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Ptenopus carpi BRAIN, 1962

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Namib Chirping Gecko 
SynonymPtenopus carpi BRAIN 1962
Ptenopus carpi — WERMUTH 1965: 153
Ptenopus carpi — HAACKE 1976
Ptenopus carpi — KLUGE 1993
Ptenopus carpi — RÖSLER 2000: 107
Ptenopus carpi — MASHININI & MAHLANGU 2013
Ptenopus carpi — SCHLEICHER 2020 
DistributionNamibia (Namib Desert)

Type locality: 1 mile north of the Kuisib River near Gobabeb, central Namib, South West Africa.  
TypesHolotype: DNMNH (= TM) 25973, adult male 
DiagnosisDescription: Holotype: Somewhat similar in build to P. garrulus but with more elongate limbs (see measurements below). Total length 96.5 mm (56.5 +40.0 mm). Tail amounts to 70 % of snout-vent length.
Upper labials 10, lower 13; NostrilS open and surrounded by 2 nasals (Fig. 1 b). Larger nasal on each side separated above rostral by 2 granules. Pupil vertical, spectacle partly covered by well-developed extra-brillar fringes; ear opening a short oblique slit; rostral and mental entire. No distinct chin-shields present but gular scales, adjacent to mental, larger than those further back. Lepidosis generally of small granular to flattened scales, many bearing sensory pits. All digits strongly clawed, fringed laterally with spinose scales, those of toes much longer than of fingers (Plate 1 e).
Tail tapering, rather bluntly pointed, covered with regular plate-like scales; two pronounced swellings just porterior to vent containing hemipenes, A group of enlarged and pointed tubercles on either side of tailbase (3 large and several smaller per side). Peritoneal lining unpigmented and white; post-anal sacs present, femoral pores absent (Brain 1962: 15).

Colour in life, creamy white above, pure white below, finely speckled dorsally with orange-brown and marked with bold, brown transverse stripes, 3 on body, 7 on tail. Dorsal interorbital head surface blue-grey; poorly defined cross-banding on hind limbs and toes. Throat sulphur-yellow, iris pale buff, marked with darker irregular vertical lines (see Plate 1 b) (Brain 1962: 15).

Allotype: Total length 105 mm. (58.5 + 45.0); ratio tail snout-vent length 70 %. Upper labials 9, lower 13 and 11, larger number being on right side. Other features as in holotype except as follows: tail-base not swollen, with lateral tUbercles small and only 2 per side. Throat pure white (Brain 1962: 15).

Paratypes: Points of difference from holotype as follows: Total lengths 57.6-103.5 mm. Mean proportion tail to snout-vent length 72.7 %, range 67.0 -77.0 %. Upper labials 8-11, mean 10; lower labials 9-14, mean 12. Nostril surrounded by 2 nasals, only 1 specimen showing 3. Right and left nasals separated above rostral by 1-3 granules, most frequently 2. Colouration as in holotype, but tail-bars 7-9 in number (Brain 1962: 15).

SEXUAL DIMORPHISM: As in P. garrulus, tail-base tubercles are larger and more numerous in males than females. Throat yellow in adult males, white in females (Brain 1962: 15). 
EtymologyNamed after Bernhard Carp (1901-1966), a Dutch-born Cape Town businessman and naturalist who sponsored many collecting expeditions, particularly to Namibia, by the Zoological Museum in Amsterdam. 
  • Barts, M. 2021. Geckos aus dem südlichen Afrika. DATZ 2021 (5): 24-34
  • Barts, Mirko 2018. Ein kleiner Reiseführer zu den Reptilien und Amphibien Namibias. Draco 16 (64): 6-23 [2015] - get paper here
  • Barts, Mirko 2018. Auf der Suche nach dem Kaokogecko, Pachydactylus (früher Kaokogecko) vanzyli. Draco 16 (64): 24-29 [2015] - 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
  • Brain, C. K. 1962. A review of the gecko genus Ptenopus with the description of a new species. Cimbebasia (1): 1-18
  • Branch, William R. 1993. A Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Southern Africa. Cape Town: Struik Publishers, 144 S.
  • Gramentz, D. 2008. Zum bioakustischen Verhalten von Ptenopus carpi BRAIN, 1961. Sauria 30 (1): 43-46 - get paper here
  • Haacke, W.D. 1976. The Burrowing Geckos of Southern Africa: 5. (Phylogetic and Taxonomic Affinities). Annals Transvaal Mus. 30 (6): 71-89 - get paper here
  • Herrmann, H.-W.; W.R. Branch 2013. Fifty years of herpetological research in the Namib Desert and Namibia with an updated and annotated species checklist. Journal of Arid Environments 93: 94–115 - get paper here
  • Mashinini, P. L. and Mahlangu, L. M. 2013. An annotated catalogue of the types of gekkonid lizards (Reptilia: Squamata: Gekkonidae) in the Herpetology collection of the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History, South Africa. Annals of the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History 3: 165-181
  • Rösler, H. 2000. Kommentierte Liste der rezent, subrezent und fossil bekannten Geckotaxa (Reptilia: Gekkonomorpha). Gekkota 2: 28-153
  • Schleicher, Alfred 2015. Reptilien Namibias. Namibia Scientific  Society, 276 pp.
  • Schleicher, Alfred 2020. Reptiles of Namibia. Kuiseb Publishers, Windhoek, Namibia, 271 pp.
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