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Pristurus popovi ARNOLD, 1982

IUCN Red List - Pristurus popovi - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaSphaerodactylidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Saudi Rock Gecko 
SynonymPristurus popovi ARNOLD 1982
Pristurus popovi — KLUGE 1993
Pristurus popovi — RÖSLER 2000: 106 
DistributionSW Saudia Arabia, NW Yemen (Asir Province, Jabal Sawda N An Nabi Shu`ayb nake Sana)

Type locality: Jabal Sawdah, 18°18'N, 42°20'E, 2923 m elevation, Asir Province, Saudi Arabia.  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1977.410 (c. H. Lowe, 25. VII. 1977), male. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A moderate sized, rather depressed species of Pristurus with the following characteristics: lateral downgrowths of frontal bone not meeting and fusing on mid-line or extending forwards onto nasal capsule; nasal process of premaxilla not extending backwards as far as the level of the anterior margins of the orbits, its palatal section with a w-shaped hind margin; clear contact between the palatal sections of the maxillae behind the premaxilla, postorbital bone relatively large, nearly always 23 presacral vertebrae with the lateral sections of the anterior zygopophyses folded right over the contiguous posterior zygopophyses of the next vertebra; 3 sternal and one complete xiphisternal rib; nostril situated between the rostral, a supranasal and usually two postnasal scales; 3 to 5 scales between the two supranasals, upper palpebral fold strongly projecting, subtibial scales enlarged; tail compressed with a sagittal fringe of elongated scales above that does not extend onto body, these caudal features being much better developed in males than females. Most similar to P. rupestris Blanford, 1874, P. [lavipunctatus Riippell, 1835 and P. [lavipunctatuslike populations from Jebel Akhdar, Northern Oman (Arnold, 1977; p.92) and Wadi Karrar near Makkah, Saudi Arabia that are as yet un-named. P.popovi differs from P. rupestris in its larger size, frontal bone unclosed beneath, larger postorbital bone, better developed palpebral fold and the presence of a tail fringe in females. It may be separated from P. [lavipunctatus and related populations by its broader head, much more extensive upper palpebral fold and usual absence of a clear sagittal crest below the tail in males; in addition P. popovi can be distinguished from true P. [lavipunctatus by its larger size, presence of more scales between the supranasals and the failure of the row of enlarged scales on the dorsal surface of the tail to extend onto the body [ARNOLD 1982]. 
EtymologyNamed after G. V. Popov who collected the first known specimens of the species and much other important herpetological material in southwestern Asia and north Africa. 
  • Arnold E N 1982. Reptiles of Saudi Arabia. A new semaphore gecko (Pristurus: Gekkonidae) and a new dwarf snake (Eirenis: Colubridae) from southwestern Arabia. Fauna of Saudi Arabia 4: 468-477
  • Arnold, E.N. 2009. Relationships, evolution and biogeography of Semaphore geckos, Pristurus (Squamata, Sphaerodactylidae) based on morphology. Zootaxa 2060: 1-21 - get paper here
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Rösler, H. 2000. Kommentierte Liste der rezent, subrezent und fossil bekannten Geckotaxa (Reptilia: Gekkonomorpha). Gekkota 2: 28-153
  • Rösler, H.; Köhler, J. & Böhme, W. 2008. A new species of the diurnal gekkonid genus Pristurus Rüppell, 1835 from the Red Sea island Hanish al-Kabir, Yemen. Amphibia-Reptilia 29: 217-227 - get paper here
  • Sindaco, R. & Jeremcenko, V.K. 2008. The reptiles of the Western Palearctic. Edizioni Belvedere, Latina (Italy), 579 pp. - get paper here
  • Sindaco, Roberto; Riccardo Nincheri, Benedetto Lanza 2014. Catalogue of Arabian reptiles in the collections of the “La Specola” Museum, Florence. Scripta Herpetologica. Studies on Amphibians and Reptiles in honour of Benedetto Lanza: pp. 137-164 - get paper here
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