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Phyllodactylus xanti COPE, 1863

IUCN Red List - Phyllodactylus xanti - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaPhyllodactylidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
SubspeciesPhyllodactylus xanti xanti COPE 1863
Phyllodactylus xanti zweifeli DIXON 1964 
Common NamesE: Leaf-toed Gecko (including Santa Cruz Leaf-toed Gecko, Las Animas Island Gecko, Raza Island Leaf-toed Gecko)
S: Salamanquesa de Cabo 
SynonymPhyllodactylus xanti COPE 1863: 102
Phyllodactylus mentalis WERNER 1910: 5
Phyllodactylus nocticolus DIXON 1964
Phyllodactylus angelensis DIXON 1966: 444
Phyllodactylus tinklei DIXON 1966: 446
Phyllodactylus angelensis — MURPHY & OTTLEY 1984
Phyllodactylus angelensis — KLUGE 1993
Phyllodactylus tinklei — KLUGE 1993
Phyllodactylus angelensis — LINER 1994
Phyllodactylus tinklei — LINER 1994
Phyllodactylus xanti — GRISMER 1999
Phyllodactylus tinklei — RÖSLER 2000: 105
Phyllodactylus angelensis — LINER 2008
Phyllodactylus xanti — BLAIR et al. 2015

Phyllodactylus xanti zweifeli DIXON 1964
Phyllodactylus xanti zweifeli DIXON 1964: 59
Phyllodactylus xanti zweifeli — DIXON 1969
Phyllodactylus xanti zweifeli — PLIEGO‐SEANCHEZ et al. 2021 
DistributionMexico (Baja California, Isla: San Diego, Islas Salsipuedes, Isla San Esteban, Isla Magdalena, Santa Margarita)

angelensis: Mexico (Islas Angel de la Guarda, Mejía, Pond);Type locality: north end of Isla Angel de la Guarda, Baja California.

tinklei: Isla La Raza (Mexico, Baja California); Type locality: Isla Raza, Baja California.

zweifeli: Mexico (Baja California); Type locality: Puerto Magdalena, Baja California.

Type locality: Cape St. Lucas, Baja California.  
TypesNeotype: CAS 91427, adult female (fide Dixon 1964: 50)
Holotype: SDMNH = SDNHM = SDSNH 19996, adult male; paratypes: CAS, SDMNH, SDNHM = SDSNH 50851 [angelensis]
Holotype: SDNHM = SDSNH 45895; paratypes SDNHM = SDSNH [sloani]
Holotype: CAS 98463 [tinklei]
Holotype: AMNH 77398, adult male, paratypes: AMNH, USNM [zweifeli] 
DiagnosisDEFINITION. A small gecko, average snout-vent length 45 mm, with more scales between the eyes than across the snout at the level of the third labials; distal half of tail without enlarged tubercles; enlarged dorsal tubercles in 12-16 rows; tubercles present or absent on thigh and tibia (Dixon 1969).

DIAGNOSIS (tinklei). A medium-sized gecko. average snout-vent length of 47.5 mm, differing from all other insular forms in having each tubercle of each row white tipped, giving an appearance of many white lines on the body: and an incomplete white bar across the rear of the head: this species also has a high number of scales bordering the internasals and lamellae beneath the fourth toe (Dixon 1966).

DIAGNOSIS (zweifeli). The average snout-vent length is 42.4 mIn. This race differs from all other races in having the fewest scales between the nostril and eye (9.9), the most longitudinal ventral scales (36.7) and the most scales across the snout at level of third labial (20.8) (Dixon 1969).

Description (mentalis): Werner 1910: 5 
CommentSubspecies and synonyms: Most (former) subspecies of P. xanti have been described as subspecies of P. nocticolus. Grismer (1999) synonymized most subspecies with P. xanti because he couldn’t find any clearly diagnosable differences. The status of P. mentalis remains somewhat unclear. The types (in the Hamburg Museum) have been destroyed during World War II, but its description fits P. xanti with one exception and that is in the number of scale rows across the venter (DIXON 1964: 103). Blair et al. 2015 tentatively recognized a total of 15 species, 9 of which are yet to be described (”formal descriptions of these taxa are forthcoming”). Ramírez-Reyes et al. 2020 revalidated several synonyms, including P. coronatus, P. santacruzensis, and P. apricus, but didn’t provide any (updated) diagnoses.

Distribution: not in Sonora fide Lemos-Espinal et al. 2019. See map in RAMÍREZ-REYES et al. 2021: Fig. 1. 
EtymologyNamed after John Xantus a.k.a Louis de Vesey (1825-1894), Hungarian-born naturalist who arrived in the US in 1850 and then had various jobs.

P. x. zweifeli honors Richard G. Zweifel who collected the type-specimen. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - 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
  • Blair, Christopher; Fausto R. Méndez de la Cruz, Christopher Law, Robert W. Murphy 2015. Molecular phylogenetics and species delimitation of leaf-toed geckos (Phyllodactylidae: Phyllodactylus) throughout the Mexican tropical dry forest. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 84: 254-265; doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2015.01.003 - get paper here
  • Bostic, D. L. 1971. Herpetofauna of the Pacific Coast of north central Baja California, Mexico, with a description of a new subspecies of Phyllodactylus xanti. Transactions of the San Diego Society of Natural History, 16:237—263 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Cryder, Michael R.; Grismer, L. Lee; Hollingsworth, Bradford D.; Wong, Humberto 1997. Geographic Distribution. Phyllodactylus xanti. Herpetological Review 28 (2): 97 - get paper here
  • Dixon, J. R. 1960. The discovery of Phyllodactylus tuberculosus (Reptilia: Sauna) in Central America, the resurrection of P. xanti, and description of a new gecko from British Honduras. Herpetologica 16: 1-11 - 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. 1966. Speciation and systematics of the gekkonid lizard genus Phyllodactylus of the islands of the Gulf of California. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. 33 (13): 415-452 - get paper here
  • Dixon, James R. 1969. Phyllodactylus xanti. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles (79): 1-2 - get paper here
  • Grismer, L. Lee 1994. Geographic origins for the reptiles on islands in the Gulf of California, México. Herpetological Natural History 2 (2): 17-40
  • Grismer, L. Lee 1996. Geographic Distribution. Phyllodactylus xanti. Herpetological Review 27 (1): 32-33 - get paper here
  • Grismer, L. Lee. 1999. An evolutionary classification of reptiles on islands in the Gulf of California, México. Herpetologica 55 (4): 446-469 - get paper here
  • Jiménez-Arcos, Víctor H., Aníbal H. Díaz de la Vega-Pérez, Rafael A. Lara-Resendiz, Ali Rabatsky and Fausto R. Méndez-de la Cruz. 2016. Phyllodactylus xanti. Thermoregulatory activity. Mesoamerican Herpetology 3(4): 1011–1012 - 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, R. W. 1983. Paleobiogeography and genetic differentiation of the Baja California herpetofauna. Occ. Pap. Cal. Acad. Sci. (137): 1-48 - get paper here
  • Murphy, R. W.; Ottley, J. R. 1984. Distribution of amphibians and reptiles on islands in the Gulf of California. Annals of the Carnegie Museum 53 (8): 207-230 - get paper here
  • Pliego‐Sánchez, J. V., Blair, C., Díaz de la Vega‐Pérez, A. H., & Jiménez‐Arcos, V. H. 2021. The Insular Herpetofauna of Mexico: Composition, conservation, and biogeographic patterns. Ecology and Evolution - get paper here
  • Ramírez-Reyes T, Flores- Villela O, Piñero D, Lathrop A, Murphy RW. 2021. Genomic assessment of the Phyllodactylus tuberculosus complex (Reptilia: Phyllodactylidae) in America. Zoologica Scripta 50 (5): 529-542 - get paper here
  • Ramírez-Reyes, T., Blair, C., Flores-Villela, O., Piñero, D., Lathrop, A., Murphy, R. 2020. Phylogenomics and molecular species delimitation reveals great cryptic diversity of leaf-toed geckos (Phyllodactylidae: Phyllodactylus), ancient origins, and diversification in Mexico. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution (2020), doi: - 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
  • Werner,F. 1910. Über neue oder seltene Reptilien des Naturhistorischen Museums in Hamburg. ii. Eidechsen. Jahrb. Hamburg. Wiss. Anst., vol. 27 (1909), suppl. no. 2, 1910, pp. 1-46; reprinted: 1910, Mitteil. Naturhist. Mus. Hamburg, vol. 27: 205-) - get paper here
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