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Radiation and convergence among desert geckos: Phyllodactylus species resembling both Ptyodactylus and Stenodactylus

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image of Amphibia-Reptilia

Using field observations and museum material, we compare environmental, morphological and biological aspects of some Peruvian and Israeli desert lizards (Reptilia: Gekkonidae). The rupicolous species Phyllodactylus reissi (Peru) resembles Ptyodactylus hasselquistii (Israel) whereas the psammophilous Phyllodactylus microphyllus (Peru) resembles Stenodactylus sthenodactylus (Israel). The similarities include habitat, activity timing, body size, body shape, scutellation, digit structure, eye size, sexual size difference and clutch size. Hence new world Phyllodactylus have radiated attaining a divergence paralleling that between very distinct old world genera.

Affiliations: 1: Departamento de Herpetología, Museo de Historia Natural, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Mar-cos, Casilla 140434, Lima 14, Perú; 2: Department of Statistics, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 91905 Jerusalem, Israel; 3: Department of Zoology (Sturman Building), The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 91904 Jerusalem, Israel


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