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An early description of a member of the genus Phelsuma (Reptilia: Gekkonidae), with comments on names erroneously applied to Uroplatus fimbriatus

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In the course of a review of the gekkonid genus Uroplatus some early descriptions of lizards subsequently ascribed to this genus were found to be inappropriate. The "salamanders" of Feuillée (1714) and Seba (1735) are not gekkonids at all, but accompanying illustrations, which do not agree with the textual descriptions, exhibit some gekkonid characteristics. This probably accounts for subsequent confusion. The Sarroubé of Lacépède (1788), however, is gekkonid and represents an early description of a member of the genus Phelsuma. Subsequent confusion with Uroplatus has obscured recognition of the key characteristics of the Sarroubé, and it was not until 1825 that the genus Phelsuma was formally recognized.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, The University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive N.W., Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 1N4, Department of Ichthyology and Herpetology, Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen's Park, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 2C6; 2: Department of Zoology and Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, The University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, U.S.A


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