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Sphaerodactylus nicholsi GRANT, 1931

IUCN Red List - Sphaerodactylus nicholsi - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaSphaerodactylidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Puerto Rican Crescent Geckolet, Nichols Least Gecko, Nichol's dwarf sphaero 
SynonymSphaerodactylus nicholsi GRANT 1931: 204
Sphaerodactylus nicholsi — THOMAS & SCHWARTZ 1966: 242
Sphaerodactylus nicholsi nicholsi — THOMAS & SCHWARTZ 1966: 243
Sphaerodactylus nicholsi — SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON 1991: 511
Sphaerodactylus nicholsi — KLUGE 1993
Sphaerodactylus nicholsi — RÖSLER 2000: 113
Sphaerodactylus nicholsi — RÖSLER 2018: 4 
DistributionPuerto Rico, Mona Island, Isla Cueva and Isla Guayacan [HR 30: 111], Magueyes

Type locality: 3 mi. W Ensenada, Puerto Rico.  
TypesHolotype: MCZ 34578. 
DiagnosisDESCRIPTION: Size small (SVL in males to 24 mm, in females to 25 mm); dorsals
moderate, acute, strongly keeled, flattened, imbricate, axilla to groin 19-28; no area of middorsal granules or granular scales; ventrals large, cycloid, imbricate, smooth, axilla to groin 20-28; dorsal caudal scales acute, imbricate, flat-lying or only slightly erected, ventral caudal scales smooth, enlarged midventrally; snout broad, short; snout scales large, broad, flat, juxtaposed; 1 postnasal; 1-3 (mode 1) internasals; upper labials to mideye 3; gular scales keeled or smooth; chest scales smooth; midbody scales 35-45; escutcheon moderate, with extensions onto thighs, 4-7 x 9-22. Not sexually dichromatic; dorsum brown to tan with darker brown spotting or dark-edged ocelli; scapular pattern a dark patch (at times broken into 2) with 2 included, white ocelli at times present; light postocular stripe usually extending onto tail; head with tan crescent (or oval), which may meet postocular stripes; sacral pattern U-shaped, dark, light-edged; throat plain gray to pale yellow, or with spots or streaks; venter gray to flesh-colored; tail brown to orange-brown with some spotting or ocellation, underside yellow, pale orange, orange-brown; juveniles patternless; iris brown to golden orange (from Schwartz & Henderson 1991: 511). 
CommentFor illustrations see Grant, 1931; Thomas and Schwartz, 1966 (as S. n. nicholsi); Rivero, 1978 (as S. n. nicholsi). 
EtymologyNamed after John Treadwell Nichols (1883-1958), an ichthyologist and ornithologist who co-described the rediscovered Bermuda Petrel (1916), believed extinct since the 1620s. He founded Copeia (1913), which became the official journal of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (1923). He was Associate Curator of the Ichthyology Department, American Museum of Natural History (1920-1942). 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Brendan J Pinto, James Titus-McQuillan, Juan D Daza, Tony Gamble 2019. Persistence of a geographically-stable hybrid zone in Puerto Rican dwarf geckos. Journal of Heredity, esz015 - get paper here
  • Grant, C. 1931. The sphaerodactyls of Porto Rico, Culebra and Mona islands. J. Dept. Agric. Puerto Rico 15: 199-213. - get paper here
  • López-Ortiz, R. & Lewis, A.R. 2002. Seasonal abundance of hatchlings and gravid females of Sphaerodactylus nicholsi in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico. Journal of Herpetology 36 (2): 276-280 - get paper here
  • López-Ortiz, R. and A. R. Lewis 2004. Habitat selection by Sphaerodactylus nicholsi (Squamata: Gekkonidae) in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico. Herpetologica 60 (4):438-444 - get paper here
  • Rivero, J.A. 1978. Los anfibios y reptiles de Puerto Rico. M. Pareja Montana, 16, Barcelona, Espafia: x + 152 + 148pp.
  • 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 A. Schwartz. 1966. Sphaerodactylus (Gekkonidae) in the greater Puerto Rico region. Bulletin of the Florida State Museum, Biological Sciences, 10:193—260 - get paper here
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