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Perochirus ateles (DUMÉRIL, 1856)

IUCN Red List - Perochirus ateles - Endangered, EN

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Micronesian Speckle-Bellied Gecko, Micronesia Saw-Tailed Gecko, Dumeril's Tropical Gecko 
SynonymHemidactylus ateles DUMÉRIL 1856
Hemidactylus ateles var. articulatus FISCHER 1882
Hemidactylus ateles var. depressus FISCHER 1882: 300
Perochirus ateles — BOULENGER 1885: 154
Perochirus depressus — BOULENGER 1885: 155
Perochirus articulatus — BOULENGER 1885: 156
Hemidactylus ateles var. depressa — MÜLLER 1885
Perochirus ateles — TAYLOR 1922: 65
Perochirus articulatus — BURT & BURT 1932
Perochirus ateles — WERMUTH 1965: 125
Perochirus klugei — WERMUTH 1965 (nom. nov. pro H. a. depressus)
Perochirus ateles — BROWN 1976
Perochirus articulatus — SABATH 1981
Perochirus ateles — KLUGE 1993
Perochirus ateles — RÖSLER 1995: 141
Perochirus ateles — KAISER et al. 2020 
DistributionMicronesia, Mariana Islands, Uman District Islands etc.
Ruk Island (= Fenfan Island, Truk Group, Caroline Islands),
Guam [P. articulatus], Marcus, Cocos,Truk, Kapingamar,
Japan (Bonin Islands), Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan) (Hileman et al. 2020)

articulatus: Type locality: “Ponape” [= Pohnpei, Caroline Islands]

depressus: Fenfan Island, Truk Group, Micronesia; Type locality: Insul Ruk, Carolinen”.

Type locality: see comment  
TypesType: BMNH 1946.8.25.38 (and possibly additional specimens). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): Dorsum covered with granular scales, relatively uniform, without tubercles; several rows of enlarged scales in place of chin shields; digits, except for first (inner), strongly dilated and with several distal scansors divided at the mid-point; all digits, except much reduced first finger, with a claw; distal claw-bearing phalanges compressed and, except on inner toe, rising free from within dilated portion rather than from its tip; digits with basal to moderate webs (Fig. 1, Brown 1976).

Description: A moderate-size Perochirus , snout-vent length of 12 mature males about 55 to 88 mm; habitus moderately depressed. somewhat stocky; snout moderately tapered, tip rounded, its length about 40% to 44% of head length; internasal distance about 35% to 41% of snout length; breadth of head 75% to 95% of head length and 18% to 22% of snout-vent length; rostral large, quadrangular, broader than long (not longer than broad as erroneously stated for the type of P. ateles) , marked usually by a median posterior groove; nostril surrounded by rostral, first labial, supranasal, and two posterior scales; supranasals separated by 2 or occasionally 3 scales; 11 to 12 upper labials, 8th or 9th beneath center of eye; 10 or 11 lower labials; mental small, triangular, smaller than adjacent labials; 3 or 4 rows of slightly enlarged scales in position of chin shields, anterior series the largest; about 30 to 34 interorbital scale rows; scales on snout (and, to a somewhat lesser degree, in interorbital region) enlarged compared to those on dorsal surface of body; scales on dorsal and lateral surfaces of body granular, uniform; tubercles absent; limbs moderately well developed, length of hind limb (extended in preserved condition) 70% to 90% of the axilla-groin distance; digits partly webbed, about 1/5 to nearly 1/3 of length; fingers and toes, except for first, broadly dilated; web shortest between 4th and 5th toes, longest between 2nd and 3rd toes and 4th and 5th fingers; 1st toe attached throughout nearly all of the scansor bearing part; 16 to 21 short scansors under 5th toe, terminal 6 or 7 scansors divided; 6 to 9 scansors beneath first toe undivided; all digits on forelimb but 1st clawed, with distal compressed phalanges arising within the dilated portion and, when depressed, usually extending for less than half their length beyond dilated part; a short series of about 6 to 10 enlarged scales in pore series (bearing 2 to 5 pores for three males and none for ten males), this series followed by several rows of scales, enlarged in varying degree, anterior to vent; distinctly enlarged scales and pores absent from femoral areas; tail depressed and broad, especially in males, breadth just posterior to swellings about 58% to 82% of breadth of head (measured in twenty specimens); about 16 to 18 rows of somewhat enlarged and more or less square-shaped scales on the ventral surface of tail near the base in smaller syntype of P. depressus; lateral margin of tail with a series of rather long spine-like scales at intervals; in second syntype, margin of tail relatively smooth (Brown 1976). 
CommentDistribution: The populations on Guam may now be extinct as a result of predation by the introduced snake Boiga irregularis. Perochirus articulatus has been treated as valid species by Sabath (1981). The type locality (near Samboangan, Mindanao, Philippines) is “from a single Taylor record from Zamboanga” (collected by Duméril 1856?) which has not been confirmed for more than 150 years, (Welton et al. 2010), so the presence of this species in the Philippines is doubtful.

Type species: Hemidactylus ateles DUMÉRIL 1856 is the type species of the genus Perochirus BOULENGER 1885.

Key: Brown 1976 provides a key to the 3 species of Perochirus and a table of scale counts. 
  • Bauer, A.M. & Günther,R. 1991. An annotated type catalogue of the geckos (Reptilia: Gekkonidae) in the Zoological Museum , Berlin. Mitt. Zool. Mus. Berlin 67: 279-310 - 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
  • Buden, Donald W. 2015. Reptiles of Uman District Islands (Southeastern Chuuk Lagoon and Kuop Atoll), Federated States of Micronesia. Pacific Science 69 (2): 271-279 - get paper here
  • Buden, Donald W. 2015. Reptiles of Lukunor Atoll, Mortlock Islands, Chuuk State, Federated States of Micronesia. Pacific Science 69 (1):117–124 doi:10.2984/69.1.9 - get paper here
  • Buden, Donald W. & Danko Taboroši 2016. Reptiles of the Federated States of Micronesia. Island Research and Education Initiative, 311 pp. - get paper here
  • Burt, Charles E.; Burt, May Danheim 1932. Herpetological results of the Whitney South Sea Expedition. VI. Pacific island amphibians and reptiles in the collection of the American Museum of Natural History. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 63 (5): 461-597 - get paper here
  • Duméril, A. H. A. 1856. Description des reptiles nouveaux ou imparfaitement connus de la collection du Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle et remarques sur la classification et les charactères des reptiles. Archives du Muséum Hist. Nat. Paris, 8: 438—588. - get paper here
  • Fischer, J. G. 1882. Herpetologische Bemerkungen. I. Bemerkungen über einzelne Stücke der Schlangensammlung des kön. Zoologischen Museums in Dresden. . II. Neue Eidechen aus Australien und Polynesien. Archiv für Naturgeschichte 48: 281-302 - get paper here
  • Goldberg, S.R. 2018. Perochirus ateles (Micronesian Speckle-bellied Gecko) Reproduction. Herpetological Review 49 (1): 120. - get paper here
  • Goris, R.C. & Maeda, N. 2004. Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Japan. Krieger, Malabar, 285 pp.
  • Hileman, Eric T.; Bradley A. Eichelberger, Jill Liske-Clark, Patrick D. Barnhart, Robert N. Reed, Amy A. Yackel Adams, Melia G. Nafus 2020. Landscape dominance of introduced herpetofauna on an oceanic island. Global Ecology and Conservation - get paper here
  • Kaiser, Hinrich; Kaitlin J Rickerl, Melinda M Hull, Morgan M Lewis, Mitzia J Zambada 2020. Herpetological Update from Arno Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands. Herpetology Notes 13: 699-712 - get paper here
  • McCoid M J. Hensley R A. 1994. Distribution and abundance of Perochirus ateles (Gekkonidae): In the Mariana Islands. Herpetological Review 25 (3): 97-98 - get paper here
  • Rösler, Herbert 1995. Geckos der Welt - Alle Gattungen. Urania, Leipzig, 256 pp.
  • Sabath,M. 1981. Gekkonid lizards of Guam, Mariana Islands: Preproduction and habitat preference. Journal of Herpetology 15 (1): 71-75 - 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
  • Wermuth, H. 1965. Liste der rezenten Amphibien und Reptilien. Gekkonidae, Pygopodidae, Xantusiidae. Das Tierreich (80): 1—246
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