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Sphaerodactylus ruibali GRANT, 1959

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Higher TaxaSphaerodactylidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Guantanamo Bay Geckolet, Ruibal's Least Gecko 
SynonymSphaerodactylus ruibali GRANT 1959: 53
Sphaerodactylus ruibali — SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON 1991: 529
Sphaerodactylus ruibali — KLUGE 1993
Sphaerodactylus ruibali — RÖSLER 2000: 114 
DistributionAntilles, Cuba (Guantanamo Province)

Type locality: U.S. Naval Base, Guantanamo, Guantánamo Province, Cuba.  
TypesHolotype: INHS (= UIMNH) 44246. 
DiagnosisDESCRIPTION: Size moderate (SVL in males to ca. 32 mm, in females to 30 mm);
dorsals small, obtuse to rounded, only slightly swollen, smooth, moderately but uniformly imbricate, axilla to groin 40-64; no area of middorsal granules or granular scales; ventrals smooth, cycloid, imbricate, axilla to groin 30-43; dorsal caudal scales smooth, fiat-lying, imbricate, cycloid, ventral caudal scales cycloid, imbricate, not enlarged midventrally; snout rather blunt, not depressed or decurved; snout scales small, granular, fiat, smooth, juxtaposed; 2 postnasals; 1-2 (mode 1) internasals; upper labials to mideye 3-5 (mode 4); gular scales smooth; chest scales smooth; midbody scales 62-82; escutcheon 5-10 x 11-28, scales often pigmented. Dorsum (males) yellow-brown to gray with fine, brown speckling or vermiculations; venter light gray; tail yellow above and below with fine, dark mottling above; dorsum (females) tan to light brown; at least 1 pair of dark brown nuchal bands; remainder of dorsum more or less stippled or speckled with brownish to dark grayish; head without dark median line or dark interocular area, but with dark canthal stripes continuing as inferior postocular stripes to level of auricular openings, where they meet with dark transverse head stripe that passes behind auricular opening; at times superior postocular stripes extend short distance on top of head and stop before meeting transverse head stripe; venter light gray; tail dirty yellow with some dark mottling above, dull yellow below; 2 small white sacral ocelli present or absent in both sexes; iris light gray to gray (Schwartz & Henderson 1991: 529). 
CommentFor illustrations see Thomas and Schwartz, 1966. 
EtymologyNamed after the collector, Cuban herpetologist Rodolfo Ruibal (1927-2016), who spent most of his career at UC Riverside. See Lillywhite 2016 for an obituary. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Fong, A. & Diaz 2004. Two new species of Sphaerodactylus (Sauria: Gekkonidae) from the southeastern coast of Cuba. Solenodon 4: 73-84
  • Grant, C. 1959. Another new Sphaerodactylus from Guantanamo, Cuba. Herpetologica 15 (1): 53 - get paper here
  • Kaup, B. 2012. Farbenfrohe Winzlinge – Kugelfingergeckos im heimischen Wohnzimmer. Reptilia (Münster) 17 (97): 39-45 - get paper here
  • Lillywhite, Harvey B. 2016. Obituary: Herpetology loses a class act: Rodolfo Ruibal, 1927-2016. Herpetological Review 47 (4): 741-745 - get paper here
  • Rodríguez Schettino, Lourdes, Carlos A. Mancina & Vilma Rivalta González 2013. REPTILES OF CUBA: CHECKLIST AND GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTIONS. Smithsonian Herp. Inf. Serv. (144): 1-96 - 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 A. Schwartz. 1966. The Sphaerodactylus decoratus complex in the West Indies. Brigham Young University Science Bulletin, 7:1-26 - get paper here
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