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Phyllodactylus unctus (COPE, 1863)

IUCN Red List - Phyllodactylus unctus - Near Threatened, NT

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Higher TaxaPhyllodactylidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: San Lucan Gecko
S: Salamanquesa de San Lucas 
SynonymDiplodactylus unctus COPE 1863: 102
Phyllodactylus unctus — BOULENGER 1885: 94
Phyllodactylus unctus — VAN DENBURGH 1895: 86
Phyllodactylus unctus — TAYLOR 1942: 96
Phyllodactylus unctus — DIXON 1964: 83
Phyllodactylus unctus — STEBBINS 1985: 236
Phyllodactylus unctus — KLUGE 1993
Phyllodactylus unctus — LINER 1994
Phyllodactylus unctus — RÖSLER 2000: 105 
DistributionNW Mexico (Baja California; Cape St. Lucas, Michoacan [Dixon 1969])

Type locality: Cape St. Lucas, Baja California.  
TypesHolotype: USNM 5304 
DiagnosisOriginal description: “Scales rounded, flat in about 36 rows on the dorgal region; those of the muzzle smaller than dorsal, little larger than those on the occiput. Internasals in contact. Seven superior labial, including that under the pupil; six inferior, to the same point, the last two very small, the first larger than the second, extensively in contact with the first pair of mental plates, which bound the symphyseal posteriorly. Each of the former is bounded by three smaller, and these are succeeded by a few rows which diminish in size. Terminal discs with straight outlines. Tail without tubercles. Anal scales similar to the abdominal. Auricular opening as long as pupil. Premaxillary teeth five. Length from end of muzzle to auricular meatus 12’’’, from the same point to vent 4.5’’. Above grey, shining, with five broad, blackish, centrally-pale cross-bands, from base of tail to interscapular region. A dark band from the muzzle through the eye, a cross band on occiput, and various irregular spots on the top of head and labial regions.” (Cope 1863: 102) 
EtymologyNot given by Cope, but possibly after the Latin unctus = (1) anointed or sprinkled scented with oil and ointments; (2) (figuratively) sumptuous, rich, hearty, (3)
(eloquence) polished, refined. 
  • Barbour, T. 1932. On Phyllodactylus unctus Cope Copeia 1932 (2): 97. - get paper here
  • Barbour, Thomas 1932. "About iguanas" and "On Phyllodactylus unctus Cope". Copeia 1932 (2): 97 - get paper here
  • BLAIR, CHRISTOPHER; FAUSTO R. MÉNDEZ DE LA CRUZ, ANDRE NGO, JOHAN LINDELL, AMY LATHROP & ROBERT W. MURPHY 2009. Molecular phylogenetics and taxonomy of leaf-toed geckos (Phyllodactylidae: Phyllodactylus) inhabiting the peninsula of Baja California. Zootaxa 2027: 28-42 - 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
  • Burt, Charles E. & Myers, George S. 1942. Neotropical lizards in the collection of the Natural History Museum of Stanford University. Stanford University Press, 52 pp.
  • Cope, E.D. 1863. Descriptions of new American Squamata in the Museum of the Smtihsonian Institution. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 15 [1863]: 100-106 - get paper here
  • Dixon, J. R. 1964. The systematics and distribution of lizards of the genus Phyllodactylus in North and Central America. New Mexico State Univ. Sci. Bull. 64: 1-139 - get paper here
  • Dixon, James R. 1969. The Gekkonid lizard, Phyllodactylus unctus (Cope), in Michoacán, Mexico. Southwestern Naturalist 14 (2): 255-256 - get paper here
  • Jones, L.L. & Lovich, R.E. 2009. Lizards of the American Southwest. A photographic field guide. Rio Nuevo Publishers, Tucson, AZ, 568 pp. [review in Reptilia 86: 84] - get paper here
  • Leviton, Alan E.; Banta, Benjamin H. 1964. Midwinter reconnaissance of the herpetofauna of the Cape Region of Baja California, Mexico. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. 30 (7): 127-156 - get paper here
  • Murphy, Robert W.; Papenfuss, Theodore J. 1980. Biochemical variation of Phyllodactylus unctus and P. paucituberculatus. Biochemical Systematics and Ecology 8(1):97-100 - get paper here
  • Ramírez-Reyes, T., Velasco, J. A., Flores-Villela, O., & Piñero, D. 2022. Decoupling in Diversification and Body Size Rates During the Radiation of Phyllodactylus: Evidence Suggests Minor Role of Ecology in Shaping Phenotypes. Evolutionary Biology, 1-15 - get paper here
  • Rickert, M. 1994. Phyllodactylus unctus (COPE, 1864) - erste Erfahrungen mit einem selten gepflegten Blattfingergecko. Sauria 16 (2): 27-32 - get paper here
  • Rösler, H. 2000. Kommentierte Liste der rezent, subrezent und fossil bekannten Geckotaxa (Reptilia: Gekkonomorpha). Gekkota 2: 28-153
  • Stebbins,R.C. 1985. A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians, 2nd ed. Houghton Mifflin, Boston
  • Taylor, Edward H. 1942. Some geckos of the genus Phyllodactylus. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 28 (6): 91-112 - get paper here
  • Van Denburgh,J. 1895. A review of the herpetology of Lower California. Part I - Reptiles. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. (2) 5: 77-163 - get paper here
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