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Phelsuma gigas LIÉNARD, 1842

IUCN Red List - Phelsuma gigas - Extinct, EX

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Rodrigues' Day Gecko 
SynonymPhelsuma gigas LIÉNARD 1842
Gecko newtoni GÜNTHER 1877
Gecko newtoni — BOULENGER 1885: 228
Phelsuma gigas — KLUGE 1993
Phelsuma gigas — RÖSLER 2000: 102
Phelsuma gigas — HALLMANN et al. 2008: 113
Phelsuma gigas — GLAW & RÖSLER 2015 
DistributionMascarene Islands: Mauritius (Rodrigues)

Type locality: Frégate Island near Rodriguez, Mascarene Islands, 19° 55’ S, 61° 30’ E.  
TypesType: BMNH 1965.96 (and possibly additional specimens). 
CommentConservation: Seems to be extinct now (AUSTIN et al. 2004.).

Behavior: Secondarily nocturnal “day” gecko with a vertically elliptical pupil.

P. gigas is formally reported only in brief descriptions of its external features (LIÉNARD 1842) and of 12 subfossil bones representing only five skeletal elements (Günther, 1879).

Taxonomy: BOULENGER 188 expresses doubt that the generic assignment of Gecko newtoni is correct, based on skeletal features, but even at his time there were also only bones known. 
EtymologyNamed after the giant “Gigas” in Greek mythology, the child of Uranus and Gaea. The name is applied to taxa that are giants oftheir kind. 
  • Austin, J.J.; E. N. Arnold and C. G. Jones 2004. Reconstructing an island radiation using ancient and recent DNA: the extinct and living day geckos (Phelsuma) of the Mascarene islands. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 31 (1): 109-122 - get paper here
  • Berghof, H.-P. 2005. Taggeckos. Natur und Tier Verlag, Münster, 144 pp. - get paper here
  • 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
  • Günther, A. 1877. Notice of two extinct lizards, formerly inhabiting the Mascarene Islands. Zool. J. Linnean Soc. 13:322-327 - get paper here
  • Günther,C.A.L.G. 1879. The extinct reptiles of Rodriguez. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B (Biol. Sci.) 168 (extra volume): 452–456.
  • Hallmann, G.; Krüger, J. & Trautmann, G. 2008. Faszinierende Taggeckos. Die Gattung Phelsuma. 2. Aufl. Natur und Tier Verlag, Münster, 253 pp. - get paper here
  • Joseph-Ouni, M. 2004. Profiles of Extinction #10. Rodrigues Giant Day Gecko. Reptilia (GB) (36): 3 - get paper here
  • Liénard, F. 1842. Descriptions de reptiles, de poissons et de crustacés. Rapport de la Société d’Histoire Naturelle de Maurice, (13):55-57
  • 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
  • Rösler, Herbert 2001. Zur Rumpfbeschuppung der Gattung Phelsuma GRAY 1825: zoogeographische Aspekte (Sauria: Gekkonidae). Gekkota 3: 47-73
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