Hemidactylus foudaii BAHA EL DIN, 2003
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Hemidactylus foudaii?
|Higher Taxa||Gekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)|
|Synonym||Hemidactylus foudaii BAHA EL DIN 2003: 39|
Hemidactylus foudaii — CARRANZA & ARNOLD 2006
Hemidactylus foudaii — RÖSLER 2015
|Distribution||SE Egypt, NE Sudan (Jumhūriyyat) (near the Egypt-Sudan border), Eritrea|
Type locality: Wadi Aideib, Gebel Elba, Egyp.
|Types||Holotype: FMNH 259977|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis. A rather small slender gecko. Maximum recorded SVL 44 mm. Displays the main characters of the genus Hemidactylus as defined by Loveridge (1947): Digits clawed, with dilated pads basally; lamellae on ventral side of pads divided longitudinally; distal phalanges free, rising angularly from within dilated basal portion. Pupil vertical; upper palpebral fold distinct, lower vestigial. Males with preanal pores.|
The combination of small granular dorsal scales intermixed with large, strongly keeled, tubercles and a slender, cylindrical tail (not constricted basally) distinguish the new species from north-east African and Arabian Hemidactylus with uniform or imbricate dorsal scales (15 species); with small feebly keeled dorsal tubercles (11 species); or with root shaped basally constricted tails (3 species).
Generally, H. foudaii can be distinguished from the more similar north-east African and Arabian Hemidactylus species (14 species), which share with it the possession of strongly keeled dorsal tubercles and a slender, cylindrical tail by the following combination of characters: very short terminal (free) phalanges, moderately dilated digital pads, coarse dorsal scalation and a distinct dorsal pattern of numerous narrow transverse bands. Table 1. summarizes some of the morphometric characters of similar Hemidactylus species from north-east Africa and Arabia.
Specifically, these species also differ as follows: H. arnoldi lacks contact of upper nasals, has larger number of labials and subdigital lamellae, is larger in size and has a distinctive dorsal pattern of four broad dark bands; H. bavazzanoi has a striking dorsal pattern of three well defined blackish bands on a bright pink background; H. barodanus lacks contact of upper nasals, is larger in size and has a dorsal pattern of four broad dark bands; H. brookii lacks contact of upper nasals, has larger number of preanal/femoral pores, relatively small dorsal tubercles, and reaches larger size; H. granchii lacks contact of upper nasals, first upper labial excluded from nostrill, has smaller number of preanal pores and reaches larger size; H. granti Boulenger 1899 (endemic to Sokotra Archipelago) has a larger number of preanal pores, relatively small dorsal tubercles, reaches larger size and has a dorsal pattern of four indistinct broad dark bands; H. klauberi Scortecci 1948 has incompletely divided subdigital lamella, and tri-carinate dorsal tubercles; H. macropholis lacks contact of upper nasals, is larger in size and has a dorsal pattern of four indistinct broad dark bands and spots; H. oxyrhinus Boulenger 1899 (endemic to Sokotra Archipelago) has the back covered with large juxtaposed tubercles; H. robustus mostly lacks contact of upper nasals, has relatively small dorsal tubercles, an almost smooth tail (without tubercles), a dorsal pattern of indistinct spots, and numerous ill defined tail bands; H. turcicus lacks contact of upper nasals, has on average fewer preanal pores, a dorsal pattern of four indistinct broad dark bands and spots, and reaches larger size; H. sinaitus has a small number of subdigital lamella, relatively small dorsal tubercles, subcaudal scales are uniform, cycloid (not laterally expanded), and dorsal pattern is indistinct.
Both African and Yemeni populations of yerburii (referred to y. pauciporosus and the nominate taxon respectively) differ from H. foudaii in largely lacking contact of upper nasals, have long terminal (free) phalanges that extend well beyond a notably dilated basal portion of the digits, have a dorsal pattern of four indistinct broad dark bands (often reduced to a series of large spots in adults), and reach a much larger size. Additionally, the Yemeni populations have a large number of preanal pores. Some of the variable Hemidactylus populations from Oman, tentatively referred to the yerburii complex by Arnold (1980), share with H. foudaii its slender aspect and smaller number of preanal pores, but differ from it in the same characters as the Yemeni and African populations of yerburii.
Hemidactylus citernii from Somalia shares the character of short terminal phalanges with H. foudaii, from which it differs in lacking upper nasal contact, having smaller number of subdigital lamella and preanal pores, smaller dorsal tubercles and a dorsal pattern of four indistinct broad bands of large dark spots.
|Comment||Distribution: See map in Smid et al. 2019: 32 (Fig. 3).|
|Etymology||The species is named after a colleague and friend of the author, Dr. Moustafa Mokhtar Fouda, Director of the Nature Conservation Sector, Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency, in acknowledgement of the efforts and sacrifices he has made and continues to make to conserve Egypt's biodiversity and natural heritage.|