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Gehyra vorax GIRARD, 1858

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Voracious four-clawed gecko, voracious Dtella 
SynonymGehyra vorax GIRARD 1858
Gehyra vorax — BOULENGER 1885: 119
Gehyra vorax — BOULENGER 1885: 153
Gehyra oceanica — DE ROOIJ 1915 (partim)
Gehyra vorax — DE ROOIJ 1915: 45
Gehyra vorax — KLUGE 1993
Gehyra vorax — RÖSLER 2000: 80 
DistributionIndonesia (Irian Jaya),
Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia,
Fiji (on the large western islands), Tonga, Society Islands,
Oceania

Type locality: Fiji Islands.  
Reproductionoviparous 
TypesLectotype: USNM 5699/1, adult male (designated by FLECKS et al. 2012). Paralectotypes: USNM 5699/2 and ANSP 7455, adult females (former syntypes of G. vorax). 
DiagnosisDescription: Size: Maximum adult body length 156 mm (typically somewhat smaller on the Loyalties), tail generally reproduced in adults and approximately 50-60% ofbody length in this condition.
Scalation: Body with small, homogenous sized scales. Digital pads broadly expanded distally with the distal portion arising from within the pad (Figs. 13,25). Lamellae beneath expanded portion fine and undivided, 17-20 on digit IV of the hindfoot (this is low for the species as a whole). Digit l ofhand and foot without claws. Preanal pores in males approximately 50-55 (26-90 in the species across its entire range). Tail rounded and covered with more-or-Iess uniform sized scales that are larger than the body scales.
Color: Olive or grayish-brown with brown or blackish transverse bands or marks on the body and tail, usually with whitish or pale green patches on the nape and smaller whitish marks on the body dorsum. The ventral surface is cream with a reddish suffusion in the cloacal region and hindlimb bases, especially in males.
Variation: Females smaller than males. Loyalty Island Gehyra vorax are most similar to those from Vanuatu, and, in comparison with Fijian and New Guinean G. vorax, they have a smaller number of lamellae beneath the fourth toe, a lower number of preanal pores and a smaller SVL. The color pattern is variable between individuals and may be strongly mottled or more unicolored.
Comparison with other species: G. vorax is readily distinguished from the other species of Gehyra in the Southwest Pacific (G. oceanica and G. mutilata) by its greater size (> 125 mm versus <88 and <57 mm respectively), and rounded tail (dorsoventrally flattened in G. mutilata) with more or less uniform sized scales (transversely enlarged subcaudal plates in G. oceanica). lt is very similar to the New Guinean species G. membranicruralis and to G. marginata from the Mollucas. Within the New Caledonian region, G. vorax bears some superficial resemblance to some species of Rhacodactylus, particularly R. chahoua and R. leachianus, but is easily distinguished by digital morphology. (from Bauer & Sadlier 2000: 118). 
CommentDistribution: Records from Norfolk Island are in error. Not on New Caledonia according to BAUER & VINDUM (1990) but on NC fide Bauer & Sadlier 2000. FLECKS et al. (2012) separated the Vanuatu populations as G. georgpotthasti; hence G. vorax does not occur on Vanuatu and the Loyalty Islands. In fact, FLECKS et al. restrict G. vorax to the populations on Fiji and Tonga.

Synonymy: Has been synonymized with G. oceanica by WERMUTH (1965: 35). Burt & Burt (1932) synonymised G. vorax with G. oceanica based on the presumably shared presence of dermal folds on the forelimb, which previously was considered as a major diagnostic feature of G. vorax (Boulenger 1885; de rooij 1915). Still, most subsequent authors tentatively treated G. vorax as a separate taxon, mainly due to its much larger size compared to G. oceanica (e.g., Mertens 1974, Bauer & Sadlier 2000) and the fact that both forms often occur in sympatry (Zweifel 1980; Gibbons & Clunie 1984). Beckon (1992) showed that G. vorax is clearly distinct from G. oceanica by several morphologic characters and molecular phylogenetics suggest a closer relationship of G. oceanica with species from Southeast Asia, new Guinea and Micronesia (Sistrom et al. 2009; Oliver et al. 2010; Heinicke et al. 2011, Flecks et al. 2012).

Description: de Rooij 1915: 45.

Morphology: Three different morphotypes of G. vorax have been defined: a Fiji- morphotype, a Vanuatu-morphotype and a new Guinea-morphotype (Beckon 1992). The latter contains both G. marginata and G. membranacruralis, leading Beckon to synonymise these two species with G. vorax. Giant Gehyra from Vanuatu and the Loyalty Islands have been assigned to G. vorax (e.g., Boulenger 1885; Roux 1913; Sadlier & Bauer 1997) or more precisely, to the Vanuatu-morphotype (Beckon 1992). Flecks et al. (2012) provide morphological and genetic evidence that this Vanuatu-morphotype of G. vorax is a distinct species and discuss human translocation of this new species to Polynesia. 
References
  • Bauer, A. M. & SADLIER, R. A. 2000. The herpetofauna of New Caledonia. Contributions to Herpetology, 17; Society for Study Amphibians and Reptiles, Ithaca, New York.
  • Bauer, A.M. 1999. The terrestrial reptiles of New Caledonia: The origin and evolution of a highly endemic herpetofauna. In: Ota,H. (ed) Tropical Island herpetofauna..., Elsevier, pp. 3-25 - get paper here
  • Bauer, Aaron M.;Vindum, Jens V. 1990. A checklist and key to the herpetofauna of New Caledonia, with remarks on biogeography. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. 47 (2): 17-45 - get paper here
  • Beckon, W.N. 1992. The giant Pacific geckos of the genus Gehyra: morphological variation, distribution, and biogeography. Copeia 1992 (2): 443-460 - get paper here
  • Bonetti, Mathilde 2002. 100 Sauri. Mondadori (Milano), 192 pp. - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G. A. 1883. On the geckos of New Caledonia. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1883: 116—130. - get paper here
  • 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
  • de Rooij, N. de 1915. The Reptiles of the Indo-Australian Archipelago. I. Lacertilia, Chelonia, Emydosauria. Leiden (E. J. Brill), xiv + 384 pp. - get paper here
  • Girard, C. 1858. Descriptions of some new Reptiles, collected by the US. Exploring Expedition under the command of Capt. Charles Wilkes, U.S.N. Fourth Part. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci Philadelphia 1857: 195-199 - get paper here
  • Ineich, I. 2011. Amphibians and reptiles. In: Bouchet P., Le Guyader H. & PascaL O. (eds), The Natural History of Santo. pp. 187-236. MNhN, Paris; Ird, Marseille; PNI, Paris. 572 pp. (Patrimoines naturels; 70). - get paper here
  • Mertens, R. 1974. Ein Fidji-Gecko (Gehyra vorax) als Bananenfresser. Salamandra 10 (3-4): 134-135 - get paper here
  • Morrison, C. 2003. A Field Guide to the Herpetofauna of Fiji. Suva, Fiji: Institute of Applied Sciences, University of the South Pacific, 121 pp.
  • Rösler, H. 2000. Kommentierte Liste der rezent, subrezent und fossil bekannten Geckotaxa (Reptilia: Gekkonomorpha). Gekkota 2: 28-153
  • Rösler, H., Glaw, F.& R. Günther 2005. Aktualisierte Liste der Geckos von Neuguinea (Sauria: Geckonidae: Gekkoninae) mit vorläufiger Charakterisierung von neun Formen aus den Gattungen Cyrtodactylus Gray, 1827, Gehyra Gray, 1834 und Nactus Kluge, 1983. Gekkota 5: 33-64 - get paper here
  • Rösler, Herbert & Fritz Jürgen Obst 2007. On two examples of Gehyra vorax Girard, 1857 with their locality on the Society Islands (Reptilia, Sauria, Gekkonidae). Mitteilungen aus dem Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin 83 (S1): 101-104 - get paper here
  • Sadlier R A. Bauer A M. 1997. The terrestrial herpetofauna of the Loyalty Islands. Pacific Science 51 (1): 76-90.
  • Zug, G.R. 1985. Pacific Island Lizards: Status of Type Specimens from the US Exploring Expedition 1838-1842 Copeia 1985 (1): 150-154. - get paper here
  • Zug,G. R. 1991. The lizards of Fiji: Natural history and systematics. Bishop Mus. Bull. Zool. 2: 1-136
 
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