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Sphaerodactylus ladae THOMAS & HEDGES, 1988

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Higher TaxaSphaerodactylidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Spotted Agave Geckolet, Martin Garcia Least Gecko 
SynonymSphaerodactylus ladae THOMAS & HEDGES 1988:96
Sphaerodactylus ladae — SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON 1991: 501
Sphaerodactylus ladae — KLUGE 1993
Sphaerodactylus ladae — RÖSLER 2000: 112 
DistributionHispaniola: Dominican Republic (Sierra Martin Garcia)

Type locality: 3.0 km by road east of Canoa (measured from junction with Santo Domingo-Barahona highway), 10 m, Barahona Province, República Dominicana (18° 29'16"N, 71° 08'11" W).  
TypesHolotype: USNM 258722. 
DiagnosisDESCRIPTION: Size small (SVL in males to 26 mm, in females to 27 mm); dorsals
large, keeled, flattened, distinctly imbricate, mucronate, axilla to groin 19-23; no area of middorsal granules or granular scales; ventrals flat, smooth, cycloid to acute, imbricate, axilla to groin 22-25; dorsal caudal scales narrow, acute, raised, strongly keeled, imbricate, ventral caudal scales larger than dorsal caudals, acute, smooth, flat, imbricate, not enlarged midventrally; snout blunt, not depressed or decurved; snout scales broad, subhexagonal, juxtaposed, smooth to weakly keeled, becoming narrower, subimbricate, more strongly keeled on frontal region, thence smaller, shorter (subhexagonal) on occiput and onto neck, enlarging abruptly at midneck and becoming similar to dorsals; 1-2 (strongly modally 1) postnasals; 1-3 (strongly modally 1) internasals; upper labials to mideye 3; gular scales small, flat, imbricate, enlarging abruptly at midneck; chest scales smooth; midbody scales 36-43; escutcheon large, compact, with virtually no extension onto thighs, 7-10 x 8-9. Sexual dichromatism weak; dorsum (males) like females (described below) but dorsal pattern reduced, light spotting absent, dark head markings bold, dark spotting on body less clearly lineate; dorsum (females, juveniles) gray-brown to tan; a series of 7 dark brown to black broken lines from head along body onto tail; dark palpebral and interocular marks converging on occiput to form middorsal "line" (series of spots or line fragments); upper and lower dark, continuous postocular stripes extending onto body as interrupted series of dark dorsolateral and lateral blotches; narrow ventrolateral line present, faintly indicated, or absent; beginning at head, white to cream spots between dark line fragments, tending to be aligned transversely and alternating with dark line fragments, thus forming a series of rings, most evident on neck and anterior trunk; dark and light spotting continues onto tail; hindlimbs prominently spotted with white; throat lightly streaked with dark, longitudinal lines converging toward midline; juveniles similar but spotting prominent and dorsal dark lines more nearly continuous (from Schwartz & Henderson 1991: 501). 
CommentFor illustrations see Thomas and Hedges, 1988. 
EtymologyNamed “in honor of a reliable companion who steered us into many otherwise inaccessible areas in Hispaniola”, actually a a Lada car. Hedges, in a personal communication to Oliver Pauwels, stated that “It had high clearance, like a jeep, which allowed us to reach the locality; we were a bit cryptic about the etymology because the car was from the Soviet Union, my funding was from the U.S. government, and it was still the Cold War” (Pauwels & Wahlgren 2012). 
  • Pauwels, Olivier S. G. and Richard Wahlgren 2012. Beolens Bo, Watkins Michael, and Grayson Michael (2011), The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles, The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. Russ. J. Herpetol. 19 (4): 352 – 355 - 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. and S. B. Hedges 1988. Two new geckos (Sphaerodactylus) from the Sierra Martin Garcia of Hispaniola. Herpetologica 44: 96-104. - get paper here
  • Thomas, Richard and S. Blair Hedges 1998. A new gecko from the Sierra de Neiba of Hispaniola (Squamata: Gekkonidae: Sphaerodactylus). Herpetologica 54 (3): 333-336 - get paper here
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