Gonatodes infernalis RIVAS & SCHARGEL, 2008
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Gonatodes infernalis?
|Higher Taxa||Sphaerodactylidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)|
|Synonym||Gonatodes infernalis RIVAS & SCHARGEL 2008|
Type locality: Sector El Infierno, on road Puerto Ayacucho-Gavilán, approximately 100 m elevation. Estado Amazonas, Venezuela.
|Types||Holotype: MHNLS 18440 (field number CJF4703), an adult female, collected on 15 March 2007 by Gilson Rivas and Tito Barros.|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis: The new species can be distinguished from all congeners by a combination of very large size, supraciliary spine absent, females with immaculate brown dorsal coloration, and a subcaudal scalation pattern (only in the unregenerated tail) of a single medial row of wide scales which laterally contact either two or three adjacent caudal scales in a 1:1 alternating fashion (See Fig. 2). Gonatodes infernalis is, to our knowledge, the largest species of sphaerodactyl gecko, with adult females reaching nearly 65 mm in SVL, which readily separates this species from the much smaller G. albogularis, G. antillensis, G. atricucullaris, G. daudini, caudiscutatus, G. eladioi, G. humeralis, G. petersi, G. tapajonicus and G. vittatus, none of which exceed 45 mm in SVL (data from: Avila-Pires 1995; Rivero-Blanco 1979). The new species is also unique in the genus in having females with a coloration devoid of any well defined markings, a character state that separates it from all other species of comparable size (and also from the smaller species), namely G. alexandermendesi, G. annularis, G. ceciliae, G. concinnatus, G. falconensis, G. hasemani, G. ocellatus, G. purpurogularis, G. seigliei and G. taniae, all of which have females with well defined and conspicous dark markings on the head and the body. Among Amazonian/Guianan species, G. infernalis further differs from G. alexandemendesi and G. hasemani in lacking an elongated supraciliary spine. Finally, G. infernalis differs from all other species of Gonatodes, except G. eladioi (a much smaller species) in the subcaudal pattern of the unregenrated tail (described above). All other species of Gonatodes have subcaudal pattern (for a description of the different character states and taxonomic distribution see Rivero-Blanco 1979) in which one of the following states occur: a) the medial scales that contact three scales laterally occur every two medial scales that are in contact with two scales laterally, b) with a divided medial scale every two single medial scales, c) proximally with a pattern as described in G. infernalis, but switching to the pattern described in “b” distally, or c) with medial scales not differentiated from adjacent lateral scales.|
|Comment||Behavior: mainly diurnal|
Abundance: only known from its original description (Meiri et al. 2017).
|Etymology||The name infernalis is a Latin adjective (masculine & feminine) meaning infernal or hellish. The name was given in reference to sector “El Infierno” (The Hell), the locality where the type series was collected, an area that had been burned recently.|
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