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Trigonodactylus arabicus HAAS, 1957

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Arabian Short-fingered Gecko, Arabian Sand Gecko 
SynonymTrigonodactylus arabicus HAAS 1957
Stenodactylus arabicus — KLUGE 1967
Stenodactylus arabicus — KLUGE 1993
Stenodactylus arabicus — RÖSLER 2000: 115
Stenodactylus arabicus — FUJITA & PAPENFUSS 2011
Trigonodactylus arabicus — NAZAROV et al. 2018 
DistributionSaudia Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, S Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Iran, Jordan

Type locality: Trucial Coast, Saudi Arabia (24° 10’ N, 53° E).  
TypesHolotype: CAS 84321; paratypes: CAS, FMNH 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): Ground-dwelling, psammophilous, small-sized geckos (SVL less than 40 mm versus SVL more than 40 mm in Stenodactylus and Pseudoceramodactylus). Habitus very slender. Head and body strongly flattened (as compared with massive head and round body in Stenodactylus and Pseudoceramodactylus). Head elongated and relatively narrow as opposed to large, well-defined head in Stenodactylus and Pseudoceramodactylus. Edges of fingers and toes with large elongated triangular scales that form a fringed edge. Claws thin and long, significantly compressed. Minute, imbricate, triangular scales cover undersides of fingers; only a few transversely widened scales at their tips (usually three). Upper surface of hands covered with keeled, imbricate, rather elongated scales. Toes elongated, slender, with strongly compressed long claws; margins of toes fringed; web between fingers present in some species. Dorsal scales flat, juxtaposed with each other, slightly keeled, elliptic. Ventral scales slightly keeled. Contracted pupil forms a vertical slit. No precloacal or femoral pores (present in some Stenodactylus). Moderate hemipenial swellings; two-three precloacal spurs on each side at basis of tail. Tail round in cross-section, tapering uniformly; length equal to that of body.
Prefrontal relatively small with rounded distal surface; no prefrontal projection; postorbitofrontal relatively small with rounded distal edge; nasal relatively small, of same size as premaxillary (versus relatively larger prefrontal often with apical growth, relatively larger posterior frontal with elongated distal edge, which are typical for representatives of Stenodactylus and Pseudoceramodactylus. Locomotion of this group of geckos is very distinctive. Trigonodactylus move pressing their body to the surface of the substrate, where Stenodactylus keep their body raised high above the surface (from Nazarov et al. 2018; original diagnosis in Haas 1957: 51).

Diagnosis (species, as Stenodactylus): The only Stenodactylus species with extensively webbed feet. Small, up to 40 mm from snout to vent; toes depressed with a lateral fringe of pointed scales and many scales beneath; rostral and upper labial scales reach nostril; preanal pores absent; cloacal tubercles usually in a single row; tail autotomy general; prefrontal projection absent; upper border of prootic not sloping downwards; epipterygoid close to skull roof in protracted skull; usually 26 presacral vertebrae; 5 nuchal ribs; 5 basal caudal vertebrae; clavicle not expaqded [ARNOLD 1980].
CommentSynonymy: WERMUTH 1965 gives “Stenodactylus arabicus” also as original name. Trigonocephalus HAAS 1957 was resurrected from synonymy of Stenodactylus by Nazarov et al. 2018 (note that Nazarov et al. mis-spelled Haas as “Hass” more often than it was spelled correctly as “Haas”).

Distribution: See map in SMID et al. 2014 for distribution in Iran. See map in Burriel-Carranza et al. 2019 for map in UAE.

Type species: Trigonodactylus arabicus HAAS 1957 is the type species of the genus Trigonodactylus HAAS 1957. 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality. 
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  • Arnold, E. N. 1977. Little-known geckoes (Reptilia: Gekkonidae) from Arabia with descriptions of two new species from the Sultanate of Oman. The Scientific Results of the Oman Flora and Fauna Survey, 1975. Journal of Oman Studies, Special Report, (1):81—110 [1975]
  • BAUER, AARON M.; RAFAQAT MASROOR, JAMES TITUS-MCQUILLAN, MATTHEW P. HEINICKE,, JUAN D. DAZA & TODD R. JACKMAN 2013. A preliminary phylogeny of the Palearctic naked-toed geckos (Reptilia: Squamata: Gekkonidae) with taxonomic implications. Zootaxa 3599 (4): 301–324 - get paper here
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  • Burriel-Carranza B, Pedro Tarroso, Johannes Els, Andrew Gardner, Pritpal Soorae, Ahmed Ali Mohammed, Sai Ravi Krishna Tubati, Mohamed Mustafa Eltayeb, Junid Nazeer Shah, Héctor Tejero-Cicuéndez, Marc Simó-Riudalbas, Juan Manuel Pleguezuelos, Daniel F 2019. An integrative assessment of the diversity, phylogeny, distribution, and conservation of the terrestrial reptiles (Sauropsida, Squamata) of the United Arab Emirates. PLoS ONE 14(5): e0216273 - get paper here
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  • Cogălniceanu, Dan; Aurora Castilla, Aitor Valdeon, Alberto Gosa, Noora Al Jaidah, Ali Alkuwary, Essam Saifelnasr, Paloma Mas, Renee Richer, Ahmad Amer Al Hemaidi 2014. A preliminary report on the distribution of lizards in Qatar. ZooKeys 373 (2014): 67-91<br />doi: 10.3897/zookeys.373.5994 - get paper here
  • Fathinia, Behzad, Ali Gholamifard and Nasrullah Rastegar-Pouyani. 2014. First record of Stenodactylus arabicus (Haas, 1957) from Iran. Herpetozoa 26 (3/4): 169-173 - get paper here
  • Fujita, Matthew K. and Theodore J. Papenfuss 2011. Molecular systematics of Stenodactylus (Gekkonidae), an Afro-Arabian gecko species complex. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 58 (1): 71-75 - get paper here
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  • Haas, Georg 1957. Some amphibians and reptiles from Arabia. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. 29 (3): 47-86 - get paper here
  • Jongbloed, M. 2000. Field Guide to the reptiles and amphibians of the UAE - Wild about reptiles. Barkers Trident Communications, 116 pp.
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  • METALLINOU, MARGARITA; SALVADOR CARRANZA 2013. New species of Stenodactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from the Sharqiyah Sands in northeastern Oman. Zootaxa 3745 (4): 449–468 - get paper here
  • Nazarov, Roman A.; DANIEL A. MELNIKOV, MEHDI RADJABIZADEH & NIKOLAY A. POYARKOV 2018. A new species of short-fingered geckos Stenodactylus (Squamata, Geckonidae) from South Iran with taxonomic notes on validity of the genus Trigonodactylus Hass, 1957. Zootaxa 4457 (1): 093–113 - get paper here
  • Pola, L., Hejduk, V., Zíka, A., Winkelhöfer, T., Šmíd, J., Carranza, S., ... & Amr, Z. S. 2021. Small and overlooked: Phylogeny of the genus Trigonodactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae), with the first record of Trigonodactylus arabicus from Jordan. Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences
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  • van der Kooij, Jeroen 2001. The herpetofauna of the Sultanate of Oman: Part 2: the geckoes. Podarcis 1 (4): 105-123 - get paper here
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