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Pachydactylus vanzyli (STEYN & HAACKE, 1966)

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Namib Desert Gecko 
SynonymKaokogecko vanzyli STEYN & HAACKE 1966
Kaokogecko vanzyli — HAACKE 1976: 23
Palmatogecko vanzyli — KLUGE 1993
Palmatogecko vanzyli — KLUGE & NUSSBAUM 1995
Palmatogecko vanzyli — RÖSLER 1995: 138
Kaokogecko vanzyli — RÖSLER 2000: 90
Pachydactylus vanzyli — BAUER & LAMB 2005
Pachydactylus vanzyli — MASHININI & MAHLANGU 2013
Pachydactylus vanzyli — SCHLEICHER 2020 
DistributionNamibia (S Namib Desert, Kaokoveld), S Angola

Type locality: about 18 miles SW of Orupembe (±18°18’S, 12°17’E, 1800 feet elevation), Kaokoveld, SWA (now Namibia) [paratype locality fide  MASHININI & MAHLANGU 2013]  
TypesHolotype: NMNW (given indirectly as South West African State Museum in Windhoek, with acronym “CR”); Paratypes: CR (Windhoek, Namibia), TM 
DiagnosisDIAGNOSIS: A slender, medium sized, nocturnal, terrestrial gecko, superficially resembling both Palmatogecko rangei and Colopus wahlbergi, but differing from both in combining the presence of adhesive lamellae under all digits with a web joining toes 1 to 4 of the hind feet (Haacke 1976). 
CommentPicture in Reptilia (Münster) 11 (1): 10 (2006). 
EtymologyNamed after Mr. and Mrs. Ben Van Zyl, who lived at Ohopoho, South-West Africa (Namibia), and were keen observers and investigators of anthropological and biological matters. They sent an unknown gecko to the museum in Windhoek, but it got lost in the post. The museum mounted an expedition (1965) specifically to investigate their report, and so this new genus and species was discovered. In the early 1960s Ben van Zyl was the "Bantu" Commissioner for the Kaokoveld, where a pass is named after him. The spelling in the binomial ought to be vanzylorum, as the gecko is named after them both. 
  • Barts, M. 2021. Geckos aus dem südlichen Afrika. DATZ 2021 (5): 24-34
  • Barts, Mirko 2018. Auf der Suche nach dem Kaokogecko, Pachydactylus (früher Kaokogecko) vanzyli. Draco 16 (64): 24-29 [2015] - get paper here
  • Bauer, A.M. & Lamb, T. 2005. Phylogenetic relationships of southern African geckos in the Pachydactylus group (Squamata: Gekkonidae). African Journal of Herpetology 54 (2): 105-129 - get paper here
  • Bauer, Aaron M.; Branch, William R. & Haacke, Wulf D. 1993. The herpetofauna of the Kamanjab area and adjacent Damaraland, Namibia. Madoqua (Windhoek) 18 (2): 117-145.
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Haacke, W.D. 1976. The Burrowing Geckos of Southern Africa: 2.(Palmatogecko & Kakaogecko). Annals Transvaal Mus. 30 (2): 13-29 - 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
  • Lobón-Rovira J, Vaz Pinto P, S. Becker F, Tolley KA, Measey J, Bennet B, Boon B, de Sá S, Conradie W 2022. An updated herpetofaunal species inventory of Iona National Park in southwestern Angola. Check List 18(2): 289-321 - get paper here
  • Marques, Mariana P.; Luis M. P. Ceríaco , David C. Blackburn , and Aaron M. Bauer 2018. Diversity and Distribution of the Amphibians and Terrestrial Reptiles of Angola -- Atlas of Historical and Bibliographic Records (1840–2017). Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. (Ser. 4) 65: 1-501 (Supplement II)
  • Mashinini, P. L. and Mahlangu, L. M. 2013. An annotated catalogue of the types of gekkonid lizards (Reptilia: Squamata: Gekkonidae) in the Herpetology collection of the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History, South Africa. Annals of the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History 3: 165-181
  • Rösler, H. 2000. Kommentierte Liste der rezent, subrezent und fossil bekannten Geckotaxa (Reptilia: Gekkonomorpha). Gekkota 2: 28-153
  • Rösler, Herbert 1995. Geckos der Welt - Alle Gattungen. Urania, Leipzig, 256 pp.
  • Schleicher, Alfred 2020. Reptiles of Namibia. Kuiseb Publishers, Windhoek, Namibia, 271 pp.
  • Steyn, W., and W. D. Haacke. 1966. A new webfooted gekko (Kaokogecko vanzyli gen. et. sp. nov.) from the north-western South West Africa. Cimbebasia (18): 1—23
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