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Hemidactylus laevis BOULENGER, 1901

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Common Leaf-toed Gecko 
SynonymHemidactylus laevis BOULENGER 1901: 48
Hemidactylus laevis — WERMUTH 1965: 77
Hemidactylus laevis — KLUGE 1993
Hemidactylus laevis — RÖSLER 2000: 86
Hemidactylus laevis — RÖSLER 2015 
DistributionN Somalia (Goolis Mountains, Surud Mountains)

Type locality: Gan Lebar (= Libah?), Golis Mountains, British Somaliland.  
TypesType: BMNH 1946.8.25.42 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Hemidactylus laevis may be distinguished from all other species of the region by the following combination of features: (1) dorsum, nape and posterior part of head covered with small granules, intermixed with enlarged flat smooth tubercles; (2) swollen tail; (3) tail strongly verticillate, covered by small granular scales without enlarged tubercles. More specifically, below follows a list of characters by which H. laevis can be distinguished from other species from the Horn of Africa. Hemidactylus laticaudatus is larger (SVL up to 62 mm), has more depressed habitus, enlarged tubercles on posterodorsal side of thighs, large tubercles on tail, and more pointed head with more sunken eyes. Hemidactylus albopunctatus, H. curlei, H. flaviviridis, H. funaiolii, H. isolepis, H. klauberi, H. megalops, H. modestus, H. ophiolepis and H. ophiolepoides have homogenous dorsal scales and weakly developed subdigital lamellae. Hemidactylus barbouri, H. squamulatus and H. tropidolepis have heterogeneous dorsal scales without tubercles, some or all scales are keeled. Hemidactylus angulatus, H. arnoldi, H. awashensis, H. barbierii, H. bavazzanoi, H. citernii, H. granchii, H. macropholis, H. ruspolii, H. sinaitus, H. taylori and H. yerburii pauciporosus have large, strongly keeled dorsal tubercles. Hemidactylus somalicus and H. puccionii have tail without basal constriction, subdigital lamellae very small proximally, scarcely larger than the granules on the sole, and first supralabial excluded from nostril. Hemidactylus barodanus and H. jubensis are larger (SVL up to 70–78 mm), have enlarged tubercles on dorsum, posterodorsal side of thighs and on tail. Hemidactylus robustus has enlarged tubercles on the posterodorsal side of thighs and on tail, dorsum with 13–18 longitudinal rows of round, weakly keeled and posteriorly pointed tubercles, higher number of subdigital lamellae, and different coloration. Hemidactylus mabouia, H. mercatorius, H. mrimaensis, H. platycephalus and H. smithi have conical tail without basal constriction and with enlarged keeled tubercles. Hemidactylus frenatus and H. fragilis have conical tail without basal constriction and with enlarged keeled tubercles (Fig. 5E), enlarged, smooth, and flat tubercles usually only on posterior part of body, or at least not extending onto nape (H. frenatus); H. frenatus is usually longitudinally striped or patternless, never transversely banded (Mazuch et al. 2016). 
CommentAbundance: very rare; the species was described based on a single female

Similar species: Records of H. laevis from southern Ethiopia (Dolo) and Somalia (‘Rahanuin country’) Boulenger (1912) were found to be misidentified H. fragilis Calabresi (Parker 1942). 
  • Boulenger, G. A. 1901. A list of the batrachians and reptiles obtained by Dr. Donaldson Smith in Somaliland in 1899. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1901 (I): 47—49 - get paper here
  • Gans, C.; LAURENT, R.F. & PANDIT, H. 1965. Notes on a herpetological collection from the Somali Republic. Ann. Mus. Roy. Afr. Centr., Sér. 8vo, Tervuren, (80) Zool., (134): 1-93
  • Lanza, B. 1990. Amphibians and reptiles of the Somali Democratic Republic: check list and biogeography. Biogeographia, 14: 407-465 [1988] - get paper here
  • MAZUCH, TOMÁŠ; JIŘÍ ŠMÍD & AARON M. BAUER 2016. Rediscovery and a new record of Hemidactylus laevis (Reptilia: Gekkonidae) from Somaliland, with notes on and resurrection of Hemidactylus fragilis. Zootaxa 4117 (4): 529–542 - get paper here
  • Parker, H. W. 1942. The lizards of British Somaliland. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 91: 1—101 - get paper here
  • Rösler, H. 2000. Kommentierte Liste der rezent, subrezent und fossil bekannten Geckotaxa (Reptilia: Gekkonomorpha). Gekkota 2: 28-153
  • Rösler, Herbert 2015. Bemerkungen über einige Geckos der Zoologischen Staatssammlung München. Gekkota, Suppl. (2): 3-54
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