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Pachydactylus serval WERNER, 1910

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Western Spotted Thick-toed Gecko 
SynonymPachydactylus serval WERNER 1910: 313
Pachydactylus pardus [STERNFELD 1911]
Pachydactylus montanus onscepensis HEWITT 1935: 318
Pachydactylus serval — LOVERIDGE 1947: 388
Pachydactylus serval — WERMUTH 1965: 123
Pachydactylus serval — KLUGE 1993
Pachydactylus serval — RÖSLER 2000: 99 
DistributionNamibia (Oranje valley, S Touw's River, S Great Namaqualand; Lüderitz, Keetmanshoop, Karasburg, Bethanie, Maltahöhe, Swakopmund, and Mariental Districts),
Republic of South Africa (Cape Province); elevation around 1500 m.

onsceepensis: Orange River Valley

Type locality: Chamis, Greater Namaqualand, Southwest Africa. See BAUER et al. (2006) for a discussion of the type locality.  
TypesLectotype: ZMB 23121, designated by implication by Loveridge 1947, see Bauer and Günther 1991.
Holotype: PEM R16050 (formerly AMG 6879) [onscepensis] 
DiagnosisDIAGNOSIS.—To 49.3 mm SVL (Visser 1984 reported a maximum of 53.5 mm SVL but we examined no specimens in this size range). Pachydactylus serval may be distinguished from all other members of the P. serval/weberi group by the combination of the following characters: rostral enters nostril; supranasals in variable contact; scales on dorsum of head smooth and granular, those on snout larger than those of interorbital region; parietal scales tiny, granular, with no intermixed tubercles; dorsal scalation homogeneous, with only a few small, scattered flattened tubercles on sacrum and/or lumbar region; thighs without tubercles; toes relatively short with moderately wide pads; typically 5 undivided lamellae beneath digit IVof pes; tail to at least 107% SVL, moderately annulate, bearing whorls of small, rounded to pointed, unkeeled, white to yellow tubercles, widely separated form each other; adult pattern spotted, dark brown spots relatively large and arranged in more-or-less regular rows on a yellowish- to purplish-brown background, no nape band or nape band weakly evident; in some subadults adult spotted pattern and juvenile banding may cooccur; juvenile pattern of a light (white to ashy) nape band and a similar broad band across posterior abdomen and sacrum and extending on to hindlimbs (although typically becoming more brownish or blackish distally on limbs), remainder of body dark, blackish in life (see also Visser 1984:51), tail brownish [from BAUER et al. 2006].
CommentSynonymy: LOVERIDGE 1947 synonymized Pachydactylus montanus and P. m. onscepensis with Pachydactylus serval. This was followed by more recent authors (e.g. Wermuth 1965, Bates et al. 2014). Conradie et al. 2019, however, listed onscepensis as synonym of montanus. Pachydactylus serval purcelli BOULENGER 1910 has been elevated to full species status by BAUER et al. 2006.

Distribution: Reports from Angola are likely to be P. punctatus [BAUER et al. 2006].

HABITAT: Pachydactylus serval is typically found under exfoliating flakes or in
narrow crevices in a variety of rock types. Road embankments (Fig. 32), borders of dry riverbeds, low exposures on ridge tops and cliff faces are all occupied if suitable retreats are present.

CONSERVATION STATUS.—Pachydactylus serval is patchily distributed and although infrequently encountered in comparison to some other members of the P. servalgroup, it is locally common and under no specific threats. 
  • Barts, M. 2008. Die Dickfingergeckos des südlichen Afrikas. Teil VIII: Serval-Dickfingergecko Pachydactylus serval WERNER, 1910. Sauria 30 (1): 35-41 - get paper here
  • Bauer A M 1991. New reptile records from the Little Karoo. J. Herp. Assoc. Africa 39: 18 - get paper here
  • Bauer, A.M., and Branch, W.R. 2003. The herpetofauna of the Richtersveld National Park, Northern Cape Province, Republic of South Africa. Herpetological Natural History 8: 111-160 [2001]
  • Bauer, Aaron M. Lamb, Trip. Branch, William R. 2006. A revision of the Pachydactylus serval and P. weberi groups (Reptilia: Gekkota: Gekkonidae) of Southern Africa, with the description of eight new species. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. 57 (12-24):595-709. - get paper here
  • Branch, William R.; Aaron M. Bauer, Todd R. Jackman, and Matthew Heinicke 2011. A New Species of the Pachydactylus weberi Complex (Reptilia: Squamata: Gekkonidae) from the Namibrand Reserve, Southern Namibia. Breviora (524): 1-15. - get paper here
  • CONRADIE, WERNER; WILLIAM R. BRANCH, & GILLIAN WATSON 2019. Type specimens in the Port Elizabeth Museum, South Africa, including the historically important Albany Museum collection. Part 2: Reptiles (Squamata). Zootaxa 4576 (1): 001–045 - get paper here
  • Herrmann, H.-W.; W.R. Branch 2013. Fifty years of herpetological research in the Namib Desert and Namibia with an updated and annotated species checklist. Journal of Arid Environments 93: 94–115 - get paper here
  • Hewitt, J. 1927. Further descriptions of reptiles and batrachians from South Africa. Rec. Albany Mus. (Grahamstown) 3 (5): 371-415
  • Hewitt, J. 1935. Some new forms of batrachians and reptiles from South Africa. Rec. Albany Mus. 4: 283-357
  • Hewitt, John 1911. Records of South African Lacertilia and Amphibia, Addenda and Corrigenda. Annals Transvaal Museum 3 (1): 42-55. - get paper here
  • Methuen,P.A. & Hewitt,J. 1914. [The Percy Sladen Memorial Expedition to Great Namaqualand 1912-1913.] Records and descriptions of the reptiles and batrachians of the collection. Annals Transvaal Mus. 4 (3): 117-145 - get paper here
  • Monard, ALBERT 1937. Contribution à l'herpétologie d'Angola. Arq. Mus. Bocage, Lisbon 8:19-153.
  • Rösler, H. 2000. Kommentierte Liste der rezent, subrezent und fossil bekannten Geckotaxa (Reptilia: Gekkonomorpha). Gekkota 2: 28-153
  • Sternfeld, R. 1911. Zur Herpetologie Südwestafrikas. Mitteilung aus dem Zoologischen Museum in Berlin, 5: 393-411. - get paper here
  • Steyn, W., and J. L. Mitchell. 1967. Two new geckos (Pachydactylus serval sansteyni ssp. nov., Pachydactylus oreophilus gaiasensis ssp. nov.) from South West Africa. Cimbebasia (21): 9—21
  • Werner,F. 1910. Reptilia et Amphibia. In Schultze, L., Zoologische und anthropologische Ergebnisse einer Forschungsreise im westlichen und zentralen Südafrika. Band IV, Systematik und Tiergeographie Vertebrata B. Denkschr. Med.-Nat. Wiss. GeselI. Jena 16: 279-370 [1910] - get paper here
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