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Sphaerodactylus richardsonii GRAY, 1845

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Higher TaxaSphaerodactylidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
SubspeciesSphaerodactylus richardsonii gossei GRANT 1939
Sphaerodactylus richardsonii richardsonii GRAY 1845 
Common NamesE: Northern Jamaica Banded Geckolet, Richardson's Least Gecko 
SynonymSphaerodactylus Richardsoni GRAY 1845:168
Sphaerodactylus richardsonii — BOULENGER 1885: 227
Sphaerodactylus richardsoni richardsoni — GRANT 1940: 78
Sphaerodactylus richardsoni — SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON 1991: 527
Sphaerodactylus richardsonii — KLUGE 1993
Sphaerodactylus richardsonii — RÖSLER 2000: 114
Sphaerodactylus richardsoni — WILSON 2011

Sphaerodactylus richardsonii gossei GRANT 1939
Sphaerodactylus richardsonii gossei GRANT 1939: 10
Sphaerodactylus richardsonii gossei — GRANT 1940: 76
Sphaerodactylus richardsonii gossei — SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON 1988: 190
Sphaerodactylus richardsonii gossei — DE LISLE et al. 2013 
DistributionAntilles, Jamaica

richardsoni: known with certainty only from vicinity of Montego Bay. Type locality: "America"; restricted to Montego Bay, St. James Parish, Jamaica, by Grant, 1939.

gossei: known with certainty only from north coastal region of Jamaica. Altitudinal distribution sea level to 260 ft. Type locality: Mouth of Roaring River, St. Ann Parish, Jamaica.  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.8.26.51
Holotype: MCZ 45015 [gossei] 
DiagnosisDESCRIPTION: Size large (SVL in males to 40 mm, in females to 38 mm); dorsals
keeled, imbricate, axilla to groin 15-18; ventrals smooth, cycloid, imbricate, axilla to groin 17-22; dorsal caudal scales keeled, erected, imbricate, acute, ventral caudal scales cycloid, imbricate, enlarged midventrally; snout scales swollen, keeled, juxtaposed; 2 postnasals; 1-2 internasals; midbody scales 29-34. Strongly sexually dichromatic; dorsal ground color (male) reddish brown; dorsum patternless or with scattered black scales; top of head and throat with a broken lineate pattern of vivid greenish sulfur (gossei) or patternless dark gray (richardsoni); limbs faintly ringed; tail alternately ringed yellow and gray (or dark gray and pale gray with yellow cast); throat pale gray between pattern; belly pale yellowish gray to reddish brown; female head. neck. and throat with dark-bordered white stripes; dorsum with 5-6 black-bordered white bands; dorsal markings indistinct or absent approaching venter; throat dark gray to reddish brown between black-bordered light lines; belly pale reddish brown; tail ringed black and white; limbs and digits mayor may not be conspicuously ringed in reddish brown, black, and white; juveniles marked as females, but more vividly (Schwartz & Henderson 1991: 527).

Sexual dimorphism: The female is highly decorated including prominent body rings, whereas the male is devoid of decorations save for the yellowish-green tail. (Grant 1940)

Description (gossei): “From Port Maria to Roaring River there is another form in which the female is a beautiful creature with yellow longitudinal head bands bordered by black; two similarly coloured collars and oblique bands under the throat. The body is ringed, the tail being ringed alternately black and white. The male is similarly bridled, but the tail is yellowish green.” (Grant 1940) 
CommentFor illustrations see Grant, 1940.

The main distinction between S. r. richardsoni and S. r. gossei is the presence of unicolor males in the nominate subspecies versus essentially female-colored males in S. r. gossei. 
  • Barbour, T. 1910. Notes on the herpetology of Jamaica. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 52: 273—301 - 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
  • Grant, C. 1939. Two new sphaerodactyls from Jamaica. Copeia 1939 (1): 7-13. - get paper here
  • Grant, C. 1940. The herpetology of Jamaica Il. The reptiles. Bull. Inst. Jamaica., Sci. Ser. 1: 61-148.
  • Gray, J. E. 1845. Catalogue of the specimens of lizards in the collection of the British Museum. Trustees of die British Museum/Edward Newman, London: xxvii + 289 pp. - 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.
  • Wilson, Byron S. 2011. Conservation of Jamaican amphibians and reptiles. In: Hailey et al., eds, Conservation of Caribbean Island Herpetofaunas Volume 2: 273-310 - get paper here
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