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Lygodactylus pictus (PETERS, 1883)

IUCN Red List - Lygodactylus pictus - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Robust Dwarf Gecko 
SynonymScalabotes pictus PETERS 1883: 28
Lygodactylus pictus — BOULENGER 1885: 158
Lygodactylus robustus BOETTGER 1913
Lygodactylus pictus — KLUGE 1993
Lygodactylus pictus — GLAW & VENCES 1994: 284
Lygodactylus (Lygodactylus) pictus — RÖSLER 2000: 94
Lygodactylus pictus — PUENTE et al. 2009: 27
Lygodactylus pictus — RÖLL et al. 2010
Lygodactylus robustus — BÖHME 2014: 140 
DistributionS Madagascar

Type locality: “Centrum ... Madagascar” [Scalabotes pictus PETERS 1883]
Type locality: Ankarimbelo, SW Madagascar [robustus]  
TypesLectotype: ZMB 10453; designated by PASTEUR 1964 (Scalabotes pictus PETERS 1883)
Lectotype: SMF 8956 from Ankarimbela, designated by Mertens (1967); paralectotypes: NMW, ZMB, ZFMK [robustus] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: L. pictus is a relatively large species of Lygodactylus that is common on the central high plateau of Madagascar. It can be assigned to the L. pictus group based on the characters listed in the group definition above. It differs from L. tuberosus by usually having distinct dark spots on the throat (vs. no or only faint spots in L. tuberosus), by a yellow ventral colour in life (usually whitish and not distinctly yellow in L. tuberosus; the yellow pigment, however, quickly fades in preservative), and by the presence of only a dark stripe behind the eye (vs. presence in most individuals of a dark marking behind the eye which includes spiny scales). Typically, specimens of L. pictus are relatively large, but also some individuals classified as L. tuberosus can attain large sizes (up to 38 mm). Clearly, the definitions of these species require revision, and the specimens assigned here to either L. pictus or L. tuberosus do not form homogeneous groups. Distinction of L. pictus from L. roavolana is easy by the absence of distinct black markings above the forelimbs (vs. presence), by the number of 4–6 infralabial scales (vs. 7), and by the presence of a claw on the first finger (vs. apparent absence). (PUENTE et al. 2009) 
CommentBAUER et al. (1995) list Lygodactylus robustus BOETTGER 1913 as the present name for Scalabotes pictus PETERS 1883.

Habitat: Specimens were observed active during the day, on the trunks of large eucalypt trees and on agava leaves near Sendrisoa (F. Glaw, D. R. Vieites and M. Vences, personal observation), and on tree trunks, walls, and fences in the towns of Ambositra and Antsirabe (M. Puente and F. Glaw personal observation). At Antsirabe, ca. 10–12 eggs (not glued) were found deposited in the bark of a tree, probably representing a communal egg deposition site (F. Glaw, M. Puente, M. Thomas, R. Randrianiaina, personal observation, January 2004). At Ambositra, pairs of eggs (not glued) were found between old wood in a hotel garden (M. Vences, personal observation, 2003) [Puente et al. 2009].

Karyotype: see Mezzasalma et al. 2016. 
Etymologyprobably based on the coloration, derived from Latin pictus (painted): “Unten schmutziggelb, am Unterlippenrande und in der Submentalgegend schwarz punktirt”, according to the original description. 
  • Bauer, A.M.; Günther,R. & Klipfel,M. 1995. The herpetological contributions of Wilhelm C.H. Peters (1815-1883). SSAR Facsimile Reprints in Herpetology, 714 pp.
  • Belluardo F, Quirós DD, Lobón-Rovira J, Rosa GM, Rasoazanany M, Andreone F, Crottini A 2021. Uncovering the herpetological diversity of small forest fragments in south-eastern Madagascar (Haute Matsiatra). Zoosystematics and Evolution 97(2): 315-343 - get paper here
  • Boettger, O. 1913. Reptilien und Amphibien von Madagascar, den Inseln und dem Festland Ostafrikas. Pp. 269-375. In: Voeltzkow, A. Reise in Ostafrika in den Jahren 1903-1905. Wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse. Vol. 3. Systematische Arbeiten. Schweizerbart’ sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Nägele und Sproesser, Stuttgart
  • Böhme, Wolfgang 2014. Herpetology in Bonn. Mertensiella 21. vi + 256 pp. - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1885. Catalogue of the lizards in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) I. Geckonidae, Eublepharidae, Uroplatidae, Pygopodidae, Agamidae. London: 450 pp. - get paper here
  • Gemel, R.; G. Gassner & S. Schweiger 2019. Katalog der Typen der Herpetologischen Sammlung des Naturhistorischen Museums Wien – 2018. Ann. Naturhist. Mus. Wien, B 121: 33–248
  • Glaw ,F. & Vences, M. 1994. A Fieldguide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. Vences & Glaw Verlag, Köln (ISBN 3-929449-01-3)
  • Krüger, Jens 1999. Neue Erkenntnisse zur Faunistik einiger Reptilien Madagaskars. Salamandra 35 (2): 65-76 - get paper here
  • Krüger, Jens 2001. Die madagassischen Gekkoniden. Teil II: Die Geckos der Gattung Lygodactylus GRAY 1864 (Reptilia: Sauria: Gekkonidae). Gekkota 3: 3-28
  • Mezzasalma M., Andreone F., Aprea G., Glaw F., Odierna G., Guarino F. M. 2016. Molecular phylogeny, biogeography and chromosome evolution of Malagasy dwarf geckos of the genus Lygodactylus (Squamata, Gekkonidae). Zoologica Scripta 46: 42–54, DOI: 10.1111/zsc.12188 - get paper here
  • Pasteur,G. 1964. Recherches sur l'évolution des lygodactyles, lézards Afro-Malagaches actuels. Trav. Inst. Scient. Chérif., Ser. Zool., No. 29: 1-132 [1965]
  • Peters, Wilhem Carl Hartwig 1883. Neue Geckonen, darunter drei Arten von Scalabotes, aus der Sammlung des in Madagascar verstorbenen Reisenden J. M. Hildebrandt. Sitzungsber. Ges. naturf. Freunde Berlin 1883 (2): 27-29 - get paper here
  • PUENTE, MARTA; FRANK GLAW, DAVID R. VIEITES & MIGUEL VENCES 2009. Review of the systematics, morphology and distribution of Malagasy dwarf geckos, genera Lygodactylus and Microscalabotes (Squamata: Gekkonidae). Zootaxa 2103: 1-76 - get paper here
  • Röll, B. 2004. Tagaktive Zwerggeckos aus Afrika und Madagaskar: die Gattung Lygodactylus. Draco 5 (18): 18-27 - get paper here
  • Röll, B. 2013. Tagaktive Zwerggeckos der Gattung Lygodactylus - Lebensweise - Haltung - Nachzucht. Natur und Tier Verlag, 118 pp. - get paper here
  • Röll, Beate 2002. Delightful Dwarfs: Diurnal Geckos of the Genus Lygodactylus. Gekko 3 (2): 21-33
  • Röll, Beate; Heike Pröhl, Klaus-Peter Hoffmann 2010. Multigene phylogenetic analysis of Lygodactylus dwarf geckos (Squamata: Gekkonidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 56 (1): 327-335 - get paper here
  • Röll,B. 2000. Lygodactylus pictus (PETERS). Sauria (Suppl.) 23 (3): 527-530 - get paper here
  • Rösler, H. 2000. Kommentierte Liste der rezent, subrezent und fossil bekannten Geckotaxa (Reptilia: Gekkonomorpha). Gekkota 2: 28-153
  • Rösler, H. 2000. Studien an den Begattungsorganen der Geckos (Reptilia: Gekkota) - 2. Die Hemipenismorphologie von Lygodactylus GRAY 1864 (Gekkonidae: Gekkoninae). Gekkota 2: 208-219
  • Rösler, Herbert 1997. Bemerkungen zur geographischen Verbreitung und Ökologie einiger madagassicher Geckos (Reptilia, Sauria, Gekkonidae). Faun. Abh. Mus. Tierk. Dresden 21 (8): 135-160
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