It is always interesting to hear about new gecko species in the news. The latest species comes from the rain forests of Africa. This Hemidactylus was actually determined to be four different species. These geckos were isolated over time by forests thinning and separating the species. The Hemidactylus was then expected to have adapted over time and evolved into the four new species described.
“We tended to find this gecko, Hemidactylus fasciatus, throughout our travels in West Africa,” said Leache, currently a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California-Davis. “Despite the fact that it is recognized as one species, using new methods we have established a high probability that it is composed of at least four species.”
Leaché and Fujita found sufficient genetic differences among the 50 geckos collected from 10 different forest patches to identify four distinct species. The different species were found in different forest patches, suggesting that the species divergence was driven by the isolation of gecko populations from one another after gaps developed in the rain forest.
We expect that current importers who are selling Hemidactylus fasciatus do not know the variety of which of the four newly discovered species they hold. It is easy to find relatively inexpensive specimens on various outlets such as Kingsnake.com today.
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Interesting tidbit to say the least. I remember a friend showing me a picture of a pair of Hemidactylus fasciatus, showing that they were sexually dimorphic some years ago. I’ve yet to see any rival them!
On a side-note, the kingsnake screenshot is a bit misleading about the affordability of these geckos as I’m fairly certain that advert is from an exporter actually in Africa. By the time they reach our market, price has jumped a bit.
Anyway, thanks for sharing.