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Euleptes europaea (GENÉ, 1839)

IUCN Red List - Euleptes europaea - Near Threatened, NT

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Higher TaxaSphaerodactylidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: English common name not available
G: Europäischer Blattfingergecko
I: Tarantolino 
SynonymPtyodactylus caudivolvolus GRAVENHORST 1832: 24 (nom. nud.)
Phyllodactylus europaeus GENÉ 1839: 263
Phyllodactylus (Euleptes) wagleri FITZINGER 1843 (nom. subst.)
Phyllodactylus doriae LATASTE 1877: 469 (fide MERTENS & WERMUTH 1960)
Phyllodactylus europaeus — BOULENGER 1885: 90
Phyllodactylus europaeus — MERTENS & MÜLLER 1940
Phyllodactylus europaeus — WERMUTH 1965: 135
Phyllodactylus europaeus — RIEPPEL & SCHNEIDER 1981
Phyllodactylus europaea — KLUGE 1993
Phyllodactylus europaeus — ENGELMANN et al 1993
Phyllodactylus europaea — SCHLEICH, KÄSTLE & KABISCH 1996: 239
Euleptes europaeus — BAUER et al. 1997
Euleptes europaea — RÖSLER 2000: 78
Euleptes europaeus — AKERET 2005
Euleptes europaea — SINDACO & JEREMČENKO 2008
Euleptes europaea — SPEYBROECK et al. 2020 
DistributionItaly (Sardinia and other islands, Liguria, Tuscany), S France (incl. Corsica, Pendus, Iles d´Hyere, other islands), Tyrrhenis Islands,
Tunisia (Galite = Galita archipelago), Galitone, Aguglia, Cani,

Type locality: Sardinia.  
TypesType: BMNH 1920.1.20.88 (and possibly additional specimens). 
DiagnosisDescription: Loveridge 1947: 241.

DIAGNOSIS (genus): Euleptes may be distinguished from all other gekkonids by the following combination of characteristics: digits bearing a single pair of enlarged ("leaf-toed"') terminal scansors; dorsal scalation atuberculate; granules on snout not larger than those on dorsum of body; no rostral crease or division; first supralabial enters nostril; no enlarged chinshields; a single large cloacal spur on each side of vent, especially well-developed in males; preanal pores absent; subcaudal scales not transversely enlarged, tail prehensile, but without well-developed terminal scansorial pad; margins of pupils crennelate in preserved specimens; no sexual dichromatism; nasal bones paired; parietals paired; premaxilla with relatively short, triangular nasal projection; frontal moderately broad, strongly constricted over orbits, without maxillary contact; approximately 25 maxillary tooth positions (unilateral) in adults; postfrontal bones with subequal anterior and posterior projections, or with thicker anterior projection, without pronounced lateral spine; stapes perforate; coronoid bone weakly developed, barely raised above the level of dentary tooth row; second ceratobranchial arch of hyoid present, inner proximal ceratohyal process lacking, medial projection of hyoid cornu much reduced; neural arches of atlas fused, at least in adults; 26 presacral vertebrae, 2 lumbar vertebrae; 3 cervical ribs, 2 sternal ribs, 2 mesosternal ribs; 0-1 pair of clavicular fenestrae, clavicles not strongly dilated; interclavicle dagger-shaped, with small transverse processes; union of scapula and precoracoid ray of epicoracoid cartilaginous; phalangeal formulae unreduced (2-3-4-5-3 manus, 2-3-4-5-4 pes); cloacal sacs and bones present, a second, irregular (second) set of cloacal bones is associated with the cloacal spur in males; clutch size two (Fretey 1975; Rieppel and Schneider 1981), or less frequently one (Wiedersheim 1876; Klingelhöffer 1957). Euleptes may be distinguished from all other leaf-toed geckos except Asaccus and New World and southeast Asian Phyllodactylus by its perforate stapes. It may be differentiated from all of these by the absence of tubercular scales and the fusion of the atlantal arches. The presence of a second pair of cloacal ossifications, first noted by Wiedersheim (1876), is a derived condition apparing elsewhere among leaf-toed geckos only in P. peringueyi (Branch and Bauer 1994), in which it is variable, and in some Paroedura (contra Nussbaum and Raxworthy 1994). The prehensile tail of Euleptes has long been recognized (Fitzinger 1843; Wiedersheim 1876) and its superficial morphology has been investigated in some detail (van Eijsden 1983). Urocotvledon also has a prehensile tail, but Kluge (1983) considered the presence of a well-demarcated scan~ sorial pad as synapomorphic for that genus only, 
CommentSynonymy: fide Wermuth 1965 and Rösler et al. 2018.

Distribution: Extinct from Galitone and Cani islets (Tunisia) [M. Delaugerre, pers. comm., 6 Aug 2013].

Behavior: Nocturnal.

Type species: Phyllodactylus (Euleptes) wagleri FITZINGER 1843 is the type species of the genus Euleptes FITZINGER 1843: 9. The genus Euleptes has been resurrected by Bauer et al. 1997. 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality.

The genus was named after the Greek eu- (true or very) and leptos (small, thin, or delicate), apparently in reference to the overall shape and size of the type species, although this was not made explicit by Fitzinger (1843). The generic name is feminine. 
  • Akeret, B. 2005. Beobachtungen an Euleptes (Phyllodactylus) europaeus (GENÉ 1838) in Sardinien. Elaphe 13 (3): 57-59
  • Akeret, B. 2013. Energiewende im Terarrium. Ideen und Vorschläge, wie man Stromverbrauch und Energiekosten bei der Haltung von Terrarientieren senken kann. Reptilia (Münster) 18 (99): 18-31 - get paper here
  • Bassu, L.; V. Nulchis, M. G. Satta, C. Fresi & C. Corti 2008. Atlas of amphibians and reptiles of Sardinia - state of the art and general considerations. Herpetologia Sardiniae (Claudia Corti, ed.), Edizioni Belvedere, 504 pp.
  • Bauer A M. Good D A. Branch W R. 1997. The taxonomy of the Southern African leaf-toed geckos (Squamata: Gekkonidae), with a review of Old World "Phyllodactylus" and the description of five new genera. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. 49 (14): 447-497. - get paper here
  • Berg, P. & Berg, R. 2010. Herpetologische Eindrücke von der Mittelmeerinsel Ile du Levant, Südfrankreich. Elaphe 18 (4): 54-61
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  • Boulenger, George A. 1891. Catalogue of the reptiles and batrachians of Barbary (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia), based chiefly upon the notes and collections made in 1880-1884 by M. Fernand Lataste. Tr. Zool. Soc. 13: 93-164
  • Corti, C., Biaggini, M., Nulchis, V., Cogoni, R., Cossu, I. M., Frau, S., ... & Bassu, L. 2022. Species diversity and distribution of amphibians and reptiles in Sardinia, Italy. Acta Herpetologica, 17(2), 125-133
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  • Delaugerre, M. J., & Corti, C. 2020. Tiny but “strong”: the European Leaf-toed gecko, Euleptes europaea, a terrestrial vertebrate able to survive on tiny islets. Israel J Ecol Evol 66 (3-4): 223-230 - get paper here
  • Delaugerre, M., & Cheylan, M. 1992. Atlas de répartition des batraciens et reptiles de Corse. Ajaccio Parc naturel régional de Corse: Ecole pratique des hautes études, 128 pp. - get paper here
  • Delaugerre, M., Ouni, R., & Nouira, S. 2011. Is the European Leaf-toed gecko Euleptes europaea also an African? Its occurrence on the Western Mediterranean landbrige islets and its extinction rate. Herpetology Notes 4: 127–137 - get paper here
  • Delaugerre,M. & Dubois,A. 1985. La variation géographique et la variabilité intrapopulationelle chez Phyllodactylus europaeus (Reptilia, Sauria, Gekkonidae). Bull. Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat., Paris 4e ser., sect. A (3): 709-736
  • Dieckmann, Martin 2018. Inselromantik, Feuchtgebiete und Ebenen – die südfranzösische Mittelmeerküste. Terraria-Elaphe 2018 (2): 30-35 - get paper here
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  • Kwet, A. 2010. Reptilien und Amphibien Europas. Kosmos-Verlag, Stuttgart, 252 pp.
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  • Lataste, F. 1877. Sur le Phyllodactylus europaeus, Géné, trouvé en France et sur le Ph. Doriae, n. sp., de L’île de Tinetto. Bulletin de la Société Zoologique de France, 2:467-469 - get paper here
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