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Variegated (Brilliant South American) gecko (Gonatodes ceciliae) male.jpg
Male variegated, or Brilliant South American, gecko Gonatodes ceciliae, Trinidad
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Sauria
Infraorder: Gekkota
Family: Sphaerodactylidae
Genus: Gonatodes
Fitzinger, 1843[1][2]

31 officially described as of October 2014, see text

Gonatodes is a genus of New World dwarf geckos of the family Sphaerodactylidae.[3][4]


The majority of the species in the genus Gonatodes are diurnally active, scansorial, and sexually dichromatic, with adult body size (snout-vent length) ranging from 28 to 65 mm (1.1 to 2.6 in) for known species.


The diets of species of Gonatodes are composed largely of small arthropods.


Clutch size is one, with most species producing several clutches per year, and some utilizing communal egg-laying sites.


Most species are forest dwelling, with few species utilizing more open habitats. Some species are able to utilize human modified environments, in some cases including highly urbanized areas.

Geographic range[edit]

Species of Gonatodes are found in Central America including southern Mexico, a few Caribbean Islands (including Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica and Union Island in St. Vincent and the Grenadines) and the northern part of South America, including Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, French Guiana, Suriname, parts of Brazil, Venezuela and the islands of Trinidad and Tobago.

Introduced species[edit]

Human mediated introductions have occurred with one species in the Galapagos Islands and another in Florida.


The following 31 species are recognized as being valid.[2] Some subspecies are also listed.

Nota bene: A binomial authority or trinomial authority in parentheses indicates that the species or subspecies was originally described in a genus other than Gonatodes.


  1. ^ ITIS (Integrated Taxonomic Information System). www.itis.gov.
  2. ^ a b The Reptile Database. www.reptile-database.org.
  3. ^ Gamble T, Simons AM, Colli GR, Vitt LJ. 2008. Tertiary climate change and the diversification of the Amazonian gecko genus Gonatodes (Sphaerodactylidae, Squamata). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 46: 269–277.
  4. ^ Gamble T, Bauer AM, Greenbaum E, Jackman TR. 2008. Evidence for Gondwanan vicariance in an ancient clade of gecko lizards. Journal of Biogeography 35: 88–104.
  5. ^ Beolens B, Watkins M, Grayson M. 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. ("Daudin, J.", p. 66).
  6. ^ Kok PJR. 2011. A new species of the genus Gonatodes Fitzinger, 1843 (Reptilia: Sphaerodactylidae) from central Guyana, northern South America. Zootaxa 3018: 1-12.

Further reading[edit]

  • Fitzinger L. 1843. Systema Reptilium, Fasciculus Primus, Amblyglossae. Vienna: Braumüller & Seidel. 106 pp. + indices. (Gonatodes, new genus, pp. 18, 90-91). (in Latin).