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Pachydactylus austeni HEWITT 1923

 

Pachydactylus austeni
Habitat of Pachydactylus austeni. W-South Africa. © M. Barts.

Pachydactylus austeni
Adult male of Pachydactylus austeni. © M. Barts.

Pachydactylus austeni
Another adult male of Pachydactylus austeni. © W. D. Haacke.

Pachydactylus austeni
Adult male from a other population. © W. D. Haacke.

Pachydactylus austeni
Semiadult female of Pachydactylus austeni. © M. Barts.

 

Pachydactylus austeni
Pair of Pachydactylus austeni. © F. Colacicco.

Originalbeschreibung / Original description

HEWITT, J. (1923): Description of two new South African geckos of the genus Pachydactylus. — Ann. Natal Mus., 1(5): 67, PI. IV, figs. 1, 2 — Terra typica: Port Nolloth, Cape Province, collected by Mr. W. Austen, June, 1922.

Dorsal scaling homogeneous, without tubercles; scales over the snout flattened, some of them considerably larger than those over the occiput; dorsal body-scales more or less flattened, but not imbricate nor definitely subimbricate, a little larger than the ventral scales. Nostril well separated from the rostral and from the first nasal, lying between two shields, a large nasorostral and a small post-nasal (text-fig., 1). Rostral 5-sided, broad, but hardly more than 1 1/2 times as broad as deep, the median angle being about 120°. Nasorostrals form a median suture. Nine upper labials, 7 lower labials. Symphysial narrowing posteriorly, being much narrower behind than are the adjacent labials (in P. mariquensis Smiththe symphysial and first lower labial are approximately of same breadth posteriorly). Head flattened, eye large, snout acute but hardly more than 1 1/3 times as long as the eye. Each digit with 3 lamellae under the expanded apical portion (text-fig., 3); but otherwise no differentiation of the small scales covering the lower surfaces of the digits (in this respect resembling mariquensis). On each side of the base of the tail is a series of 5 or 6 subconical scales which are small and inconspicuous. Upper surfaces grey brown, with more or less distinct darker markings on the body and tail; in the largest specimen there are 6 moderate-sized dark spots arranged in two rows on the back (PI. IV, fig. 2); in another specimen there are no clearly-defined spots, but indications of longitudinal markings occur; in the third specimen there are indistinct dark spots and also some white spots and freckles on the back and tail, which white spots are more or less regularly arranged along three longitudinal rows, but individually are not well defined (fig. 1). Scales along the anterior border of the eye-socket white. Length of largest specimen from snout to vent, 45 mm.

Types. — Two specimens in the NatalMuseum and one specimen in the AlbanyMuseum.

Hab. — Port Nolloth, Cape Province, collected by Mr. W. Austen, June, 1922.

The species is related to P. mariquensis Smith, but is of more slender habit, with larger eye and different nasal scales; the colour markings are also very unlike those of mariquensis. It is perhaps near to P. brunnthaleri Werner, the type of which came from Bulawayo, and which was since recorded by Dr. Werner from Windhuk, Grootfontein, Okahandja and Karibib. From the typical form of brunnthaleri, it differs in that the scales on the back and tail are not definitely imbricated as in that species, and the subdigital scales are essentially different; in brunnthaleri these latter are enlarged along the median line throughout the whole length of the digit, whereas in austeni such lamellae occur only under the expanded apex (text-fig., 3 and 4). This subdigital scaling likewise separates it from ocellatus, which moreover has the scales of the dorsal surface of the body distinctly smaller than those on the ventral surface. Another ally is maculatus, from which it differs in having practically homogeneous dorsal scaling, and united nasorostrals.