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Hemidactylus pieresii KELAART, 1852

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common Names 
SynonymHemidactylus pieresii KELAART 1852: 159
Hemidactylus Pieresii — KELAART 1854: 138
Hemidactylus pieresii — BATUWITA & PETHIYAGODA 2012 
DistributionSri Lanka

Type locality: Kandy (Sri Lanka)  
TypesNeotype: NMSL (= WHT) 7573 (Gannoruwa proposed forest reserve, Peradeniya, 07°17’N, 80°53’E, 700 m elevation) 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Hemidactylus pieresii differs from its peninsular-Indian and Sri Lankan congeners by the combina- tion of the following characters. Maximum SVL 79.2 mm; paired postmentals, anterior pair broadly in contact with each other; 53–58 tubercles in paravertebral row; 17–19 longitudinal rows of middorsal tubercles; ventral scales across midbody, 32–39; dorsal scales heterogeneous; ventral scales smooth, with 3 serrae; precloacal-femoral pores 17–20 on each side, separated mesially by 1–3 poreless scales; subcaudals smooth, the median row enlarged; supralabials to angle of jaws, 11 or 12; subdigital lamellae on digit IV of pes 10 or 11; postcloacal spurs, 1–3; col- oration in life chocolate-brown, nape with distinct black longitudinal stripes, back with indistinct irregular black bands; venter dusky white, a yellow lateral band from snout to back of head.
Hemidactylus pieresii resembles H. depressus, but differs from the latter species by the combination of follow- ing characters: presence of greater number of paravertebral tubercles (53–58, vs. 35–41); a greater number of longitudinal rows of middorsal tubercles (17–19, vs. 13–16); possessing relatively small and closely spaced middorsal tubercles (vs. large and widely spaced); postcloacal spurs 1–3 (vs. absent); coloration in life chocolate-brown (vs. light brown); and nape with distinct black longitudinal stripes (vs. without stripes). [BATUWITA & PETHIYAGODA 2012]. 
CommentSynonymy: Hemidactylus pieresii was synonymized with H. depressus by SMITH 1935 but removed from the synonymy by BATUWITA & PETHIYAGODA 2012. 
EtymologyThe specific name is apparently a patronym for the “friend, to whom we are indebted for several Zoological specimens, and to whom was awarded one of the prizes of the Royal Industrial Exhibition, for specimens of natural productions of Ceylon” (Kelaart, 1853: 159), a Mr Pieres, Latinized in the genitive singular. The specific name was incorrectly spelled ‘piersii’ by Smith (1935: 91), Deraniyagala (1953: 48) and Pethiyagoda & Manamendra-Arachchi (1997: 232). Although not in use in Sri Lanka today, the surname spelling ‘Pieres’ was in use in Sri Lanka in Kelaart’s time (Attendorf, 1959). 
  • Batuwita, Sudesh; & Rohan Pethiyagoda 2012. Rediscovery of the Sri Lankan ‘house gecko’ Hemidactylus pieresii Kelaart (Reptilia: Gekkonidae) with a redescription of Hemidactylus depressus Gray. Zootaxa 3359: 17–30 - get paper here
  • Kelaart, E.E 1852. Prodromus Faunae Zeylanicae. Vol. 1. Part 3: Ceylon Reptiles. Colombo, pp. 143-187. - get paper here
  • Kelaart, EDWARD FRED 1854. Catalogue of reptiles collected in Ceylon. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (2) 13: 137-140 - get paper here
  • Smith, M.A. 1935. The fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Reptiles and Amphibia, Vol. II. Sauria. Taylor and Francis, London, 440 pp.
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