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Sphaerodactylus fantasticus DUMÉRIL & BIBRON, 1836

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Higher TaxaSphaerodactylidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
SubspeciesSphaerodactylus fantasticus fantasticus DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1836
Sphaerodactylus fantasticus anidrotus THOMAS 1964
Sphaerodactylus fantasticus fuga THOMAS 1964
Sphaerodactylus fantasticus hippomanes THOMAS 1964
Sphaerodactylus fantasticus karukera THOMAS 1964
Sphaerodactylus fantasticus ligniservulus KING 1962
Sphaerodactylus fantasticus orescius THOMAS 1964
Sphaerodactylus fantasticus tartaropylorus THOMAS 1964 
Common NamesE: Southern Leeward Geckolet, Fantastic Least Gecko 
SynonymSphaerodactylus fantasticus DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1836: 406
Sphaerodactylus fantasticus [CUVIER 1836] (fide KLUGE 1993)
Sphaerodactylus fantasticus — BOULENGER 1885: 223
Sphaerodactylus fantasticus — KING 1962: 21
Sphaerodactylus fantasticus — SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON 1991: 493
Sphaerodactylus fantasticus — KLUGE 1993
Sphaerodactylus fantasticus — RÖSLER 2000: 112
Sphaerodactylus fantasticus — DANIELLS et al. 2010

Sphaerodactylus fantasticus anidrotus THOMAS 1964
Sphaerodactylus fantasticus anidrotus — DANIELLS et al. 2010

Sphaerodactylus fantasticus fuga THOMAS 1964
Sphaerodactylus fantasticus fuga — DANIELLS et al. 2010

Sphaerodactylus fantasticus hippomanes THOMAS 1964
Sphaerodactylus fantasticus hippomanes — DANIELLS et al. 2010

Sphaerodactylus fantasticus karukera THOMAS 1964
Sphaerodactylus fantasticus karukera — DANIELLS et al. 2010

Sphaerodactylus fantasticus ligniservulus KING 1962: 25
Sphaerodactylus fantasticus ligniservulus — DANIELLS et al. 2010

Sphaerodactylus fantasticus orescius THOMAS 1964
Sphaerodactylus fantasticus orescius — DANIELLS et al. 2010

Sphaerodactylus fantasticus tartaropylorus THOMAS 1964
Sphaerodactylus fantasticus tartaropylorus — DANIELLS et al. 2010 
DistributionLesser Antilles: Guadeloupe, Marie-Galante, Antilles, Desirade, Dessainte, Dominica, Montserrat

fantasticus: Guadeloupe: west coast of the Basse-Terre portion, from Mahaut south to vicinity of Baillif. Type locality: Martinique (in error); revised to Guadeloupe by Barbour, 1915; further restricted to city of Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe, by Thomas, 1965.

anidrotus: Marie-Galante; Type locality: 5 km SE Grande-Bourg, Marie-Galante.

fuga: Dominica, west coast; Type locality: 1 mi. N Morne Raquette, St. Joseph Parish, Dominica.

hippomnanes: La Désirade; Type locality: Baie Mahault, La Désirade.

karukera: Guadeloupe: known only from Gosier, Ilet de Gosier, and Terre-de-Bas, Îles de la Petite Terre; Type locality: Gosier, on the Grande-Terre portion of Guadeloupe.

ligniservulus: Montserrat; Type locality: Plymouth, St. Anthony's Parish, Montserrat.

orescius: Guadeloupe, the eastern Basse-Terre portion from Sofaïa south to vicinity of Trois Rivières; Type locality: 1 km S Prise d'Eau, the Basse-Terre portion of Guadeloupe;intergrades with S. fantasticus and S. karukera

tartaropylorus: Guadeloupe, the northern portion of Grande-Terre north of the Plaine de Grippon; Type locality: Port d'Enfer, 5.5 km N Campeche, Grande-Terre portion of Guadeloupe.  
TypesSyntypes: MNHN-RA 1770, MNHN-RA 1999.8243 (formerly MNHN-RA 1770A), MNHN-RA 1999.8244 (formerly MNHN-RA 1770B), MNHN-RA 1772, MNHN-RA 1999.8245 (formerly MNHN-RA 1772A), MNHN-RA 1999.8246 (formerly MNHN-RA 1772B)
Holotype: MCZ 77123 [anidrotus]
Holotype: MCZ 77107 [fuga]
Holotype: MCZ 77101 [hippomnanes]
Holotype: MCZ 77088 [karukera]
Holotype: MCZ 66968 [ligniservulus]
Holotype: MCZ 77077 [orescius]
Holotype: MCZ 77087 [tartaropylorus]
Holotype: MCZ 77101, an adult male, collected by R. Thomas on 7 march 1963 [hippomanes] 
CommentIllustrations: Barbour, 1921; King, 1962; Thomas, 1965.

Subspecies: Sphaerodactylus fantasticus phyzacinus THOMAS 1964 is now considered as a valid species.

Distribution: Ranges that include Venezuela and Mexico (e.g. Wermuth 1965) are based on erroneous 19th century interpretations of species limits. 
EtymologyNamed after Latin fantasticus, a, um, ‘imaginary, unreal’, in reference to its singular coloring (Fretey 2023).

S. f. anidrotus was named after the Greek privative prefix άν- and ιδρὣτος, ‘sweat’ to mark a painful effort, or ‘work done with effort’. One might think that this species was caught without difficulty (work done effortlessly), but Thomas (1964) did
not explain his choice (Fretey 2023).

S. f. hippomanes was named after Greek ἱππομανής, ‘plant that excites horses’ (from ἳππος, ‘horse’ and μανής, ‘madness’), in reference to the manchineel trees (Hippomane mancenilla) under which this species was collected (Fretey 2023).

S. f. karukera was named after the Carib vernacular name ‘karukera’ for guadeloupe (Fretey 2023).

S. f. orescius was named after Greek ὄρεος, ‘mountain’, όρέσκιος, ‘who lives in the mountains (Fretey 2023).

S. f. tartaropylorus was named after Greek τάρταρος, ‘hell’ and ‘πυλωρός, ‘porter, doorman’ (from πύλος, ‘gate’), in reference to the distribution of this species in Porte d’Enfer, guadeloupe (Fretey 2023). 
  • Akeret, B. 2013. Energiewende im Terarrium. Ideen und Vorschläge, wie man Stromverbrauch und Energiekosten bei der Haltung von Terrarientieren senken kann. Reptilia (Münster) 18 (99): 18-31 - get paper here
  • Barbour, T. 1915. Recent notes regarding West Indian reptiles and amphibians. Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington 28: 71-78 - get paper here
  • Barbour, T. 1921. Sphaerodactylus. Mem. Mus. Comp. Zool. (Harvard) 47: 215-282. - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1885. Catalogue of the lizards in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) I. Geckonidae, Eublepharidae, Uroplatidae, Pygopodidae, Agamidae. London: 450 pp. - get paper here
  • Daniells, E. A., N. J. Vélez Espinet, R. S. Thorpe and R. Powell. 2010. Sphaerodactylus fantasticus. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles (876): 1-8 - get paper here
  • Duméril, A.M. C. and G. Bibron. 1836. Erpetologie Générale ou Histoire Naturelle Complete des Reptiles. Vol. 3. Libr. Encyclopédique Roret, Paris, 528 pp. - get paper here
  • FRÉTEY, T. 2023. Etymology of nomina of Amphibians and Reptiles of the French Antilles. Bionomina, 35(1), 20-50 - get paper here
  • Hass, C.A. 2009. Evolution and biogeography of West Indian Sphaerodactylus (Sauria: Gekkonidae): a molecular approach. Journal of Zoology 225 (4): 525–561 - get paper here
  • Hedges, S.B. & Conn, C.E. 2012. A new skink fauna from Caribbean islands (Squamata, Mabuyidae, Mabuyinae). Zootaxa 3288: 1–244 - get paper here
  • King, W. 1962. Systematics of Lesser Antillean lizards of the genus Sphaerodactylus. Bulletin of the Florida State Museum, Biological Sciences, 7:1-52 - get paper here
  • Malhotra, A. & Thorpe, R.S. 1999. Reptiles & Amphibians of the Eastern Caribbean. MacMillan, London & Oxford
  • Malhotra, Anita; Thorpe, Roger S.; Hypolite, Eric; James, Arlington. 2007. A report on the status of the herpetofauna of the Commonwealth of Dominica, West Indies. Applied Herpetology 4 (2):177-194 - get paper here
  • Rösler, H. 2000. Kommentierte Liste der rezent, subrezent und fossil bekannten Geckotaxa (Reptilia: Gekkonomorpha). Gekkota 2: 28-153
  • Schwartz, A. & Henderson, R.W. 1991. Amphibians and Reptiles of the West Indies. University of Florida Press, Gainesville, 720 pp.
  • Thomas, R. 1964. The races of Sphaerodactylus fantasticus Dumeril & Bibron in the Lesser Antilles. Carib. J. Sci. 4 (2/3): 373—390
  • Thorpe, R.S.; Jones, A.G.; Malhotra, A.; Surget-Groba, Y. 2008. Adaptive radiation in Lesser Antillean lizards: molecular phylogenetics and species recognition in the Lesser Antillean dwarf gecko complex, Sphaerodactylus fantasticus. Molecular Ecology 17(6):1489-1504 - get paper here
  • Turk, P. A., N. N. Wyszynski, R. Powell & R. W. Henderson 2010. Population densities and water-loss rates of Gymnophthalmus pleii, Gymnophthalmus underwoodi (Gymnophthalmidae), and Sphaerodactylus fantasticus fuga (Sphaerodactylidae) on Dominica, West Indies. Salamandra 46 (3): 125-130 - get paper here
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