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Pachydactylus wahlbergii (PETERS, 1869)

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
SubspeciesPachydactylus wahlbergii wahlbergii (PETERS 1869)
Pachydactylus wahlbergii furcifer (HAACKE 1976) 
Common NamesKalahari Ground Gecko, Wahlberg's Kalahari Gecko; furcifer: Striped Ground Gecko 
SynonymColopus wahlbergii PETERS 1869: 57
Colopus wahlbergii — BOULENGER 1885: 208
Colopus wahlbergii — FITZSIMONS & BRAIN 1958
Colopus marshalli FITZSIMONS 1959 (fide KLUGE 1993)
Colopus wahlbergii — WERMUTH 1965: 21
Colopus wahlbergii — HAACKE 1976
Colopus wahlbergii — RÖSLER 1995: 105
Colopus wahlbergii — BAUER et al. 1995
Pachydactylus wahlbergii — HEINICKE et al. 2017
Pachydactylus wahlbergii — MARQUES ET AL. 2018
Pachydactylus wahlbergii — SCHLEICHER 2020

Pachydactylus wahlbergii wahlbergii (PETERS 1869)
Colopus kalaharicus FITZSIMONS 1932: 36 (fide KLUGE 1993)
Colopus wahlbergii wahlbergii — AUERBACH 1987: 90
Colopus wahlbergii wahlbergii — RÖSLER 2000: 64
Colopus wahlbergii wahlbergii — MASHININI & MAHLANGU 2013
Colopus wahlbergii wahlbergii — BRANCH in BATES et al. 2014: 105

Pachydactylus wahlbergii furcifer (HAACKE 1976)
Colopus wahlbergii furcifer HAACKE 1976
Colopus wahlbergii furcifer — AUERBACH 1987: 90
Colopus wahlbergii furcifer — RÖSLER 2000: 64
Colopus wahlbergii furcifer — MASHININI & MAHLANGU 2013 
DistributionRepublic of South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Angola

Type locality: “Damaralande” [Namibia]

furcifer: South Africa; Type locality: Twee Rivieren on Nossob River, Kalahari Gemsbok National Park, Gordonia district (26°22’S, 20°36’E., 888 m elevation), Cape Province (now Northern Cape Province), South Africa,  
TypesHolotype: NRM (NHRM) 385
Holotype: DNMNH (= TM) 14552 [kalaharicus]
Holotype: DNMNH (= TM) 25727, adult female [furcifer]
Holotype: DNMNH (= TM) 22589 [marshalli] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis of the genus: Colopus was originally diagnosed by Peters (1869) on the basis of its granular subdigital scales and much reduced lamellae, and digital features have remained the crucial elements in subsequent diagnoses (FitzSimons 1943; Loveridge 1947; Haacke 1976b). We here re-diagnose Colopus on the basis of the following suite of characteristics: body small (adults < 65 mm SVL), slender, elongate; dorsal surface of skull smooth; digit I of manus and pes hyperphalangic, with or without phalangeal loss in digit IVof manus (phalangeal formulae - 3-3-4-5-3 or 3-3-4-4-3 manus and 3-3-4-5-4 pes), lacking paraphalanges and interdigital webbing, subdigital surface granular, except distally, where there are 2-3 narrow subdigital lamellae beneath digit IV; precloacal pores lacking; tail cylindrical in cross section; dorsal skin smooth, not fragile (from BAUER & LAMB 2005).
CommentType Species: Colopus wahlbergii PETERS 1869 is the type species of the genus Colopus.

Variation: the color pattern of this species is quite variable. See photos in Boone 2010.

Distribution: Not in Gabon fide PAUWELS & VANDE WEGHE 2008.

NCBI taxon ID: 2291424 [furcifer] 
EtymologyNamed after Johan August Wahlberg (1810-1856), a naturalist and collector. 
  • Auerbach, R.D. 1987. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Botswana. Mokwepa Consultants, Botswana, 295 pp.
  • Bates, M.F.; Branch, W.R., Bauer, A.M.; Burger, M., Marais, J.; Alexander, G.J. & de Villliers, M.S. (eds.) 2014. Atlas and Red List of the Reptiles of South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland. Suricata 1. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, 512 pp.
  • 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
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Boone, Jon 2010. Field notes and reproduction in the genus Colopus. Gekko 6 (1): 43-55
  • 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
  • Branch, William R.; Pedro Vaz Pinto, Ninda Baptista, and Werner Conradie 2019. The Reptiles of Angola: History, Diversity, Endemism and Hotspots. Chapter 13 in: B. J. Huntley et al. (eds.), Biodiversity of Angola. Springer Verlag, pp. 283-334 - get paper here
  • Broadley, D.G.; Spawls, S.M.P. 1991. Geographical Distribution - Colopus wahlbergii wahlbergii. J. Herp. Assoc. Africa (39): 19-19 - get paper here
  • Broadley, Donald G. and Paul Van Daele 2003. Geographic distribution. Colopus wahlbergii wahlbergii Peters, 1869. Kalahari Ground gecko. African Herp News (36):20. - get paper here
  • FitzSimons, V. 1932. Preliminary descriptions of new forms of South African Reptilia and Amphibia, from the Vernay-Lang Kalahari Expedition, 1930. Annals Transvaal Mus. 15 (1): 35-40 - get paper here
  • FitzSimons, V. 1959. Some new reptiles from southern Africa and southern Angola. Annals Transvaal Mus. 23: 405-409 - get paper here
  • Fitzsimons, V.F.M.; Brain, C.K. 1958. A Short account of the Reptiles of the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park. Koedoe, 1(1): 99-104 - get paper here
  • Freed, P.S. 1992. Geographical Distribution - Colopus wahlbergii wahlbergii. J. Herp. Assoc. Africa (41): 38-38 - get paper here
  • GIRARD, F. 2008. Geckoes of the Olifants Camp, Kruger Park, with special mention ofan Afroedura species. African Herp News (44): 11 - get paper here
  • Haacke, W. D. 1976. The burrowing geckos of southern Africa, 3 (Reptilia: Gekkonidae). Annotated taxonomic account (cont.) D. Genus Colopus Peters. Annals Transvaal Museum 30: 29—39. - get paper here
  • Haacke, W. D. 1993. Geographical Distribution - Colopus wahlbergii wahlbergii. J. Herp. Assoc. Africa (42): 40-40 - get paper here
  • Haacke, W. D. 1998. Geographic Distribution. Colopus wahlbergi wahlbergi. African Herp News (27):20. - get paper here
  • Haacke, W.D. 1976. The Burrowing Geckos of Southern Africa: 5. (Phylogetic and Taxonomic Affinities). Annals Transvaal Mus. 30 (6): 71-89 - get paper here
  • Heinicke, Matthew P.; Jackman, Todd R.; Bauer, Aaron M. 2017. The measure of success: geographic isolation promotes diversification in Pachydactylus geckos. BMC Evolutionary Biology 17 (1):9; 10.1186/s12862-016-0846-2 - 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
  • Loveridge, A. 1947. Revision of the African lizards of the family Gekkondiae. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 98: 1-469 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Mitchell, A.J.L.; Steyn, W. 1967. Further distribution records of Reptiles in SW- Africa. Cimbebasia 21: 23-26 (Windhoek)
  • Peters, WILHELM C. H. 1869. Eine Mittheilung über neue Gattungen und Arten von Eidechsen. Monatsber. Königl. Preuss. Akad. Wissensch. Berlin, 1869: 57-66 - get paper here
  • Pianka, Eric R. 1971. Lizard species density in the Kalahari Desert. Ecology 52 (6): 1024-1029 - get paper here
  • 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.
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