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Overview

Distribution

Range Description

Southern New Mexico (Degenhardt et al. 1996), southwestern Texas (Dixon 2000), and adjacent northern Mexico, where it is widely distributed south to northeastern Durango and southern Coahuila (Bartlett and Bartlett 1999, Stebbins 2003).
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Texas banded geckos are found in Texas and from parts of Southern New Mexico, USA to Northeastern Mexico. In Texas, they are found mainly in the Trans-Pecos region in the southwest and also in western parts of the South Texas thorn scrub.

Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Native )

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occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Global Range: (20,000-2,500,000 square km (about 8000-1,000,000 square miles)) Southern New Mexico (Degenhardt et al. 1996), southwestern Texas (Dixon 2000), and adjacent northern Mexico, where it is widely distributed south to northeastern Durango and and southern Coahuila (Bartlett and Bartlett 1999, Stebbins 2003).

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Continent: Middle-America North-America
Distribution: USA (W Texas, SE New Mexico),  Mexico (Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, Durango, Tamaulipas)  
Type locality: Helotes, Bexar County, Texas.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Adults on average are 10.16-12.07 cm with a snout-vent length of 53.8 mm (Dial & Fitzpatrick 1981). Coleonyx brevis displays sexual dimorphism: females are larger than males. This gecko has a slender body with a tail of equal length. Its head is large and it has large eyes with vertical pupils and moveable eyelids. The toes are very slender and there are no pads. The dorsal side of C. brevis is covered with granular scales. The ventral side is slightly translucent. They are brownish in color and have alternating cross bands of brown and pale yellow. They can be recognized by the dark and light colored blotches and spots on their bodies, which become more prevalent with age (University of Texas 1998).

Range mass: 1.9 to 3.3 g.

Average mass: 2.60 g.

Range length: 10.1 to 12.1 cm.

Sexual Dimorphism: female larger

  • Dial, B., L. Fitzpatrick. 1981. The Energetic Costs of Tail Autotomy to Reproduction in the Lizard Coleonyx brevis. Oecologia, 51: 310-317.
  • University of Texas College of Natural Sciences and the Texas Memorial Museum, 1998. "Herps of Texas-Lizards" (On-line). Accessed March 19, 2001 at http://www.zo.utexas.edu/research/txherps/lizards/coleonyx.brevis.html.
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Size

Length: 12 cm

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Type Information

Paralectotype for Coleonyx brevis
Catalog Number: USNM 50041
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1883
Locality: Helotes, Bexar, Texas, United States, North America
  • Paralectotype: Klauber, L. M. 1945. Trans. San Diego Soc. Nat. Hist. 10 (11): 185.; Stejneger, L. 1893. North American Fauna. 7: 163.
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Paralectotype for Coleonyx brevis
Catalog Number: USNM 50040
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1883
Locality: Helotes, Bexar, Texas, United States, North America
  • Paralectotype: Klauber, L. M. 1945. Trans. San Diego Soc. Nat. Hist. 10 (11): 185.; Stejneger, L. 1893. North American Fauna. 7: 163.
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Paralectotype for Coleonyx brevis
Catalog Number: USNM 42473
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1883
Locality: Helotes, Bexar, Texas, United States, North America
  • Paralectotype: Klauber, L. M. 1945. Trans. San Diego Soc. Nat. Hist. 10 (11): 185.; Stejneger, L. 1893. North American Fauna. 7: 163.
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Paralectotype for Coleonyx brevis
Catalog Number: USNM 42472
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1883
Locality: Helotes, Bexar, Texas, United States, North America
  • Paralectotype: Klauber, L. M. 1945. Trans. San Diego Soc. Nat. Hist. 10 (11): 185.; Stejneger, L. 1893. North American Fauna. 7: 163.
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Paralectotype for Coleonyx brevis
Catalog Number: USNM 42471
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1883
Locality: Helotes, Bexar, Texas, United States, North America
  • Paralectotype: Klauber, L. M. 1945. Trans. San Diego Soc. Nat. Hist. 10 (11): 185.; Stejneger, L. 1893. North American Fauna. 7: 163.
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Lectotype; Syntype for Coleonyx brevis
Catalog Number: USNM 13627
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1883
Locality: Helotes, Bexar, Texas, United States, North America
  • Lectotype: Klauber, L. M. 1945. Trans. San Diego Soc. Nat. Hist. 10 (11): 185.; Stejneger, L. 1893. North American Fauna. 7: 163.; Syntype: Klauber, L. M. 1945. Trans. San Diego Soc. Nat. Hist. 10 (11): 185.; Stejneger, L. 1893. North American Fauna. 7: 163.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Habitats include rocky limestone foothills with desert scrub vegetation such as creosote bush, acacia, and juniper (Degenhardt et al. 1996); canyons, creviced escarpments, and low earthen hills. The species is particularly common in areas of flat rock and succulent vegetative debris. When inactive, individuals hide under rocks, debris, or in crevices (Smith 1946, Bartlett and Bartlett 1999), and they may be found under debris near human habitations (Bartlett and Bartlett 1999). Eggs are laid probably underground or under rocks. The species also occurs on sand dunes.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Coleonyx brevis is found in dry, rocky areas. It inhabits burrows or dens, usually beneath flat rocks or in crevices. When active, C. brevis usually remains on the substrate, rarely climbing on rocks or branches.

Habitat Regions: temperate

Terrestrial Biomes: desert or dune

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Comments: Habitats include rocky limestone foothills with desert scrub vegetation such as creosotebush, acacia, and juniper (Degenhardt et al. 1996); canyons, creviced escarpments, and low earthen hills. The species is particularly common in areas of flat rock and succulent vegetative debris. When inactive, individuals hide under rocks, debris, or in crevices (Smith 1946, Bartlett and Bartlett 1999), and they may be found under debris near human habitations (Bartlett and Bartlett 1999). Eggs are laid probably underground or under rocks.

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Migration

Non-Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species do not make significant seasonal migrations. Juvenile dispersal is not considered a migration.

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

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Trophic Strategy

Coleonyx brevis is mainly insectivorous and has a very wide variety of prey. It is nocturnal, so has a relatively short foraging time. They begin feeding at sundown and end about 3-4 hours later, when temperatures become too low for foraging. For this reason, C. brevis does not have a very specialized diet. It tends to eat most prey encountered in order to get enough to survive. The main prey of C. brevis is termites and cicadellids, while they also feed on spiders, solpugids, crickets, and moths. The type of prey suggests that this species is an active forager. They search for prey in several microhabitats and also dig or turn items in order to find food.

When foraging, the body is in an elevated position and the tail is raised to the height of the body and is laterally curved. There are also frequent tongue flicks to the substrate and surrounding objects. When prey is detected, either from motion or chemoreception, C. brevis approaches it with a series of short runs. It then arks its head over the prey and strikes downward. After biting the prey, the gecko usually shakes it vigorously 3-4 times.

Animal Foods: insects; terrestrial non-insect arthropods

Primary Diet: carnivore (Insectivore , Eats non-insect arthropods)

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Comments: Eats insects and spiders (Conant 1975).

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Associations

Texas banded geckos eat many invertebrates, and are prey to many vertebrates.

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Coleonyx brevis is preyed upon by many mammal and bird species, and also by many species of snakes that focus primarily on lizards, such as Hypsiglena torquata, Salvadora deserticola, and  Masticophis flagellum.

Known Predators:

  • Big Bend patch-nosed snakes (Salvadora deserticola)
  • coachwhips (Masticophis flagellum)
  • night snakes (Hypsiglena torquata)

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Population Biology

Number of Occurrences

Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.

Estimated Number of Occurrences: 81 - 300

Comments: This species is represented by many occurrences; it is known from about 40 counties in Texas (virtually all of the counties within its range extent in Texas), at least two dozen collection sites in New Mexico (Degenhardt et al. 1996), and additional sites in Mexico.

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Coleonyx brevis emits a squeak in order to signal territory or breeding. During foraging and feeding, C. brevis relies on visual cues, which can be reinforced by chemical cues before an attack occurs. This strategy is imortant because it prevents the attack of harmful organisms and also helps in finding more prey in a short foraging time.

Communication Channels: acoustic

Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical

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Life Cycle

When the eggs hatch, the young C. brevis look like small adults. Soon after they are born, the young reach sexual maturity.

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Reproduction

Texas banded geckos are oviparous, their reproductive season is from March-April. Average clutch size is two eggs, and approximately 2-3 clutches are produced each breeding season.

Fertilization is internal. Follicles appear as yellow masses in the oviducts, which change to white at ovulation. Yolk is deposited for 30-32 days after the initiation of vitellogenisis (the formation of the yolk of an egg). About ten days after the yolk is deposited, oviposition takes place. The female C. brevis lays her eggs in an underground burrow or den.

The eggs hatch about two months after being layed, and at this point the young C. brevis are similar in appearance to the adult C. brevis, only smaller in size. Soon after they are born, the young reach sexual maturity.

Breeding season: March-April

Average gestation period: 42 days.

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; sexual ; oviparous

Yolk is deposited for 30-32 days after the initiation of vitellogenisis (the formation of the yolk of an egg). About ten days after the yolk is deposited, oviposition takes place. The female C. brevis lays her eggs in an underground burrow or den.

During vitellogenisis, the female uses energy stored as lipids in carcass, fat body (corpora adiposa), and tail tissue. The utilization of lipid reserves allows the maximization of offspring size and quality by increasing mass and energy content of hatchlings. By the time oviposition takes place, all lipid reserves are depleted.

Parental Investment: pre-hatching/birth (Provisioning: Female)

  • Dial, B., L. Fitzpatrick. 1981. The Energetic Costs of Tail Autotomy to Reproduction in the Lizard Coleonyx brevis. Oecologia, 51: 310-317.
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Lays clutches of 2 eggs, April to June.

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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2007

Assessor/s
Hammerson, G.A., Vazquez Daz, J., Gadsden. H., Quintero Daz, G.E., Ponce-Campos, P. & Lavin, P.

Reviewer/s
Cox, N., Chanson, J.S. & Stuart, S.N. (Global Reptile Assessment Coordinating Team)

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Least Concern due to its wide distribution. The extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, number of subpopulations, and abundance appear to be relatively stable and because no major threats have been identified.
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US Federal List: no special status

CITES: no special status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern

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National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable

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Population

Population
Abundant where it occurs. This species is represented by many occurrences; it is known from about 40 counties in Texas (virtually all of the counties within its range extent in Texas), at least two dozen collection sites in New Mexico (Degenhardt et al. 1996), and additional sites in Mexico. Its population size is unknown, but the species is common within its range in Texas (Bartlett and Bartlett 1999) and New Mexico (Degenhardt et al. 1999). The extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, and abundance are probably relatively stable.

Population Trend
Stable
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Global Short Term Trend: Relatively stable (=10% change)

Comments: Extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, and abundance probably are relatively stable.

Global Long Term Trend: Increase of 10-25% to decline of 30%

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Threats

Major Threats
No major threats have been identified.
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Degree of Threat: Low

Comments: No major threats have been identified.

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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species currently is not in need of any major conservation measures.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Coleonyx brevis do not have any significant adverse affect on humans.

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Coleonyx brevis positively benifits humans by eating and controlling insect pests such as termites and cicadellids.

Positive Impacts: controls pest population

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Wikipedia

Coleonyx brevis

Coleonyx brevis, commonly known as the Texas Banded Gecko, is a species of small gecko native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico.

Description[edit]

Texas Banded Geckos are small, terrestrial lizards, rarely exceeding 4 in (10 cm) in length. They have alternating bands of yellow and brown or pink colored banding down their body, generally with black accenting on the bands, and sometimes with varying degrees of black speckling. Hatchlings and Juveniles display a banded pattern; banded pattern gets a more mottled appearance as the gecko becomes an adult.

Distribution[edit]

C. brevis is found in western Texas and in southeastern New Mexico in the United States, and in Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Durango in Mexico. They prefer semi-arid habitats, and are often found around rock piles or canyon crevices.

Behavior[edit]

Primarily nocturnal and carnivorous, they will consume almost any kind of small arthropods. They are capable of vocalizing, and sometimes emit squeaking noises, most often when harassed or handled. Reproduction occurs in the late spring, and they lay one or two eggs, which are surprisingly large compared to the size of the gecko.

In captivity[edit]

Texas Banded Geckos are not frequently found in captivity, but due to their small size and docile nature, they can make good captives. They do not hold any particular conservation status.

References[edit]

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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: For many years Coleonyx geckos were placed in the family Gekkonidae. In a cladistic analysis of the Gekkonoidea, Kluge (1987) placed the genus Coleonyx in the family Eublepharidae (subfamily Eublepharinae), recognized as distinct from the Gekkonidae. Bartlett and Bartlett (1999), Grismer (2002), and Stebbins (2003) likewise placed Coleonyx in the Eublepharidae, whereas Dixon (2000) retained Coleonyx in the Gekkonidae.

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