oa African Zoology - A review of the Namaqua gecko, Pachydactylus namaquensis (Reptilia: Gekkonidae) from southern Africa, with the description of two new species

Volume 31, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X



An analysis of morphological and allozyme variation in the Namaqua gecko, Pachydactylus namaquensis from southern Africa is presented. Three separately evolving lineages, well defined by morphology and allozyme variation, are identified. The isolated southern population, occurring on the southern escarpment and Cape Fold Mountains surrounding the western Litlle Karoo, is named P. kladaroderrna sp. nov., and is characterized by a slit-like ear opening, low number of granules bordering the mental (3--6) and mental and adjacent infralabials (5-13), the frequent (79%) occurence of the supralabial entering the nostril, and its drab brown base colouration. A northern population, occurring in southern Namibia and the Richtersveld is named P. haackei sp. Nov., and is characterized by its more rounded or squared ear opening; high number of granules bordering the mental and adjacent infralabials (11-19), the general exclusion of the supralabial from the nostril (only 3.7% entry), and brighter, lighter colouration. It is further differentiated from P. kladaroderma on the basis of fixed differences at 11 allozyme loci. Both new species differ from P. namaquensis, which is mainly restricted to Litlle Namaqualand, but is sympatric with P. haackei in the Lower Orange River region, by their more heterogenous dorsal scalation, smaller cloacal spurs, lack of spine-like tubercles on the lateral surfaces of the tail, and more fragile skin. The type locality of P. namaquensis is restricted to the vicinity of Springbok, Litlle Namaqualand, Northern Cape Province, South Africa.

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