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Pachydactylus carinatus BAUER, LAMB & BRANCH 2006

Pachydactylus carinatus
Habitat of Pachydactylus carinatus in S-Namibias. © M. Barts.

Pachydactylus carinatus
Close up view of a male of Pachydactylus carinatus. © M. Barts.

Pachydactylus carinatus
Captive born hatchling of Pachydactylus carinatus. © M. Barts.  

Pachydactylus carinatus
Another captive born hatchling. © M. Barts.


Originalbeschreibung / Original description

BAUER, A., T. LAMP & B. BRANCH (2006): A Revision of the Pachydactylus serval and P. weberi Groups (Reptilia: Gekkota: Gekkonidae) of Southern Africa, with the Description of Eight New Species. – Proc. California Acad. Sci., Fourth Series, 57 (23): 595–709. — Terra typica: South Africa, Northern Cape Province, Richtersveld National Park, 13.3 km E of Oenna Mine (28°05′11″S, 17°07′45″E).

ETYMOLOGY.— The specific epithet carinatus is Latin for keeled and is in reference to the prominent keeled tubercles typical of this species. The name is in the masculine form.

DIAGNOSIS.— A moderately sized species, to 45.7 mm SVL (CAS 201908). Pachydactylus carinatus may be distinguished from all other members of the P. serval/weberi group by the combination of the following characters: snout weakly inflated laterally; rostral enters nostril; supranasals in variable contact; scales on dorsum of head granular, flattened to very weakly domed, those on snout much larger than those of interorbital and parietal regions; very few small (2–3 times size of granules), round, conical tubercles on interorbital and parietal regions; dorsal scalation strongly heterogeneous, with small, oval, keeled tubercles arranged in 16 regular rows; no tubercles on thighs; toes moderately long, toe pads relatively narrow; typically five undivided lamellae beneath digit IV of pes; tail to at least 114% of SVL, strongly annulate, bearing whorls of moderately to very strongly keeled, pointed tubercles, well separated from each other; adult pattern of moderately small, irregular brown spots or larger markings more-or-less evenly distributed across light brown to grayish-brown dorsum, with some trace of a pale, dark-edged band across Occiput and nape in some specimens; tubercular keels whitish to pale yellow, contrasting with darker spots on dorsum (Figs. 101–103); juveniles with dark brown to blackish body, with an wide, dark-edged ashy nape band and an thick ashy band covering lumbar and sacral regions as well as hindlimbs (Figs. 104–105), tail a bright orange (Fig. 105; see also Bauer and Branch 2003:133). Although similar to the juvenile pattern of P. serval, in the latter species the tail is dark rather than bright, the pale sacral area extends further anteriorly than in P. carinatus and the neck band is also broader.

DESCRIPTION (based on holotype).— Adult female. Snout-vent length (SVL) 45.7 mm. Body relatively depressed, long (TrunkL/SVL ratio 0.44). Head elongate, large (HeadL/SVL ratio 0.30), relatively narrow (HeadW/HeadL ratio 0.61), somewhat depressed (HeadH/HeadL ratio 0.30), distinct from neck. Lores and interorbital region moderately inflated. Snout short (SnEye/HeadL ratio 0.33), longer than eye diameter (OrbD/Sn-Eye ratio 0.74); scales on snout and forehead granular, round, flattened to slightly domed; scales on snout 2–3 times larger than those of anterior interorbital region, much larger than those of parietal table; a few small (2–3 times size of parietal granules) rounded, conical tubercles scattered on interorbital and parietal regions. Eye moderately large (OrbD/HeadL ratio 0.29); orbits without extra-brillar fringes; 1–3 posterior supracilliary scales bearing very small spines; pupil vertical with crenelated margins. Ear opening oval, small (EarL/HeadL ratio 0.08), more-or-less vertically oriented; eye to ear distance less than diameter of eyes (EyeEar/OrbD ratio 0.91) [greater than eye diameter in some paratypes]. Rostral approximately 60% as deep (1.0 mm) as wide (1.7); no rostral groove; contacted by two enlarged supranasals, one small internasal granule, and first supralabials; nostrils oval, oriented laterally and slightly anteriorly, each surrounded by two postnasals, supranasal, and first supralabial; supranasals separated by a single small granule; dorsal postnasals approximately 1.5 times ventral postnasals, separated by two somewhat enlarged granules; nostril rims weakly inflated; 1–2 rows of scales separate orbit from supralabials; mental wedge-shaped, approximately 2.3 times deeper (2.0 mm) than wide (0.8 mm); no enlarged postmentals or chin shields. Supralabials to angle of jaws 11/10 (9/9 to midorbit); infralabials 10/9; interorbital scale rows at midpoint of orbit 27 (9 across narrowest point of frontal bone).

Dorsal scales small, granular, flattened to weakly conical, forming rosettes of scales around moderately sized (6–8 times size of adjacent scales), oval, relatively strongly keeled tubercles; tubercles largest on midflanks, smallest along dorsal midline and on anterior one third of body, arranged in 16 regular rows; ventral scales rounded, flattened, subimbricate to imbricate, becoming larger posteriorly, especially in precloacal region, approximately 24 between lowest rows of granular scales on flanks at midbody; scales on venter at midbody 1/3–1/2 size of tubercles on dorsum at same level; chin granules approximately one third to one fourth size of ventral scales, increasing in size gradually on throat. No preanal or femoral pores. Scales on palm and sole granular to weakly conical; ventral surface of shank and forearm with smooth, subimbricating scales; preaxial surfaces of basal limb segments with smooth, slightly enlarged subimbricate to imbricate scales grading into juxtaposed granules on postaxial surfaces; scales on ventral aspect of thighs enlarged, continuous with enlarged scales of precloacal region.

Forelimbs moderately short, stout (ForeaL/SVL ratio 0.14); hindlimbs moderately long (CrusL/SVL ratio 0.17); digits moderately long, claws absent; subdigital scansors, except for distalmost, entire, present only on distal portion of toes, approximately 1.5 times wider than more basal (non-scansorial) subdigital scales; interdigital webbing absent. Relative length of digits (manus): III > IV > II > V > I; (pes): IV > III ~ V > II > I. Subdigital scansors (excluding small distal divided scansor) I (4), II (4), III (4), IV (4), V (4) – manus; I (4), II (5), III (6), IV (5), V (6) – pes.

Tail sub-cylindrical, weakly depressed; partially regenerated tail equal to snout-vent length; tail thin basally, tapering, with distinct whorls of scales; each transverse row of oval, keeled tubercles separated by 3 rows of smaller, square to rectangular scales wit rounded free margins; subcaudal scales rectangular to oval, 2–3 times larger than dorsal caudal scales, imbricating; midventral caudal scales slightly larger than adjacent subcaudal scales; 2–3 small, raised, posterodorsally-projecting postcloacal spurs on each side of tailbase.

Coloration (in preservative): Dorsal color buff with small to moderately sized, evenly distributed mid-brown spots arranged in more-or-less longitudinal rows. A pale, wide, transverse band across nape, bordered anteriorly and posteriorly by a incomplete thin mid-brown edge. Keels of tubercles whitish to cream, contrasting with underlying brown spots. Parietal table, interorbital area and snout with symmetrical brown spots: a triangle pointing forward fro anterior border of orbits, a small rhomboid on anterior part of parietal table, surrounded by a roughly star-shaped brown outline. A brown line from rostral, through center of eye, over ear to level of dark anterior border of nape band, widened medially in the region to approach dorsal midline on the snout. First supralabial scales midbrown; more posterior supralabials and all infralabials buff tinged with brown pigment. Limbs with scattered irregular mid-brown spots and blotches. Tail with alternating light and dark bands; cream bands wider than dark bands, becoming subequal distally. Tail tubercles whitish. Venter buff with scattered diffuse pigmentation, especially on edges of flanks and chin and under limbs. Tail venter with faint alternating pattern.