Tuesday, June 7, 2016

[Herpetology • 2016] Rediscovery and A New Record of Hemidactylus laevis (Reptilia: Gekkonidae) from Somaliland, with Notes on and Resurrection of Hemidactylus fragilis

Hemidactylus laevis Adult specimen. One of the rarest gecko species of the world - this is the first picture of live adult specimen of Hemidactylus laevis (Sanaag, Somaliland). Until now, this gecko was known only from one specimen from Gaan Libah. It belongs to H. laticaudatus group.
photo: Tomas Mazuch  flickr.com


Hemidactylus laevis, a gekkonid lizard originally described from the Gaan Libah Mountains in Somaliland, is recorded herein from Erigavo, Sanaag Region, in the same state, which represents the second-ever known specimen and locality for this species in more than 100 years since its description. The species is endemic to Somaliland. Data on morphology and natural history, as well as the first life photographs are provided. Based on morphological data we conclude the species to be closely related to Hlaticaudatus. Additionally, H. fragilis from southern Somalia and extreme south-east Ethiopia is resurrected from the synonymy of Hfrenatus based on morphological data.

Keywords: Reptilia, Distribution, Ethiopia, Hemidactylus frenatusHemidactylus laticaudatus, Horn of Africa, Somalia

FIGURE 2. (A) Live female of Hemidactylus laevis (NMP 75148) from Erigavo, Somaliland; (B) detail of the head of the same specimen; (C) unvouchered adult specimen from the same locality; (D) habitat of both specimens (Hotel Sanaag); (E) immediate surroundings of the Hotel Sanaag; (F) typical landscape around Erigavo (5 km NW of the town); (G) Daalloh forest in Cal Madow Mountains, supposed primary habitat of H. laevis. This type of montane forest (ca. 1600–2100 m a.s.l.) is very similar to the forest from upper parts of Gaan Libah (ca. 1550–1700 m a.s.l.), the type locality of H. laevis.

 Tomas Mazuch, Jiri Smid and Aaron M. Bauer. 2016. Rediscovery and A New Record of Hemidactylus laevis (Reptilia: Gekkonidae) from Somaliland, with Notes on and Resurrection of Hemidactylus fragilis.   Zootaxa. 4117(4):529. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4117.4.5