n African Journal of Herpetology - A contribution to the phylogeny and taxonomy of the Pachydactylus weberi group (Squamata: Gekkonidae) : a case of intraspecific colour polymorphism confounding taxonomy

Volume 67 Number 2
  • ISSN : 2156-4574
  • E-ISSN: 2153-3660
This article is unavailable for purchase outside of Africa



Pachydactylus is the most species-rich reptile genus in southern Africa. Most species are habitat specialists adapted to hyper-arid conditions of the Namibian and north-western South African xeric regions. Although a fair number of phylogenetic studies and taxonomic revisions have been published, some species still remain rather enigmatic. In the ten years since the taxonomic revision of the weberi group, some of the species have not been recorded and our knowledge on their distribution, phylogenetic affinities, or intraspecific variability is limited or non-existent. Pachydactylus goodi is one such species. In this study, we report a newly discovered population of P. goodi in the Richtersveld National Park, South Africa, which considerably extends the known range of the species. In addition, the results of our phylogenetic analyses indicate that P. goodi is paraphyletic with respect to P. atorquatus. Although there is a striking colour polymorphism observed between these two species, the level of genetic differentiation within the goodi-atorquatus clade is comparable with intraspecific variability observed in other Pachydactylus species. As a result of these findings, which are further supported by morphological similarity of the two species, we conclude that they represent a single species and synonymise P. goodi with P. atorquatus.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error