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Speciation and Dispersal in a Low Diversity Taxon: The Slender Geckos Hemiphyllodactylus (Reptilia, Gekkonidae)
Zug, George R.
xii + 70 pages (note, 3 blanks in front matter) 25
2010 (Date of Issue: 14 December 2010)
Number 631, Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology
DOI: 10.5479/si.00810282.631
Go to : Article in Open SI

Full Description (from SIRIS)

Abstract
Hemiphyllodactylus is a genus of small geckos occurring widely, although uncommonly seen, throughout the Indo-Pacific islands and South Asia. These geckos consist of both bisexual and unisexual species. The unisexual species, Hemiphyllodactylus typus, the most widespread of these geckos, apparently attained its Polynesian to Mascarene distribution (invasion) through accidental human transport. The bisexual species have much smaller distributions, geographically restricted to island groups or limited continental areas. Until the early 1990s, most bisexual populations were considered subspecies of H. typus. In the last two decades, herpetologists have regularly used species epithets proposed for the region under their investigation. This resurrection of species names has occurred largely without explanation or taxonomic study. This study examines the morphology of Hemiphyllodactylus throughout its known range, using 13 regional samples, first examining the differentiation of unisexual and bisexual populations and individuals, then the possibility of regional differentiation among the different bisexual populations. Variation and consistency in morphology in and among the regional sample identify the existence of a wide-ranging unisexual species, H. typus, and at least eight geographically restricted bisexual species. Available museum specimens for some regions are adequate to characterize eight bisexual species, H. aurantiacus, H. ganoklonis n. sp., H. harterti, H. insularis, H. larutensis, H. margarethae, H. titiwangsaensis n. sp., and H. yunnanensis. Potentially unique bisexual populations occur in Hong Kong, southern Indochina, Borneo, and Sri Lanka, but samples are too small to adequately characterize these populations. The origins and evolution of the species are examined, and the study concludes with a taxonomy for the identified species.

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