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Hemiphyllodactylus ganoklonis ZUG, 2010

IUCN Red List - Hemiphyllodactylus ganoklonis - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Palauan slender gecko 
SynonymHemiphyllodactylus ganoklonis ZUG 2010: 40 
DistributionPalau Islands

Type locality: Palau Islands, extreme northern tip of Ulebsechel Island, 50 m south of channel between Ngermalk and Ulebsechel.  
Reproductionoviparous (not imputed, fide Zimin et al. 2022) 
TypesHolotype: USNM 563682, adult male, collected by Ronald I. Crombie, 2 August 1998. Paratypes: SAM, USNM 
DiagnosisDescription. A bisexual taxon of geckos (Gekkoninae) with elongate, slender habitus, slightly compressed, elongated appearance accentuated by short limbs and small head (see Figures 3, 11, 17, 18), tail round in cross section and usually shorter than SVL. Adults dimorphic, females larger than males: 31.1–34.2 mm (mean ± SD, 32.8 ± 1.01; n = 11 females), 28.3–31.6 mm (30.3 mm ± 1.11, n = 12 males) SVL; TailL ~2/3–3/4 of SVL; 16.8– 18.9 mm (17.8 mm ± 0.76), 14.4–17.4 mm (16.0 mm ± 0.95) TrunkL; 6.6–7.5 mm (7.1 mm ± 0.26), 6.3–7.0 mm (6.7 mm ± 0.24) HeadL; 3.8–4.4 mm (4.2 mm ± 0.17), 3.5–4.1 mm (3.8 mm ± 0.20) HeadW; 2.6–3.1 mm (2.8 mm ± 0.16), 2.4–3.0 mm (2.6 mm ± 0.18) SnEye; 2.1–2.3 mm (2.2 mm ± 0.09), 1.8–2.3 mm (2.1 mm ± 0.17) NarEye; 1.7–1.9 mm (1.8 mm ± 0.09), 1.5–1.9 mm (1.7 mm ± 0.15) EyeD; 1.0–1.3 mm (1.1 mm ± 0.11), 1.0–1.1 mm (1.0 mm ± 0.05) SnW. Adult proportions not dimorphic, 49–57% TrunkL/SVL (mean % ± SD, 53.5% ± 2.3), 20–23% HeadL/ SVL (21.8% ± 0.6), 12–15% HeadW/SVL (12.6% ± 0.7), 53–65% HeadW/HeadL (58.0% ± 3.2), 36–45% SnEye/ HeadL (39.2% ± 2.0), 28–34% NarEye/HeadL (31.0% ± 1.4), 23–28% EyeD/HeadL (25.5% ± 1.5), 13–19% SnW/ HeadL (15.6% ± 1.2), 73–95% EyeD/NarEye (82.4% ± 5.6), 23–32% SnW/HeadW (27.0% ± 2.0%).

Scalation is predominantly granular from head onto tail, both dorsally and ventrally; ventral trunk scales slightly larger than dorsal ones, 11–18 Dorsal (median ± SD, 15 ± 1.4) and 9–12 Ventral (10 ± 1.0); similarly, subcaudal scales slightly larger than dorsal caudal scales but not plate-like. Cloacal spurs present, modest sized, 1–4 CloacS (2 ± 1.0). Larger scales on lips and snout, rostral largest, rectangular to pentagonal, often slightly concave on dorsomedial edge with slight cleft; 2–4 CircNa (3 ± 0.6), 3–5 SnS (4 ± 0.7); labial scales enlarged from rostral to below eye, becoming progressively smaller in subocular rictus, 8–11 Suplab (8 ± 0.8), 8–10 Inflab (9 ± 0.6); 9–12 Chin (11 ± 0.9), those behind mental slightly or not enlarged; ear opening distinct with no bordering enlarged scales. Each digit with expanded pad, terminal two phalanges free, arising from within pad on second to fifth digits of foreand hindfoot and each clawed; pads of these digits each with large triangular apical lamella bordered proximally by lyre-shaped lamellae (scansors); modal digital formulae 3-4-4-3 (forefoot) and 3-4-4-4 (hindfoot) for scansors; first digit of foreand hindfeet compressed, usually 4 rectangular lamellae (3-5 fore, 3-5 hind) ventrally, terminal phalanx not free with or without minute claw. Adult females lack precloacal pore series, males always with precloacal pores (median ± SD, 8 ± 0.9; range, 6–9) always separated from femoral pore series, 16–28 TotPore (22.5 ± 4.01). (Zug 2010)

Coloration in life, light dusky tan to reddish beige ground color dorsally and laterally from head to hips, narrow dark brown ocular stripe on posterior edge of loreal area and continuing behind eye either slightly or to edge of temporal region (jowl), a narrow dark lateral stripe on neck broken and reduced to complete stripe, no dark lateral stripe but in some individuals widely spaced series of dark spots or lines; dorsally on head some dark brown bilateral spotting, continuing onto trunk as parasagittal row of small dark marks; dorsolateral series of yellow spots on each side from jowl to anterior arm of postsacral mark; bright postsacral mark with middorsal dark brown spot bordered behind and laterally by light orange to pinkish yellow V, arms of which extending to posterior edge of abdomen. Tail distinctly lighter (yellowish) than trunk, widely spaced narrow orangish rings and middorsal diffuse dark spots in brown interspaces. Venter similar to dorsal ground color, a shade lighter; underside of tail light to bold yellow. (Zug 2010)

Coloration in alcohol, pattern same as above, generally ground color darker from light to medium brown; dark stripes and other markings remain distinct, lighter marks lose color becoming white to light tan, including the orange border of postsacral mark; venter strikingly lighter than dorsum, retaining a dusky appearance owing to one or two small brown spots in most ventral scales. (Zug 2010)

Major diagnostic features: bisexual taxon; pigmented caecum and gonadal ducts; in adult males femoral pore series separate from precloacal pore series, absent in females; chin scales bordering mental and first infralabial not greatly enlarged; digital lamellae formulae usually 3-4-4-3 (forefoot) and 3-4-4-4 (hindfoot); average adult SVL ~31–32 mm; mute coloration of light brown background with small scattering of dark brown spots, contrasting with a bright postsacral marking with small dark brown center with light orange V-shaped border and series of widely spaced dorsolateral orange spots. (Zug 2010)

Description of holotype: An adult male (Figure 18), 31.2 mm SVL, 23 mm TailL (regenerated), 16.9 mm TrunkL, 7.0 mm HeadL, 4.0 mm HeadW, 2.8 mm SnEye, 1.9 mm NarEye, 1.7 mm EyeD, and 1.2 mm SnW. Proportions: 53% TrunkL/SVL, 22% HeadL/SVL, 12% HeadW/ SVL, 57% HeadW/HeadL, 38% SnEye/HeadL, 30% NarEye/HeadL, 25% EyeD/HeadL, 16% SnW/HeadL, 84% EyeD/NarEye, 28% SnW/HeadW. Scalation: 3 CircNa, 5 SnS, 8 Suplab, 9 Inflab, 12 Chin (anteromedial ones only slightly larger than adjacent ones), 16 Dorsal, 11 Ventral, 4 CloacS, Subcaud not enlarged, 9 PreclPor, 25 TotPore with o contact between precloacal and femoral, digital formulae 3-4-4-4 forefoot and 4-4-5-4 hindfoot. Pigmented caecum, testes lightly pigmented, no pigment on anterior portion of epididymis, heavily pigmented posterior two-thirds. In alcohol, body ground color light brown with medium to dark brown markings, dorsolateral light spotting from eye to inguina (4 between eye and axilla, 9 between axilla and inguina (right side), partial dark dorsolateral stripe from eye to neck, no lateral stripes elsewhere, series of widely spaced small dark dashes and spots parasagittally and fewer laterally, postsacral dark brown chevron middorsally at tail base edged laterally by broad white border. Tail background slightly darker than trunk with widely scattered dark flecks. Ventrally dusky cream from chin to vent because many ventral scales with central dark spot. (Zug 2010)

Variation. The means or medians and ranges are detailed in the preceding Description section. Hemiphyllodactylus ganoklonis is the smallest Hemiphyllodactylus taxon, yet it possesses a slight, but significant, size dimorphism with females averaging 2 mm larger than males. This larger size in females also is reflected in other mensural traits: TrunkL, HeadL, HeadW, NarEye, and EyeD. Body proportions and scalation are not dimorphic. Overall, variation within each trait is low and often the lowest of all regional samples. This low variation reflects the high quality of preservation of the Palauan sample and is not due to a limited geographic sampling. The Palauan sample derives from seven different islands and multiple sites on a few islands. (Zug 2010) 
CommentBehavior: nocturnal 
EtymologyThe name ganoklonis derives from the Greek adjective and noun, ganos for bright or brightness and klonis for buttock or rump. The bright rump refers to the bright yellow chevron (postsacral) mark at the base of the tail. The name is proposed as an adjective. 
  • GRISMER, L. LEE; AWAL RIYANTO, DJOKO T. ISKANDAR & JIMMY A. MCGUIRE 2014. A new species of Hemiphyllodactylus Bleeker, 1860 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Pulau Enggano, southwestern Sumatra, Indonesia. Zootaxa 3821 (4): 485–495 - get paper here
  • Grismer, L. Lee; Perry L. Wood Jr, Shahrul Anuar, Evan S. H. Quah, Mohd Abdul Muin, Chan Kin Onn, Alexandra X. Sumarli and Ariel I. Loredo 2015. Repeated evolution of sympatric, palaeoendemic species in closely related, co-distributed lineages of Hemiphyllodactylus Bleeker, 1860 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) across a sky-island archipelago in Peninsular Malaysia. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 174 (4): 859–876; DOI: 10.1111/zoj.12254 - get paper here
  • Grismer, L.L.; PERRY L. WOOD Jr, SHAHRUL ANUAR, MOHD ABDUL MUIN, EVAN S. H. QUAH, JIMMY A. MCGUIRE,, RAFE M. BROWN,0, NGO VAN TRI and PHAM HONG THAI 2013. Integrative taxonomy uncovers high levels of cryptic species diversity in Hemiphyllodactylus Bleeker, 1860 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) and the description of a new species from Peninsular Malaysia. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 169: 849–880 - get paper here
  • NGO VAN TRI; L. LEE GRISMER, PHAM HONG THAI & P. L. WOOD, JR. 2014. A new species of Hemiphyllodactylus Bleeker, 1860 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Ba Na–Nui Chua Nature Reserve, Central Vietnam. Zootaxa 3760 (4): 539–552 - get paper here
  • NGUYEN, TRUONG QUANG; QUYEN HANH DO, HANH THI NGO, ANH VAN PHAM,<br />CUONG THE PHAM, MINH DUC LE, & THOMAS ZIEGLER 2020. Two new species of Hemiphyllodactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Hoa Binh Province, Vietnam. Zootaxa 4801 (3): 513–536 - get paper here
  • Zug, G. R. 2010. Speciation and Dispersal in a Low Diversity Taxon: The Slender Geckos Hemiphyllodactylus (Reptilia, Gekkonidae). Smithsonian contributions to zoology (631): 1-70 - get paper here
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