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Biology

Philippine lizards of the family Gekkonidae comprise 49 species (Taylor, 1915, 1922; Brown and Alcala, 1978) in 10 genera: Gehyra (1), Gekko (13), Hemidactylus (5), Hemiphyllodactylus (2), Lepidodactylus (6), Luperosaurus (8), Ptychozoon (1), Pseudogekko (4), and Cyrtodactylus (9), (Brown et al., 2007, 2010a, 2011; Welton et al., 2009, 2010a, 2010b; Zug, 2011). An amazing percentage of these species are endemic to the Philippines archipelago (roughly 85%; Brown et al., 2011). Several of the recently described gekkonids in the Philippines were discovered only recently as part of ongoing surveys around the archipelago. Recent phylogenetic studies focused on Philippine gekkonids (Siler et al., 2010; Welton et al., 2010a,b) have resulted in the observation of high levels of genetic diversity among populations of widespread species, an indication that the country's gecko diversity may still be greatly underestimated.

Two species of this rarely seen gekkonid lizard occur in the Philippines (Hemiphyllodactylus typus and Hemiphyllodactylus insularis). Zug (2010) provided an excellent review of the genus and summarized much of what is known to date. Unfortunately, no other studies have been able to take a comprehensive approach to understanding more about this unique radiation of geckos.

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© Siler, Cameron

Source: Amphibians and Reptiles of the Philippines

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