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Phyllodactylus pulcher GRAY, 1828

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Higher TaxaPhyllodactylidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Barbados Leaf-toed Gecko 
SynonymPhyllodactylus pulcher GRAY 1828: 3
Phyllodactylus pulcher — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1836: 397
Phyllodactylus spatulatus COPE 1863: 176
Phyllodactylus pulcher — BOULENGER 1885: 80
Phyllodactylus spatulatus — BOULENGER 1885: 81
Phyllodactylus pulcher — WERNER 1913: 3
Phyllodactylus pulcher — WERMUTH 1965: 143
Phyllodactylus pulcher — SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON 1991: 460
Phyllodactylus pulcher — KLUGE 1993
Phyllodactylus pulcher — RÖSLER 2000: 104 
DistributionLesser Antilles (Barbados)

Type locality: Not given; later stated by Gray, 1845, to be "Tropical South America?"  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.9.4.80.
Syntype: USNM 6040 [Phyllodactylus spatulatus] 
DiagnosisDefinition (genus). Medium-sized gekkonine lizards (maximum snout-vent length 100 mm) with granular dorsal scales and usually with rows of enlarged dorsal tubercles. The terminal subdigital lamellae are enlarged to form two leaf-like pads. The other subdigital lamellae are narrow and in a single row on most of the digit, and in two or three rows just proximal to the greatly expanded terminal pair. The ventral scales are smooth and imbricate. The dorsal caudal scutellation is granular, in whorls, with or without rows of enlarged tubercles. Scales in the median subcaudal row are often enlarged. The endolymphatic sacs usually extend into the dorsolateral region of the neck and often become calcified. Eyelids are absent, and the pupil is vertical.
Sexual dimorphism is limited, but males usually have the postanal region swollen around the cloacal sacs and bones. Preanal and femoral pores are absent. There is considerable variation in color and pattern in some species.
The premaxillary teeth number 8 to 12. Nasal and parietal bones are paired, and the stapes is perforated for passage of the stapedial artery. There are 26 presacral, 2 sacral, and 5 pygal vertebrae, and 10 sternal ribs. The interclavicle is usually cruciform, and the clavicle has a single, sometimes marginal, fenestra. The precoracoid and mesoscapula are not united by cartilage.
The leaf-like terminal subdigital lamellae distinguish Phyllodactylus from all other Western Hemisphere gekkonid genera. In some sand-dwelling species of Peru and Chile the terminal lamellae are reduced in size, but are still recognizable (Dixon 1973).

DESCRIPTION: Maximum SVL 62 mm; 2 postmentals; 14-16 interorbital scales; 20-24 longitudinal rows of enlarged dorsal tubercles; 45-50 tubercles in median row of enlarged dorsal series from rear of head to base of tail, 24-29 between axilla and groin, 10 rows of tubercles across tail base; 15-17 fourth toe lamellae. Dorsum (as preserved) with broad, brown crossbands, mottling of brown and cream, or longitudinal brown lines, or a combination thereof; dark brown line from nostril through eye to shoulder region; venter cream, dirty gray, or yellow-white (from Schwartz & Henderson 1991: 461). 
CommentType species: Phyllodactylus pulcher GRAY 1828: 3 is the type species of the genus Phyllodactylus GRAY 1828: 3.

Type genus: Phyllodactylus is also the type genus of the family Phyllodactylidae.

Reproduction: for a collection of data on reproductive details in Phyllodactylidae see Rösler 2022. 
EtymologyNamed after Latin “pulcher” = beautiful, handsome, fine, fair. 
  • 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
  • Cope, E.D. 1863. Contributions to Neotropical saurology. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 14 [1862]: 176-188. - get paper here
  • Dixon, James R. 1973. Phyllodactylus. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles (141): 1-2 - get paper here
  • Grant, C. 1959. Herpetology of Barbados, B.W.I. Herpetologica 15 (2): 97-101 - get paper here
  • Gray, J. E. 1828. Spicilegia Zoologica or Original figures and short systematic descriptions of new and unfigured animals. Treüttel, Würtz, London, 12 pp. + plates (published in parts from 1828-1830)
  • Gray, J. E. 1845. Catalogue of the specimens of lizards in the collection of the British Museum. Trustees of die British Museum/Edward Newman, London: xxvii + 289 pp. - get paper here
  • Rösler, H. 2000. Kommentierte Liste der rezent, subrezent und fossil bekannten Geckotaxa (Reptilia: Gekkonomorpha). Gekkota 2: 28-153
  • Rösler, Herbert 2022. Akzente der Fortpflanzungsbiologie oviparer Geckos (Squamata: Gekkota) - Charakter, Evolution, Phylogenie. Vernate 41/2022: 91-212
  • Ruthven, Alexander G. 1926. The status of Phyllodactylus spatulatus Cope. Occasional Papers of the Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan (178): 1-2 - get paper here
  • Schwartz, A. & Henderson, R.W. 1991. Amphibians and Reptiles of the West Indies. University of Florida Press, Gainesville, 720 pp.
  • Werner, F. 1913. Neue oder seltene Reptilien und Frösche des Naturhistorischen Museums in Hamburg. Reptilien der Ostafrika-Expedition der Hamburger Geographischen Gesellschaft 1911/12. Leiter: Dr. E. Obst. Reptilien und Amphibien von Formosa. Jb. Hamb. wiss. Anst., 30 [1912], 2. Beiheft: 1-39, 40-45, 45-51 - get paper here
  • Williams, Robert James; Julia Horrocks, Angelo Pernetta 2015. Natural history, distribution, and conservation status of the Barbados leaf-toed gecko, Phyllodactylus pulcher Gray, 1828 (Squamata, Gekkonidae). Herpetology Notes 8: 197-204 - get paper here
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