITT 2003: 39
Coleonyx switaki — SEUFER et al. 2005 
DistributionUSA, Mexico (from San Diego County, SW California southward to the vicinity of San Ignacio in C Baja California, Mexico)

Type locality: “5.5 miles west of San Ignacio (27 'N, 112 51'W) along Mexican Highway 1, Baja California Sur, Mexico, 500 feet elevation.”  
TypesHolotype: CAS 139472 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Coleonyx switaki differs from other Coleonyx in these characters: deep rostral depression; reduced transverse sub-digital lamellae; 48-70 scales around the non-regenerated tail; tip of ventral portion of tail tuberculate; diploid complement of 24 chromosomes consisting of a graded series of 22 metacentric and 2 acrocentric chromosomes with each 2 pairs conspicuously larger than those following when ranked by size; bright yellow breeding color in males; dorsal pattern a series of transverse spots arranged in bands, sometimes modified; 6-11 bands between nape of neck and caudal constriction;nuchal loop absent; derived adult color pattern present in juveniles; S-shaped isthmus of the thyroid gland [Grismer 1990]. 
CommentGrismer (1999) elevated gypsicolus to full species status based on scale counts: it has 42-48 eyelid fringe scales versus 32-40 in Coleonyx switaki switaki.

Variation: C. switaki is a highly variable species. See Grismer 2001 for a series of photos that show the many color patterns rnaging from spotted to banded. 
EtymologyNamed after Karl H. Switak, Supervising Herpetologist of the Steinhart Aquarium, San Francisco, CA. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Crother, B. I. (ed.) 2012. Standard Common and Current Scientific Names for North American Amphibians, Turtles, Reptiles, and Crocodilians, Seventh Edition. Herpetological Circular 39: 1-92
  • Fritts, T. H.;Snell, H. L.;Martin, R. L. 1982. Anarbylus switaki Murphy: an addition to the herpetofauna of the United States with comments on relationships with Coleonyx. Journal of Herpetology 16 (1): 39-52 - get paper here
  • Grismer L L 1990. Coleonyx switaki (Murphy). Barefoot banded gecko. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles (464): 1-2 - get paper here
  • Grismer, L. L., and J. R. Ottley. 1988. A preliminary analysis of geographic variation in Coleonyx switaki (Squamata: Eublepharidae) with a description of an insular subspecies. Herpetologica 44: 143—154 - get paper here
  • Grismer, L. Lee 2001. Geographic Variation of Color Pattern in Peninsular Populations of Coleonyx switaki (Squamata: Eublepharidae) from Baja California, Mexico and Southern California. Gekko 2 (1): 14-19
  • Grismer, L. Lee. 1999. An evolutionary classification of reptiles on islands in the Gulf of California, México. Herpetologica 55 (4): 446-469 - get paper here
  • Jones, L.L. & Lovich, R.E. 2009. Lizards of the American Southwest. A photographic field guide. Rio Nuevo Publishers, Tucson, AZ, 568 pp. [review in Reptilia 86: 84] - get paper here
  • Murphy, R. W. 1974. A new genus and species of eublepharine gecko (Sauria: Gekkonidae) from Baja California, Mexico. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. 40:87-92 - get paper here
  • Pianka, E.R. & Vitt, L.J. 2003. Lizards - Windows to the Evolution of Diversity. University of California Press, Berkeley, 347 pp. [review in Copeia 2004: 955] - get paper here
  • Rösler, H. 2000. Kommentierte Liste der rezent, subrezent und fossil bekannten Geckotaxa (Reptilia: Gekkonomorpha). Gekkota 2: 28-153
  • Seufer, H.; Y. Kaverkin & A. Kirschner (eds.) 2005. Die Lidgeckos. Kirschner und Seufer Verlag, 238 pp.
  • Stebbins,R.C. 1985. A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians, 2nd ed. Houghton Mifflin, Boston
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