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Rhoptropus bradfieldi HEWITT, 1935

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common Names 
SynonymRhoptropus bradfieldi HEWITT 1935: 307
Rhoptropus bradfieldi — LOVERIDGE 1947: 288
Rhoptropus bradfieldi — WERMUTH 1965: 161
Rhoptropus bradfieldi — KLUGE 1993
Rhoptropus bradfieldi — RÖSLER 1995: 153
Rhoptropus bradfieldi — CIMATTI 2007
Rhoptropus bradfieldi — SCHNEIDER & BARTS 2014 
DistributionNamibia (Damaraland, Farm Twyfelfontein, Outjo Brandberg, Kaokoveld)

Type locality: Messum River, Southwest Africa.  
TypesSyntypes: PEM (Port Elizabeth Museum, formerly Albany Museum) 
DiagnosisDescription: “This species is in some respects intermediate between afer and barnardi, e.g. in the shape of the snout, and in the internasal scaling: but there are characters such as the subcaudal scaling which do not seem to be of intermediate nature, Unlike fLier, the habitat is rupicolous: the digits are stouter than those of ale1', and the tail is more flattened. Snout long, somewhat flattened, not well pointed as in barnfLrdi: behind the nostril on each side a well marked shallow pit: no canthus rostralis. Internasal scales are one in front and three or four behind: or, in front there may be a large one and a small one. Symphisial scale much elongate, in adults nearly as broad behind as in front: first labial also much elongate but second labial only slightly so. No row of chin-shields, but one or two odd scales may be a little enlarged. Ventral not crenulate on their hInder margins, Dorsal scales all well rounded, with scarcely any tendency to become tubercled or keeled as is the case towards the flanks in barnardi: nor are there any keeled scales on the snout in front of the orbit. Snout scales larger than those on the occiput or over the middle of the back,
Preanal pores not developed in the specimen. Tail well depressed and distinctly segmented, though the lateral constrictions are not deep. Except on the basal segment, there is a continuous single mid-ventral row of transversely elongated scales, three of which are included in each segment: seven rows of scales per segment dorsally, All these large ventral scales are much elongate, some being four times as broad as long. Basal segment of tail without enlarged scales of any kind. Ten transverse lamellae below the expansion of the longer digits, the most distal one divided: a row of enlarged scales along the midline of the digit inferiorly, about 13 on the longer toes. The colour of spirit-preserved specimens is dark grey above with faint indications of darker cross bands over the back: ventral surfaces entirely blue. Length from snout to vent 54 mm.: breadth of head about 13. In the juvenile specimen enlarged ventral scales occur on all the tail segments except the first: but on segments II and III these enlarged scales are double, not single as on all succeeding segments. In these segments the dorsal scales are in 8 transverse rows.
Besides the above, three specimens from Ugab can also be referred to bradfieldi, although they are not precisely the same as the types. They are much paler above and below, ventral surfaces only faintly blue-tinged: they are also stouter, the breadth of head being 14.5, head and body length 55. The second lower labial is relatively a little more elongate than in the types. The snout though stouter is similar in scaling. In these specimens unfortunately the tail is lacking. Also, a few pale and rather small specimens from Heichamchab agree sufficiently well: the tail character is typical, and the nostrils are fairly close together as in the types but the front row of ,internasals includes 2 or 3 small granules: a small specimen taken near Great Omaruru River, 55 miles north of Swakopmund (N. J. Smith) has one rather large internasal and in front of it two small granules. Lastly, a sman tailless specimen from Gorob (R. D. Bradfield) is much like the types.
There is relationship with boultoni Schmidt, a rupicolous species from Mossamedes (Ann. Carnegie Mus. XXII, p. 8); but that species has definite chin-shields, symphysial and first three lower labials more elongate, first five verticils of tail without transverse median scales.” (from Hewitt 1935: 307). 
CommentSubspecies: Rhoptropus bradfieldi diporus HAACKE 1965 is now considered as a valid species. 
EtymologyNamed after R. D. Bradfield (1882-1949), a South African farmer, naturalist, and collector who spent most ofhis life in Namibia. 
  • Barts, M. & BALLANDAT, S. 2009. Rhoptropus bradfieldi Hewitt, 1935 Reproduction. African Herp News (47): 39-40 - get paper here
  • Bauer A M. Good D A. 1996. Phylogenetic systematics of the day geckos, genus Rhoptropus (Reptilia: Gekkonidae), of south-western Africa. Journal of Zoology 238 (4): 635- 663 - get paper here
  • Bauer, A. M. & T. Lamb 2001. A reconsideration of the systematic status of Rhoptropus bradfieldi diporus HAACKE 1965. African Journal of Herpetology 50(2): 71-78 - get paper here
  • Bauer, Aaron M.; Branch, William R. & Haacke, Wulf D. 1993. The herpetofauna of the Kamanjab area and adjacent Damaraland, Namibia. Madoqua (Windhoek) 18 (2): 117-145.
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Cimatti, E. 2007. Namibia - Introduction to a vast territory. Reptilia (GB) (50): 58-67 - get paper here
  • CONRADIE, WERNER; WILLIAM R. BRANCH, & GILLIAN WATSON 2019. Type specimens in the Port Elizabeth Museum, South Africa, including the historically important Albany Museum collection. Part 2: Reptiles (Squamata). Zootaxa 4576 (1): 001–045 - get paper here
  • Gates, Bruce C. 2008. Day Geckos of the Namib Desert: Rhoptropus afer Peters, 1869 and Rhoptropus bradfieldi Hewitt, 1935. Gekko 5 (2): 2-5
  • Haacke, W. D. 1965. Additional notes on the herpetology of South West Africa with descriptions of two new subspecies of geckos. Cimbebasia (11):1-39
  • 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
  • Hewitt, J. 1935. Some new forms of batrachians and reptiles from South Africa. Rec. Albany Mus. 4: 283-357
  • Loveridge, A. 1947. Revision of the African lizards of the family Gekkondiae. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 98: 1-469 - get paper here
  • Rösler, Herbert 1995. Geckos der Welt - Alle Gattungen. Urania, Leipzig, 256 pp.
  • Schleicher, Alfred 2015. Reptilien Namibias. Namibia Scientific  Society, 276 pp.
  • Schneider, Christian and Mirko Barts. 2014. Die Geckos der Gattung Rhoptropus. Sauria 36 (3): 29-39 - get paper here
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