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Sphaerodactylus sabanus COCHRAN, 1938

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Higher TaxaSphaerodactylidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Saint Kitts Bank Geckolet, Saba Least Gecko 
SynonymSphaerodactylus sabanus COCHRAN 1938:148
Sphaerodactylus sabanus — SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON 1991: 530
Sphaerodactylus sabanus — KLUGE 1993
Sphaerodactylus sabanus — RÖSLER 2000: 114 
DistributionAntilles: Saba, Nevis, St. Christopher

Type locality: Saba.  
TypesHolotype: USNM 103985. 
DiagnosisDESCRIPTION: Size moderate (SVL to 29 mm in males, to 28 mm in females); dorsals keeled, granular, slightly imbricate, axilla to groin 33-42; ventrals smooth, cycloid, axilla to groin 28-33; middorsal area of granular scales; dorsal caudal scales keeled, fiat, imbricate, acute, ventral caudal scales cycloid, imbricate, mid-ventral row enlarged; 2 postnasals; 1-3 (mode 2) internasals; upper labials to mid-eye 3; gulars keeled, at least on sides of throat; midbody scales 47-66; escutcheon 5-6 x 22-28. No sexual dichromatism; dorsal ground color light to dark brown; head dull orange; dark brown stripe extends from nostril, through eye, onto neck where it turns toward midline just anterior to scapular region and fuses with line from opposite side; dark brown (or buffy outlined in black) line extends from tip of snout caudad between eyes, then divides, each half passing to a point immediately posterior to eye, then continues caudad and returns toward midline, circles an occipital spot, and fuses with dark lines from opposite side just anterior to scapular region; head stripes may fragment to form series of spots, or may fuse with one another to form vermiculations; occipital spot usually dark brown to black, or a white spot with dark edge; trunk pattern with dorsolateral row of light brown to white spots, becoming more pronounced (but sometimes absent) in sacral region, and united to form white stripes on tail; some juveniles and adults uniform brown; throat white (with yellow suffusion), yellow to faint orange; venter light brown, pale yellow, gray, or white; juvenile pattern identical to adult, but longitudinal stripes on head may be more pronoWlced, whereas vermiculate head pattern of adults more pronounced; iris brown (Saba), or black with yellow pupillary ring (St.
Christopher) (Schwartz & Henderson 1991: 530). 
CommentFor illustrations see King, 1962. 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality, Saba Island. 
  • Cochran, D. M. 1938. Reptiles and amphibians from the Lesser Antilles collected by Dr. S. T. Danforth. Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington 51:147-155. - get paper here
  • Hensley, R.L. and R. Powell 2006. Sphaerodactylus sabanus. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles (809) - 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
  • 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.
  • Wissmann, S.M.; R.L. Hensley, R. Powell & J.S. Parmerlee Jr. 2005. Social behavior in the dwarf geckos Sphaerodactylus sabanus and S. sputator from St. Eustatius, Netherlands Antilles. Salamandra 41 (1-2): 45-50 - get paper here
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