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Hemiphyllodactylus insularis TAYLOR, 1918

IUCN Red List - Hemiphyllodactylus insularis - Data Deficient, DD

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Philippine slender gecko 
SynonymHemiphyllodactylus insularis TAYLOR 1918: 237
Hemiphyllodactylus insularis — RÖSLER 2000
Hemiphyllodactylus insularis — ZUG 2010: 44 
DistributionPhilippines (Mindoro to Mindanao, westward on both the Palawan and Sulu Archipelago arcs, Panay, Cebu)

Type locality: “Sumagui, Mindoro” (Philippines)  
Reproductionoviparous (not imputed, fide Zimin et al. 2022) 
TypesHolotype: CM 2052]. 
DiagnosisDescription. Adults dimorphic, females larger than males: 29.6–37.3 mm (mean ± SD, 33.9 ± 1.82; n = 15 females), 28.8–34.4 mm (31.3 mm ± 1.86, n = 19 males) SVL; 15.5–19.3 mm (17.8 mm ± 1.08), 14.3–17.7 mm (15.8 mm ± 1.05) TrunkL; 6.6–8.6 mm (7.6 mm ± 0.51), 6.2–8.2 mm (7.2 mm ± 0.51) HeadL; 3.8–5.7 mm (4.8 mm ± 0.48), 4.0–5.8 mm (4.8 mm ± 0.46) HeadW; 2.6–3.7 mm (3.0 mm ± 0.28), 2.1–3.4 mm (2.8 mm ± 0.28) SnEye; 2.0–2.6 mm (2.3 mm ± 0.20), 1.9–2.6 mm (2.2 mm ± 0.17) NarEye; 1.8–2.1 mm (2.0 mm ± 0.11), 1.6–2.1 mm (1.9 mm ± 0.14) EyeD; 1.2–1.4 mm (1.3 mm ± 0.08), 1.0–1.5 mm (1.3 mm ± 0.16) SnW. Adult proportions not dimorphic: 45–58% TrunkL/SVL (mean ± SD, 50.1% ± 2.9), 21–24% HeadL/SVL (22.7% ± 0.1), 12–18% HeadW/SVL (14.9% ± 0.1), 54–82% HeadW/HeadL (65.7% ± 5.9), 26–44% SnEye/HeadL (39.4% ± 3.1), 27–42% NarEye/HeadL (31.2% ± 2.5), 23–32% EyeD/HeadL (26.1% ± 1.6), 14–21% SnW/ HeadL (17.2% ± 1.8), 74–95% EyeD/NarEye (84.0% ± 5.2), 20–37% SnW/HeadW (26.3% ± 3.2%). (Zug 2010)

Scalation is predominantly granular from head onto tail, both dorsally and ventrally; ventral trunk scales slightly larger than dorsal ones, 13–18 Dorsal (median ± SD, 16 ± 1.4) and 8–14 Ventral (11 ± 1.6); similarly, subcaudal scales slightly larger than dorsal caudal scales but not plate-like. Cloacal spurs present, modest sized, 0–3 CloacS (1 ± 0.9). Larger scales on lips and snout, rostral largest, rectangular to pentagonal, often slightly concave on dorsomedial edge with slight cleft; 1–4 CircNa (3 ± 0.8), 2–4 SnS (3 ± 0.6); labial scales enlarged from rostral to below eye, becoming progressively smaller in subocular rictus, 9–13 Suplab (10 ± 1.2), 9–11 Inflab (10 ± 0.6); 8–14 Chin (11 ± 1.5), 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 3-3-3-3 (forefoot) and 3-4-4-4 (hindfoot) for scansors; first digit of foreand hindfeet compressed, usually 4 or 5 rectangular lamellae (2–5 fore, 3–6 hind) ventrally, terminal phalanx not free with or without minute claw. Adult females never with precloacal pores, males always with precloacal pores (median ± SD, 9 ± 1.5; range, 6–13) always separated from femoral pore series, 17–38 TotPore (27 ± 5.35). (Zug 2010)

Coloration in alcohol, light to medium brown ground color dorsally and laterally from head to tail; top of head with scattering of small dark brown blotches, lateral dark brown stripe from loreal to shoulder variously developed (barely visible to sharply defined); dorsally on trunk, dark blotches variously arranged from series of parasagittal elongate spots through randomly arranged spots creating irregular narrow transverse bars to nearly absent; dark lateral stripe on trunk typically series of lateral dark spots or blotches; dorsolateral series of light spots from temporal area to inguina, posteriormost one enlarged and forming anterior end of lateral light arm of postsacral mark; well-defined postsacral mark in all individuals with large pentagonal middorsal dark brown mark bordered behind and on sides by light (whitish) base and arms, which are edged laterally and caudally in dark brown. Tail usually lighter brown than trunk with amorphous dark smudges middorsally. Venter, chin to tail, dusky cream owing to dark spot in most ventral scales. In life, light dusky tan to reddish brown ground color dorsally and laterally from head to hips; pattern of markings as described for preserved individuals. Light dorsolateral spots and light area of postsacral mark brick red. (Zug 2010)

Major diagnostic features: bisexual taxon; pigmented caecum and oviducts; no precloacal– femoral pores in females, present in males, precloacal and femoral pore series separated; chin scales bordering mental and first infralabial not greatly enlarged; digital lamellae formulae 3-3-3-3 (forefoot) and 3-4-4-4 (hindfoot); average adult SVL ~34, 31 mm (females, males); series of red spots dorsolaterally on trunk and bright postsacral bar of red and dark brown. (Zug 2010)

Description of holotype: An adult male (Figure 21), 30.2 mm SVL, 14.7 mm TrunkL, 6.9 mm HeadL, 2.6 mm HeadW, 4.0 mm SnEye, 1.9 mm NarEye, 1.8 mm EyeD, and 1.2 mm SnW. Proportions: 49% TrunkL/ SVL, 23% HeadL/SVL, 13% HeadW/SVL, 58% HeadW/ HeadL, 38% SnEye/HeadL, 28% NarEye/HeadL, 26% EyeD/HeadL, 17% SnW/HeadL, 95% EyeD/NarEye, 30% SnW/HeadW. Scalation: 3 CircNa, 3 SnS, 10 Suplab, 11 Inflab, 11 Chin (anteromedial ones only slightly larger than adjacent ones), 15 Dorsal, 11 Ventral, 3 CloacS, Subcaud not enlarged, 9 PreclPor, 27 TotPore precloacal and femoral series separated, digital formulae 3-3-3-3 (forefoot) and 3-4-4-4 (hindfoot). Pigmented caecum, pigmentation unknown for testis epididymis. Faded, body ground color brown. (Zug 2010) 
CommentSynonymy: synonymized with H. typus by BROWN & ALCALA 1978 but revalidated by ZUG 2010.

Behavior: nocturnal 
EtymologyTaylor (1918) did not explain his choice of the epithet insularis, presumably because he assumed the name was self-explanatory; insularis is a Latin adjective for of islands. 
  • Brown W C; Alcala A C 1978. Philippine lizards of the family Gekkonidae. Silliman University, Dumaguete City, Philippines 1978: i-vii, 1-146
  • Gaulke, M. 2011. The herpetofauna of Panay Island, Philippines. Edition Chimaira, 390 pp.
  • 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
  • SUPSUP, Christian E.; Nevong M. PUNA, Augusto A. ASIS, Bernard R. REDOBLADO, Maria Fatima G. PANAGUINIT, Faith M. GUINTO, Edmund B. RICO, Arvin C. DIESMOS, Rafe M. BROWN and Neil Aldrin D. MALLARI 2016. Amphibians and Reptiles of Cebu, Philippines: The Poorly Understood Herpetofauna of an Island with Very Little Remaining Natural Habitat. Asian Herpetological Research 2016, 7(3): 151–179 DOI: 10.16373/j.cnki.ahr.150049 - get paper here
  • Taylor, E.H. 1922. The lizards of the Philippine Islands. Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Bureau of Science, Government of the Philippine Islands, Manila, Publication no. 17: 269 pp. - get paper here
  • Taylor, Edward H. 1918. Reptiles of the Sulu Archipelago. Philippine Journal of Science 13 (5d): 233-267 - 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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