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Phelsuma cepediana (MILBERT, 1812)

IUCN Red List - Phelsuma cepediana - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Bluetail Day Gecko
G: Blauschwanz-Taggecko 
SynonymGecko cepedianus MILBERT 1812: 261 (fide PASTEUR & BOUR 1992)
Gecko cepedeanus — CUVIER 1817
Gecko cepedianus MERREM 1820: 43 (fide ANGEL 1942)
Phelsuma crepidianus — GRAY 1825: 199 (in error)
Phelsuma ornatum GRAY 1825: 199 (fide MERTENS 1962)
Anoplopus cepedeanus — WAGLER 1830: 142
Platydactylus Cepedianus — GEOFFROY-ST HILAIRE 1833
Platydactylus Cepedianus — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1836: 301
Phelsuma trilineatum GRAY 1842
Phelsuma cepedianum — BOULENGER 1885: 211
Phelsuma trilineatum — BOULENGER 1885: 212
Phelsuma cepedianum — ANGEL 1942: 29
Phelsuma cepediana — MERTENS 1962: 92
Phelsuma trilineata — MERTENS 1962: 113
Phelsuma cepediana — WERMUTH 1965: 127
Phelsuma trilineata — RAXWORTHY & NUSSBAUM 1993
Phelsuma cepediana — KLUGE 1993
Phelsuma cepediana — GLAW & VENCES 1994: 297
Phelsuma cepediana — RÖSLER 2000: 101
Phelsuma cepediana — BERGHOF 2005: 93
Phelsuma cepediana — HALLMANN et al. 2008: 100
Phelsuma cepediana — GLAW & RÖSLER 2015 
DistributionMascarene Islands: Mauritius; introduced to Rodrigues (fide Glaw, pers. comm.);
Madagascar (introduced at Ivoloina)

Type locality: “Insula Franciae” = Mauritius.  
TypesType: BMNH 1946.8.30.87 (and possibly additional specimens).
Holotype: BMNH 1946.8.26.32 [trilineata] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): Phelsuma species are extremely variable in size, ranging from 30–133 mm in maximum SVL (maximum SVL of the recently extinct species P. gigas was at least 190 mm, and potentially 250 mm). They are moderate in body form, not particularly bulky or gracile, and only moderately depressed in shape. As in all gekkonids, eyelids do not function. Most Phelsuma are brightly colored in vibrant green, but others are grayish or brownish. Additional patterning, sometimes in bright reds, is also usually present. Phelsuma can be distinguished from other geckos by the following combination of characteristics: hyoid with second ceratobranchial cartilages; 13–14 scleral ossicles; stapedial foramen present; frontal usually paired; parietal fused; cloacal bones present; phalangeal formula 2-3-4-5-3/2-3-4-5-4 (manus/pes); paraphalangeal elements absent; eye with round pupil; digits free, dilated throughout, with undivided adhesive lamellae; claws absent or vestigial; digit I underdeveloped; dorsal scalation consists of small, smooth or keeled granules; preanal pores present; tail long, thick, tapering, may be depressed; females lay two hard-shelled eggs (Loveridge 1942, Loveridge 1947, Kluge 1967, Russell and Bauer 2008, Rocha et al. 2010).

Original description: Milbert (1812: 261-262) describes the species only by a short list of characters: “Couleur générale du corps, verte, bleuâtre et très variée; la tête et le dos tachetés de rouge, et des lignes longitudinales sur les côtés”. 
CommentDistribution: Only few records from Madagascar which need confirmation. Phelsuma cepediana may have been introduced to Madagascar from Mauritius.

Authorship: Most authors give the author as MERREM 1820, some as MILBERT 1812 (GLAW, pers. comm.). Member of the Phelsuma modesta (phenetic) group (GLAW, VENCES & ZIEGLER 1999).

Synonymy: Gray in Ellis 1840: 42 used the name Anoplus in a list of “Geckotidae” of the British Museum. We follow Romer 1956: 542 in considering this name as a misspelled version of Anoplopus WAGLER 1830. Given that Gray didn’t provide any details Rösler et al. 2018 (forthcoming) consider it as a nomen nudum.

Type species: Phelsuma crepidianus GRAY 1825 is the type species of the genus Phelsuma GRAY 1825: 199. 
EtymologyNamed after French zoologist B. Lacépède.

The gender of the genus Phelsuma was treated as feminine until Kluge (2001) erroneously re-introduced the original neuter form (for “andamanense”) without justification. 
  • Angel, F. 1942. Les Lézards de Madagascar. Mem. Acad. Malagache, Tananarive XXXVI: 193 pp.
  • Barbour, Thomas 1918. Vertebrata from Madagascar. 2. Amphibia and Reptilia. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 61 (14): 479-489. - get paper here
  • Berghof, H.-P. 2005. Taggeckos. Natur und Tier Verlag, Münster, 144 pp. - get paper here
  • Berghof, P. 2014. Phelsumenhaltung im Terrarium. Eine Erfolgsstory? Reptilia (Münster) 19 (105): 18-26
  • 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
  • Budzinski, R.-M. 1997. Homosexuelles Verhalten bei Geckos der Gattung Phelsuma. Sauria 19 (3): 33-34 - get paper here
  • Budzinski, S. & Budzinski, R.M. 2010. Taggeckos der Insel Mauritius. Draco 11 (43): 45-52 - get paper here
  • Cuvier, G. 1816. Le règne animal distribué d’après son organisation, pour servir de base a l’historire naturelle des animaux et d’introduction a l’anatomie comparée. Vol. 2. Les reptiles, les poissons, les mollusques et les annélides. Déterville, Paris [often cited as 1817 but see Roux 1976: 31] - get paper here
  • Duméril, A.M. C. and G. Bibron. 1836. Erpetologie Générale ou Histoire Naturelle Complete des Reptiles. Vol. 3. Libr. Encyclopédique Roret, Paris, 528 pp. - get paper here
  • Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, I. 1833. Platydactyle. Platydactylus. Cuvier. P. Cépédien. P. cepedianus Magasin Zool. Vol. 3 Classe III Pl. 3. - get paper here
  • Glaw ,F. & Vences, M. 1994. A Fieldguide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. Vences & Glaw Verlag, Köln (ISBN 3-929449-01-3)
  • Glaw, F. & Rösler, H. 2015. Taxonomic checklist of the day geckos of the genera Phelsuma Gray,1825 and Rhoptropella Hewitt,1937 (Squamata: Gekkonidae). Vertebrate Zoology 65 (2): - get paper here
  • Glaw, F.; Gehring, P.S.; Köhler, J.; Franzen, M. & Vences, M. 2010. A new dwarf species of day gecko, genus Phelsuma, from the Ankarana pinnacle karst in northern Madagascar. Salamandra 46 (2): 83-92 - get paper here
  • Gray, J. E. 1842. Description of some new species of Reptiles, chiefly from the British Museum collection. Zoological Miscellany 2: 57-59. - get paper here
  • Gray, J.E. 1825. A synopsis of the genera of reptiles and Amphibia, with a description of some new species. Annals of Philosophy, 10:193—217 - get paper here
  • Gray, J.E. 1840. The zoological collection. In: Ellis, H. (Ed), Synopsis of the contents of the British Museum. 42nd Edition. G. Woodfall and Son, London, United Kingdom, pp. 18–156 - get paper here
  • Greckhamer, Alexander 1993. Der Blauschwanztaggecko Phelsuma cepediana Merrem 1817. Jahrbuch für den Terrarianer 1: 5-7
  • Hagey, Travis J.; Nik Cole, Daniel Davidson, Anthony Henricks, Lisa L. Harmon, and Luke J. Harmon 2016. Temporal Variation in Structural Microhabitat Use of Phelsuma Geckos in Mauritius. Journal of Herpetology 50 (1): 102-107. - get paper here
  • Hallmann, G.; Krüger, J. & Trautmann, G. 2008. Faszinierende Taggeckos. Die Gattung Phelsuma. 2. Aufl. Natur und Tier Verlag, Münster, 253 pp. - get paper here
  • Heselhaus, R. 1980. Phelsumen im Terrarium. Herpetofauna 2 (4): 9-10 - get paper here
  • Hoesch, U. 1981. Die Phelsumen auf Mauritius. Sauria 3 (4): 25-27 - get paper here
  • Jean-Baptiste, M. 2013. Reptile survey on Rodrigues and its islets. Solitaire (24): 18-20 - get paper here
  • Merrem, B. 1820. Versuch eines Systems der Amphibien I (Tentamen Systematis Amphibiorum). J. C. Kriegeri, Marburg, 191 pp. - get paper here
  • Mertens, R. 1963. The geckos of the genus Phelsuma on Mauritius and adjacent islands. Mauritius Institute Bulletin, 5:299—305.
  • Mertens,R. 1962. Die Arten und Unterarten der Geckonengattung Phelsuma. Senckenbergiana biologica 43: 81-127
  • Milbert, M.J. 1812. Voyage pittoresque à l’Ile-de-France, au Cap de Bonne-Espérance et à l’Ile de Ténériffe. Tomes I et II, atlas, Nepveu, Paris.
  • Oostveen, H. 1980. Phelsuma’s: steeds kleine wonderen. Lacerta 38 (10-11): 98-101 - get paper here
  • Pasteur, G. & R. Bour 1994. Priorité de Phelsuma cepediana (Milbert, 1812) sur Phelsuma cepediana (Merrem, 1820) dans la designation de l'espèce type du genre Phelsuma Gray (Sauria, Gekkonidae). Bull. Soc. Herp. France 63 (3) [1992]: 1-6 - get paper here
  • PROBST, J-M. 1997. Animaux de La Réunion - guide d’identification des oiseaux, mammifères, reptiles et amphibiens. Edit. Azalées, 168 pp.
  • Pürkel, Oliver 2012. Der Blauschwanz-Taggecko, Phelsuma cepediana. Natur und Tier Verlag, 64 pp. - get paper here
  • Raxworthy C J. NUSSBAUM R A. 1993. A new Madagascan Phelsuma with a review of Phelsuma trilineata and comments on Phelsuma cepediana in Madagascar (Squamata: Gekkonidae). Herpetologica 49 (3): 342-349. - get paper here
  • ROCHA, SARA; HERBERT RÖSLER, PHILIP-SEBASTIAN GEHRING, FRANK GLAW, DAVID POSADA, D. JAMES HARRIS & MIGUEL VENCES 2010. Phylogenetic systematics of day geckos, genus Phelsuma, based on molecular and morphological data (Squamata: Gekkonidae). Zootaxa 2429: 1–28 - get paper here
  • Romer, Alfred Sherwood 1956. Osteology of the Reptiles. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, xxi + 772 S. - get paper here
  • Rösler, H. 2000. Kommentierte Liste der rezent, subrezent und fossil bekannten Geckotaxa (Reptilia: Gekkonomorpha). Gekkota 2: 28-153
  • Wagler, Jean G. 1830. Natürliches System der Amphibien, mit vorangehender Classification der Säugetiere und Vögel. Ein Beitrag zur vergleichenden Zoologie. 1.0. Cotta, München, Stuttgart, and Tübingen, 354 pp. [1830-1832] - get paper here
  • Wiemer, R. 1994. Phelsuma cepediana (MERREM, 1820). Sauria 16 Suppl.: 315–318 - get paper here
  • Wohler, Josua. 2013. Unterschiede in der Pupillenform bei einigen Arten der Gattung Phelsuma. Sauria 35 (4): 15-22 - get paper here
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