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Sphaerodactylus continentalis WERNER, 1896

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Higher TaxaSphaerodactylidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Upper Central American Geckolet 
SynonymSphaerodactylus continentalis WERNER 1896
Sphaerodactylus continentalis — WILSON & HAHN 1973
Sphaerodactylus continentalis — MCCRANIE & HEDGES 2012 
DistributionHonduras, S Mexico (from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in northern Oaxaca, Chiapas, Quintana Roo, to about the Catacamas, Olancho, region of east-central Honduras)

Type locality: “Honduras”.  
Reproductionoviparous (manual and phylogenetic imputation, fide Zimin et al. 2022) 
TypesHolotype: ZISP = ZIN 8880 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Sphaerodactylus continentalis can be distinguished from S. millepunctatus (sensu stricto) in having smaller and more numerous dorsal scales (59–70, x = 63.5 ± 3.4 in 20 S. continentalis versus 42–57, x = 51.7 ± 5.0 in 15 S. millepunctatus examined for this study; but see Discussion and Appendix I). Sphaerodactylus continentalis differs from both S. guanajae and S. leonardovaldesi in lacking a short thin pale yellow line above each pelvis, in usually having distinct dorsal spots that are larger than one scale, and in usually having distinct dark stripes on the posterior end of the head and anterior portion of the body (versus short pale pelvic lines almost always present, only scattered dark spots on body that are confined to one scale, and indistinct dark stripes on head and body in those two species). Sphaerodactylus continentalis also differs from S. guanajae in having more subdigital lamellae on the fourth toe (9–12, x = 10.0 ± 0.8 on 40 sides versus 8–9, x = 8.6 ± 0.5 on 12 sides in S. guanajae) and also differs from S. leonardovaldesi in having more scales around the midbody (64–80, x = 71.9 ± 4.8 in 20 S. continentalis versus 48–67, x = 59.8 ± 6.0 in 13 S. leonardovaldesi). Sphaerodactylus continentalis also differs from S. guanajae, S. millepunctatus, and S. leonardovaldesi in molecular data (Fig. 1). Sphaerodactylus glaucus Cope and S. dunni Schmidt can occur sympatrically with S. continentalis. The former has smooth dorsal scales (versus keeled in S. continentalis) and S. dunni has the superciliary spine located posterior to the level of the mideye, the third supralabial lying below the anterior half of the eye, and the medium subcaudal scales alternating (versus superciliary spine at mideye or anterior to that point, fourth supralabial below anterior half of eye, and median subcaudal scales aligned in a single row in S. continentalis). Sphaerodactylus rosaurae occurs sympatrically with S. continentalis on Isla de Utila, but S. continentalis is most easily distinguished from that species in having all dorsal body scales of a similar size (versus middorsal row of granular scales sharply and distinctly differentiated from much larger surrounding dorsal scales in S. rosaurae) [from MCCRANIE & HEDGES 2012]. 
CommentSynonymy: McCranie (2009), Townsend and Wilson (2010a), and Wilson and Johnson (2010) listed Honduran material of this species under the name S. millepunctatus, but this species has been revalidated from the synonymy of S. millepunctatus (by MCCRANIE & HEDGES 2012). 
EtymologyThe name continentalis is derived from the Latin continens (continent) and -alis (pertaining to). The name alludes to the mainland occurrence of the holotype. 
  • González-Sánchez, V. H., J. D. Johnson, E. García-Padilla, V. Mata-Silva, D. L. DeSantis and L. D. Wilson. 2017. The Herpetofauna of the Mexican Yucatan Peninsula: composition, distribution, and conservation status. Mesoamerican Herpetology 4(2): 264–380 - get paper here
  • Hallowell, E. 1861. Report upon the Reptilia of the North Pacific Exploring Expedition, under command of Capt. John Rogers, U. S. N. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 12 [1860]: 480 - 510 - get paper here
  • Harris D M; Kluge A G 1984. The Sphaerodactylus (Sauria: Gekkonidae) of Middle America. Occasional Papers of the Museum of Zoology University of Michigan (No. 706): 1-59 - get paper here
  • Hedges SB, Powell R, Henderson RW, Hanson S, and Murphy JC 2019. Definition of the Caribbean Islands biogeographic region, with checklist and recommendations for standardized common names of amphibians and reptiles. Caribbean Herpetology 67: 1–53
  • Johnson, Jerry D.; Vicente Mata-Silva, Elí García Padilla, and Larry David Wilson 2015. The Herpetofauna of Chiapas, Mexico: composition, distribution, and conservation. Mesoamerican Herpetology 2 (3): 272–329. - get paper here
  • Köhler, G. 1996. Additions to the known herpetofauna of the Isla de Utila (Islas de la Bahia, Honduras) with description of a new species of the genus Norops (Reptilia: Iguanidae). Senckenbergiana biologica 76 (1/2): 19-28.
  • Köhler, G. 2000. Reptilien und Amphibien Mittelamerikas, Bd 1: Krokodile, Schildkröten, Echsen. Herpeton Verlag, Offenbach, 158 pp.
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  • McCranie, J. & Castañeda, F.E. 2005. The herpetofauna of Parque Nacional Pico Bonito, Honduras. Phyllomedusa 4 (1): 3-16 - get paper here
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  • McCranie, James R. 2018. The Lizards, Crocodiles, and Turtles of Honduras. Systematics, Distribution, and Conservation. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Special Publication Series (2): 1- 666 - get paper here
  • MCCRANIE, JAMES R. & S. BLAIR HEDGES 2012. Two new species of geckos from Honduras and resurrection of Sphaerodactylus continentalis Werner from the synonymy of Sphaerodactylus millepunctatus Hallowell (Reptilia, Squamata, Gekkonoidea, Sphaerodactylidae). Zootaxa 3492: 65–76 - get paper here
  • Nicholson, Kirsten E., James R. McCranie and Gunther Köhler 2000. Herpetofaunal expedition to Parque Nacional Patuca: a newly established park in Honduras. Herpetological Bulletin (72): 26-31. - get paper here
  • Solís, J. M., L. D. Wilson, and J. H. Townsend. 2014. An updated list of the amphibians and reptiles of Honduras, with comments on their nomenclature. Mesoamerican Herpetology 1: 123–144 - get paper here
  • Taylor, E. H. 1956. A review of the lizards of Costa Rica. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 38 (part 1): 3-322 - get paper here
  • Werner, F. 1896. Beiträge zur Kenntniss der Reptilien und Batrachier von Centralamerika und Chile, sowie einiger seltenerer Schlangenarten. Verhandlungen der Kaiserlich— Königlichen Zoologisch-Botanischen Gesellschaft in Wien, 46: 344—365 - get paper here
  • Wilson, L. D., & HAHN, D. E. 1973. The herpetofauna of the Islas de la Bahía, Honduras. Bulletin of the Florida State Museum 17: 93-150. - get paper here
  • Zimin, A., Zimin, S. V., Shine, R., Avila, L., Bauer, A., Böhm, M., Brown, R., Barki, G., de Oliveira Caetano, G. H., Castro Herrera, F., Chapple, D. G., Chirio, L., Colli, G. R., Doan, T. M., Glaw, F., Grismer, L. L., Itescu, Y., Kraus, F., LeBreton 2022. A global analysis of viviparity in squamates highlights its prevalence in cold climates. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 00, 1–16 - get paper here
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