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Pachydactylus capensis SMITH 1846

Pachydactylus capensis
Erwachsenes Männchen von Pachydactylus capensis. Südafrika. Foto: M. Barts
Pachydactylus capensis
Weibchen von Pachydactylus capensis. NW-Südafrika. Foto: J. Marais.

Pachydactylus capensis
Erwachsenes Männchen von Pachydactylus capensis. NW-Südafrika. Foto: M. Barts.

Pachydactylus capensis
Erwachsenes Männchen von Pachydactylus capensis. Zentral-Botswana. Foto: M. Barts

Pachydactylus capensis
Erwachsenes Weibchen von Pachydactylus capensis. Zentral-Botswana. Foto: M. Barts

Pachydactylus capensis
Erwachsenes Weibchen von Pachydactylus capensis. S-Namibia. Foto: M. Barts

Pachydactylus capensis
Lebensraum von Pachydactylus capensis. S-Botswana. Foto: M. Barts

Pachydactylus capensis
Gelege von Pachydactylus capensis. Foto: M. Barts

Pachydactylus capensis
3 Tage alter Schlüpfling von Pachydactylus capensis. Foto: M. Barts

Pachydactylus capensis
Schlüpfling von Pachydactylus capensis. Zentral-Botswana. Foto: M. Barts



Originalbeschreibung/Original description

SMITH (1845) Illustrations of the Zoology of South Africa, Reptiles (London, 4), 1-28, Pl. 75, App. 3 — Terra typica: Inhabits Kaffirland, and the districts to the north of the Cape Colony

H. superne   rubro-brunneus, lineis   duabus longitudinalibus   subaurantiis, maculisque   parvis subflavis variegatus; subtus flavo-albus; digito interno pedis singuli parvissimo.

Longitudo è nasi apice ad basin caudae 1 unc. 3 lin.; caudae 1 1/2 unc.

Colour.—The upper and lateral parts of the head, the back, the sides, the outer surface of the extremities, and the upper and lateral parts of the tail, either light brownish red, or a tint between wood-brown and sienna-yellow. The variegations are two longitudinal pale reddish orange lines, and some small pale cream-yellow spots; the former extend, one on each side of the back, from the eye to nearly the commencement of the last third of the tail; the latter are thinly scattered on the back and tail between the lines, also on the outer surface of the extremities. The under parts of the head, the body, the tail, and the inner surface of the extremities, pale cream-yellow or straw-yellow. In light-coloured individuals, the yellow line is frequently edged above and below with a pale liver-brown line. Eyes, greenish yellow with a bronze lustre.

Form, &c.—Figure slender; body somewhat four-sided, laterally rather protuberant, and longitudinally arched; tail cylindrical, and tapered from base to apex, the latter slender and pointed. Head four-sided, the hind-head of the same width as the neck, sides perpendicular and anteriorly converge slightly to the nose; the latter narrow and rounded; upper surface of head between eyes concave; rostral canthus distinct; nostrils situated close to nose, small, and edged above by the nasal plate, below by the first labial, and behind by two narrow scales. Eyes rather large; pupil circular; no eyelid to the outer third of the eye; external ear opening small, circular, smooth, and in a line with the angle of the mouth. Extremities slender; toes of the fore feet five, the innermost rudimentary, and close to the base of the second, the third and outermost toes of the same length, the fourth rather longer; the innermost toe of the hinder feet also rudimentary, as in the fore feet, the third is considerably longer than the second, the fourth longer than the third, and the fifth, or hindermost, which is apart from the others, is not quite so long as the fourth. Each of the toes is armed with a sharp curved claw, placed in the eight fully developed ones, on the distal end of the last joint, which is slender and compressed, as in the Hemidactyli. Posterior to this joint these toes are depressed, and for some way towards the base considerably enlarged laterally. The under surface, where the dilation is greatest, is coated with six or eight transverse cuticular folds, arranged in two series, the one separated from the other by a distinct longitudinal groove; behind those towards the base, there are three series of small scales, those of the middle row the largest. The rudimentary toes show no lateral dilation, each below has only a single row of short transverse plates; the upper surface of all the toes is covered with small, subovate, imbricate scales. Nasal plates subquadrangular, and with the first labial plate, and two small scales, form the margin of the nostrils. Plates of upper lip, exclusive of rostral, eight, of lower lip, exclusive of mental, the same number; the first four of lower lip large, the others, as well as the last three of the upper lip, small and convex. Scales of the head small, circular, and slightly convex; those anterior to the eyes largest; scales of the body and sides small, subtubercular, and arranged in rows, slightly oblique, and with the corresponding one of the opposite side, form an obtuse angle on the centre line of the back; under surface of thighs with four rows of rather large flat imbricate scales. Scales of the upper and lateral surface of the tail rather larger than those on the back, imbricate, and arranged in transverse rows, those of the under surface six-sided, the smallest towards the base, the others here and there almost amount to narrow transverse plates. Submental plates five, one, the largest, somewhat quadrangular, situated immediately behind the mental plate; the others, two on each side, one behind the other, and in contact with the labial plates. Scales on under surface of head circular, flat, and small, on throat and under parts of body moderately large, subhexagonal, approaching circular, all imbricate. Length from nose to base of tail, 1 inch 3 lines; of tail, 1 1/2 inch.

Inhabits Kaffirland, and the districts to the north of the CapeColony. The specimens I procured were discovered under decayed wood


Pachydactylus mentalis Hewitt, 1926

Some new or little known reptiles and batrachians from South Africa. — Ann. S. Afr. Mus., 20: 475, Plate XLIV, fig. 1 – Terra typica: Longhope, on the Great Fish river, by Miss D. Cotton.

Types.—Two specimens in the Albany Museum, Grahamstown, collected at Longhope, on the Great Fish river, by Miss D. Cotton. The species is closely related to capensis Smith, which occurs almost throughout the central districts of the Cape and extends far over the high-veld, but is not known from the eastern districts of the Cape Province, where its place is taken by maculatus Smith. It is distinguishable at a glance from capensis on account of the markings of the dorsal surface, which considerably resemble those of maculatus, but are not quite the same. The most conspicuous structural character of the species is, however, the well-defined row of 5 or 6 chin-shields, which, though not large, are well separated in size from the scales succeeding them. Such chin-shields are not known to occur in any other species of the genus.

Other characters are: Head stout, snout rather obtuse and not depressed; behind the chin-shields are small flattened scales which gradually diminish in size towards the throat; naso-rostrals separated by a single fairly large flattened scale ; all the scales over the snout and between the orbits are comparatively large and flattened, but on the occiput are some low tubercles ; along a straight line from the naso-rostral scale to the small scales immediately adjoining the orbit about 5 larger scales occur; rostral scale a little broader than deep ; keeled tubercles on the back fairly well developed, and between them are small, flattened scales ; digits short, the terminal portion not expanded or only very faintly so; subdigital lamellae 3, but in addition is a smaller divided terminal lamella ; scales along middle of toes inferiorly not enlarged, except distally, about 9 such scales being present on the middle toe from its base up to the first lamella ; tail elongate and tapering, more or less distinctly ringed, some of the larger scales on the upper surface near the base of the tail being slightly keeled.

On each side of the head a curved dark band, starting in front from the nostril and extending back to the occiput, where it nearly meets its fellow. Dorsal surfaces of neck and body with dark blotches ; these are arranged somewhat indefinitely, but can be referred to four rows, the two median rows largest, and the blotches of these rows more or less merging on the hinder half of the body. Tail with irregular spots. Length from snout to vent 36 mm.

The possibility of these specimens being merely hybrids between capensis and maculatus has been considered. On the colour pattern this might seem not improbable, but some of the structural characters are against such interpretation. In maculatus all the head scales are granular, and likewise those of the gular region, the granules nearest the mental scale being smaller than those a little posterior thereto. In capensis the scales adjoining the mental and first labial are small and flattish, but a little larger than scales more posteriorly situated : thus, in this respect, capensis is intermediate between maculatus and the species now described. On the other hand, capensis is by no means constant in its characters throughout the wide area of its range ; in a specimen from the White Kiver, Eastern Transvaal, the scales on the snout and the gular scales are decidedly smaller than in typical specimens from Kimberley, thus approaching a little towards the maculatus condition. This White River specimen is perhaps referable to the form described by Boulenger from the Rustenburg district as affinis (Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., vol. vi, pt. 17, p. 21), from which again I think it will be difficult to distinguish the Zoutpansberg form, tigrinus, van Dam (Ann. Transvaal Mus., Vol. VII, Pt. 4, 1921) : I do not know what are the characters of affinis in this respect, but in specimens of tigrinus from Njelele River the scales adjoining the mental and first labial are finely granular. Probably the distinction of this latter form rests mainly on the naso-rostral character, for in the type of affinis the naso-rostrals are said to be separated by a granule. I may add that in young and immature specimens from Njelele the dorsal surfaces are nearly homogeneously scaled, the tubercles being not much bigger than the scales that accompany them, and not raised up, though keeled to some extent.

Pachydactylus elegans Gray, 1845

Catalogue of the Specimens of Lizards in the Collection of the BritishMuseum. — London, 12: 168 – Terra typica: South Africa

Pale brown, brown and white dotted; tail brown-banded; back and tail with cross series of trihedral tubercles.

a. In spirits. S. Africa. Presented by Dr. John Lee.

Pachydactylus leopardinus Sternfeld, 1911

Zur Herpetologie Südostafrikas. — Mitt. Zool. Mus. Berlin, 5: 418 – Terra typica: Bethany, Orange Free State and West Griqualand, Cape Province

1 Ex. Bethanien (Oranje-River Colony), Missionar Grützner, 1 Ex. West Griqualand (Mus. Nr. 9907)

Steht P.capensis, formosus und affinis nahe. Schnauze 1 ½ mal so lang wie das Auge. 6-8 obere und 5-6 untere Labialen. Nasenloch vom 1. Labiale breit getrennt. 5 Haftlamellen unter den mittleren Finger. Tuberkeln sehr klein, etwa so groß wie vier oder fünf Körnerschuppen, nicht breiter als die Zwischenräume. Kreisrund oder etwas elliptisch, manchmal schwach gekielt, meist aber völlig glatt, in 20-22 Längsreihen. Färbung oberseits rötlichweiß, auf dem Rücken mit unregelmäßigen, unscharf begrenzten, rotbraunen Flecken. Ein dunkler Streif vom Auge zum Nasenloch. Schwanz klein braun getüpfelt. Unterseite rein weiß. Länge des größten Exemplars 4,5+4,2 cm, (Schwanz regeneriert), des kleineren 4,2+4,5 cm.

Pachydactylus tessellatus Werner, 1910

Zoologische und Anthropolische Ergebnisse einer Forschungsreise im westlichen und zentralen Südafrika, 4. — In Schultze - Denkschr. Med. Natl. Ges., Jena, 1910: 310 – Terra typica: Mookane, Kalahar, British Beschuanaland

Von dem Transvaal-Tier, das im Habitus recht sehr an P. capensis erinnert, unterscheidet sich die mir vorliegenden durch den schmäleren Kopf, die stärker gekielten Rückentuberkel in weniger (16, beim Transvaal-Exemplar 22) Reihen; auch reichen die Ventralen an den Seiten weiter hinauf, die Tuberkeln sind durch größere Zwischenräume (nach allen Richtungen mindesten 2 Schuppen) voneinander getrennt, während sie bei dem Transvaal-Exemplar dichter stehen (stets nur durch eine Schuppenreihe getrennt) und allmählich in die Ventralen übergehen.

In der Kopfpholidose ist kein Unterschied von Belang zu beobachten. Sollten diese Unterschiede zu dennen auch noch der ganz beträchtliche in der Färbung hinzukommt, sich als wesentlich ergeben, so möchte ich für die südwestafrikanischen Exemplare den Namen P. tessellatus vorschlagen.