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Tropiocolotes tripolitanus PETERS, 1880

IUCN Red List - Tropiocolotes tripolitanus - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
SubspeciesTropiocolotes tripolitanus occidentalis PARKER 1942
Tropiocolotes tripolitanus apoklomax PAPENFUSS 1969
Tropiocolotes tripolitanus tripolitanus PETERS 1880 
Common NamesE: Northern Sand Gecko
G: Tripolitanischer Zwerggecko 
SynonymTropiocolotes tripolitanus PETERS 1880: 306
Stenodactylus tripolitanus — BOULENGER 1885: 19
Tropiocolotes apoklomax PAPENFUSS 1969
Tropiocolotes tripolitanus — KLUGE 1993
Tropiocolotes tripolitanus — SCHLEICH, KÄSTLE & KABISCH 1996: 282
Tropiocolotes (Tropiocolotes) tripolitanus — RÖSLER 2000: 119
Tropiocolotes tripolitanus — BAUER et al. 2013
Tropiocolotes tripolitanus — MACHADO et al. 2020

Tropiocolotes tripolitanus apoklomax PAPENFUSS 1969
Tropiocolotes tripolitanus apoklomax — SINDACO & JEREMČENKO 2008

Tropiocolotes tripolitanus occidentalis PARKER 1942
Tropiocolotes occidentalis PARKER 1942: 47
Tropiocolotes tripolitanus occidentalis — BAHA EL DIN 2001
Tropiocolotes tripolitanus occidentalis — RÖSLER 2000
Tropiocolotes occidentalis occidentalis — SCHLÜTER 2004
Tropiocolotes occidentalis — KRAUSE et al. 2013

Tropiocolotes tripolitanus tripolitanus PETERS 1880
Tropiocolotes tripolitanus tripolitanus — BAHA EL DIN 2001
Tropiocolotes tripolitanus tripolitanus — SINDACO & JEREMČENKO 2008 
DistributionMorocco, Algeria (Sahara, Kenadsa/Colomb Bechar), Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Mauritania, Niger, Somalia, Mali, Sudan, Chad

apoklomax: Mali; Type locality: Sanga, Mali.

occidentalis: Western Sahara, Mauritania; Type locality: Rio de Oro.

tripolitanus: Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Algeria, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Sudan, Chad (Krause et al. 2013).

Type locality: “Uadi M’bellum, Tripolitanien” [Libya]  
TypesLectotype: ZMB 9668A; designated by BAUER & GÜNTHER 1991
Holotype: CAS 103209 [apoklomax]
Holotype: BMNH 1946.8.27.50 [occidentalis] 
DiagnosisDescription. Snout short, slightly pointed, longer than the distance between the eye and the ear-opening; latter small, roundish or vertically oval, its diameter about a quarter that of the orbit; rostral broader than high, with median cleft above; granules on snout smooth or feebly keeled, subequal to, or larger than, those on occiput; nostril between rostral, first labial and 21 nasals, the anterior in contact with its fellow; upper labials 6-9; lower labials 6-7; mental triangular; a pair of large postmentals in contact on the median line, forming a long suture with the second lower labial and so excluding the adjacent large chin-shield from contact with the first labial. Back and limbs covered above with large, subequal, keeled, imbricate scales, ventrals smaller than, caudals larger than, the dorsals; mid body scale-rows 42-48; limbs slender, the adpressed hind limb reaching the axilla; on either side of the base of tail 2 white tubercles; tail much longer than head and body (Loveridge 1947: 54).

Color. Above, pale yellowish; a dark brown streak from nostril through eye to shoulder; crown and back minutely speckled with dark brown and occasional indistinct white flecks; limbs and anterior third of tail like back, posteriorly with as many as sixteen broad brown crossbars. Below, whitish, uniform or tail yellowish spotted with dark brown (Loveridge 1947: 55).

Description (occidentalis). Snout longer than the distance between the eye and
the ear-opening; rostral broader than high, with median cleft above; scales on snout feebly keeled; supraorbital scales imbricate, larger than those on the interorbital region; nostril between rostral, first labial and 2 nasals; upper labials 7; lower labials 6; mental triangular; a pair of large postmentals in contact on the median line, failing to reach the second lower labial; no other enlarged chin-shields distinguishable as such. Back, limbs and belly covered with large strongly keeled scales, of which 4.5 of the largest dorsals equal the distance between nostril and
eye; midbody scale-rows 40-41; the adpressed hind limb reaches to between wrist and elbow or elbow; subdigital lamellae tricarinate (Loveridge 1947: 57).

Color (occidentalis). Above, straw color; a brown streak from the eye to above
the shoulder; back with brown blotches sometimes coalescing to form about sewn indefinite, waYy, crossbars; tail with regular brown crossbars. Below, whitish; tail pale brown (Loveridge 1947: 57). 
CommentSubspecies: Some authors (like SZCZERBAK 1986, Proc. SEH Meeting 1985: 705) only recognize somalicus as subspecies. Others [including us] consider T. t. somalicus as full species such as RÖSLER 2000 who recognizes only occidentalis and algericus as subspecies.

Type species: Tropiocolotes tripolitanus is the type species of the genus Tropiocolotes PETERS 1880.

Distribution: has been reported from Sudan but probably not present there (L. Chirio, pers. comm. via S. Meiri, 1 Aug 2012). See map in Machado et al. 2020 (Fig. 1). 
  • Baha El Din, S. M. 2001. A synopsis of African and South Arabian geckos of the genus Tropiocolotes (Reptilia: Gekkonidae), with a description of a new species from Egypt. Zoology in the Middle East 22: 45-56 - get paper here
  • Bauer, A.M. & Günther,R. 1991. An annotated type catalogue of the geckos (Reptilia: Gekkonidae) in the Zoological Museum , Berlin. Mitt. Zool. Mus. Berlin 67: 279-310 - get paper here
  • Bauer, Aaron M.; Jonathan C. DeBoer , Dylan J. Taylor 2017. Atlas of the Reptiles of Libya. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. 64 (8): 155-318 - 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
  • Boulenger, George A. 1891. Catalogue of the reptiles and batrachians of Barbary (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia), based chiefly upon the notes and collections made in 1880-1884 by M. Fernand Lataste. Tr. Zool. Soc. 13: 93-164
  • Böhme, Wolfgang & Jeffrey Heath 2018. Amphibian and reptilian records from south-central Mali and western Burkina Faso. Bonn zoological Bulletin 67 (1): 59–69 - get paper here
  • Geniez, P.; Mateo, J.A.; Geniez, M. & Pether, J. 2004. The amphibians and reptiles of the Western Sahara (former Spanish Sahara) and adjacent regions. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt, 228 pp. [reviewed in Reptilia GB 44: 81]
  • Johann, H. 1981. Herpetologische Eindrücke auf einer Reise durch die Sahara. Herpetofauna 3 (13): 17-21 - get paper here
  • KRAUSE, VALENTINA; FARAHAM AHMADZADEH, MOSTAFA MOAZENI, PHILIPP WAGNER & THOMAS M. WILMS 2013. A new species of the genus Tropiocolotes Peters, 1880 from western Iran (Squamata: Sauria: Gekkonidae). Zootaxa 3716 (1): 022–038 - get paper here
  • Lanza, B. 1990. Amphibians and reptiles of the Somali Democratic Republic: check list and biogeography. Biogeographia, 14: 407-465 [1988] - get paper here
  • Loveridge, A. 1947. Revision of the African lizards of the family Gekkondiae. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 98: 1-469 - get paper here
  • Machado, Luís, Daniele Salvi, D James Harris, José C Brito, Pierre-André Crochet, Philippe Geniez, Faraham Ahmadzadeh, and Salvador Carranza. 2020. Systematics, Biogeography and Evolution of the Saharo-Arabian Naked-Toed Geckos Genus Tropiocolotes. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 155: 106969 [print 2021] - get paper here
  • Martínez del Mármol, Gabriel; D. James Harris, Philippe Geniez, Philip de Pous, and Daniele Salvi 2019. Amphibians and Reptiles of Morocco. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, 478 pp - get paper here
  • Padial, J. M. 2006. COMMENTED DISTRIBUTIONAL LIST OF THE REPTILES OF MAURITANIA (WEST AFRICA). Graellsia, 62(2): 159-178 - get paper here
  • Papenfuss, T. J. 1969. Preliminary analysis of the reptiles of arid central West Africa. Wasmann Journal of Biology 27:249—325 - get paper here
  • Parker, H. W. 1942. The lizards of British Somaliland. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 91: 1—101 - get paper here
  • Peters, W. 1881. Über die von Mm. Gerhard Rohlfs und Dr. A. Stecker auf der Reise nach der Oase Kufra gesammelten Amphibien. Monatsberichte der Königlich Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin 1880: 305-309 - get paper here
  • Rösler, H. 2000. Kommentierte Liste der rezent, subrezent und fossil bekannten Geckotaxa (Reptilia: Gekkonomorpha). Gekkota 2: 28-153
  • Rösler, Herbert 2017. Gecko-Chorologie (Squamata: Gekkota). Gekkota (4): 1-160
  • Schleich, H.H., Kästle,W., Kabisch, K. 1996. Amphibians and Reptiles of North Africa. Koeltz, Koenigstein, 627 pp.
  • Schlüter, U. 2004. Zwerggeckos (Tropiocolotes PETERS 1880) aus Nordafrika - Lebensräume, Verhalten, Pflege und Nachzucht. Draco 5 (18): 52-58 - get paper here
  • Shcherbak, N. N. [= Szczerbak], and M. L. Golubev 1996. Gecko fauna of the USSR and contiguous regions. SSAR [Russian original published in 1986]. [book review in Salamandra 36 (2): 138]
  • Sindaco R. 2007. An addition to the herpetofauna of Eritrea:Tropiocolotes somalicus PARKER, 1942. Herpetozoa 19 (3/4): 177-179 - get paper here
  • Sindaco, R. & Jeremcenko, V.K. 2008. The reptiles of the Western Palearctic. Edizioni Belvedere, Latina (Italy), 579 pp. - get paper here
  • Sow, Andack Saad; Fernando Martínez-Freiría, Pierre-André Crochet, Philippe Geniez, Ivan Ineich, Hamidou Dieng, Soumia Fahd, José Carlos Brito 2015. Atlas of the distribution of reptiles in the Parc National du Banc d’Arguin, Mauritania. Basic and Applied Herpetology - get paper here
  • Tlili, Wided; Aymen Nefla, Michel Delaugerre, Ridha Ouni, Saïd Nouira 2014. Factors determining Gekkotan (Reptilia, Sauria) distribution in Tunisia (North Africa). Acta Herpetologica 9 (2): 203-217 - get paper here
  • Trape, J.F.; Trape, S. & Chirio, L. 2012. Lézards, crocodiles et tortues d'Afrique occidentale et du Sahara. IRD Orstom, 503 pp. - get paper here
  • Werner,F. 1929. Wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse einer zoologischen Forschungsreise nach Westalgerien und Marokko. Sitzungsb. Akad. Wiss. Wien, math.-naturw. kl., Abt. 1, 138; 1-34 - get paper here
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