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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 speci- mens 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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