Serpent Island gecko

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Serpent Island gecko
Nactus serpensinsulae IleRonde 860513.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Gekkonidae
Genus: Nactus
Species: N. serpensinsula
Binomial name
Nactus serpensinsula
(Loveridge, 1951)
  • Gymnodactylus serpensinsula Loveridge, 1951
  • Cyrtodatylus serpeninsula [sic] Underwood, 1954
  • Nactus serpensinsula
    Kluge, 1983[2]

The Serpent Island gecko (Nactus serpensinsula) is a species of lizard in the Gekkonidae family. The species is endemic to Mauritius.[1]

Subspecies and distribution[edit]

Two subspecies are recognized, including the nominotypical subspecies, found on the two outlying islets:[2]

On Mauritius itself Nactus serpensinsula is only known from fossils.[2]


The subspecific name, durrellorum, is in honor of English zookeeper Gerald Durrell and his second wife, American-born zookeeper Lee McGeorge Durrell.[3]


When naming their new subspecies in 1994, Arnold and Jones used durrelli, which is genetive singular, as the subspecific name. In 2004 Michels and Bauer pointed out that because the subspecies is named in honor of two people, the subspecific name should be in the genetive plural. Accordingly, they changed durrelli to durrellorum.


  1. ^ a b Madagascar Reptile & Amphibian Specialist Group (1996). "Nactus serpensinsula". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c Nactus serpensinsula at the Reptile Database. Accessed 25 March 2015.
  3. ^ 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. (Nactus serpensinsula durrellorum, p. 78).

Further reading[edit]

  • Arnold EN, Jones CG. 1994. The night geckos of the genus Nactus in the Mascarene Islands with a description of the population on Round Island. Dodo 30: 119-131. (Nactus serpensinsula durrelli [sic], new subspecies).
  • Loveridge A. 1951. A New Gecko of the Genus Gymnodactylus from Serpent Island. Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington 64: 91-92. (Gymnodactylus serpensinsula, new species).
  • Michels JP, Bauer AM. 2004. Some corrections to the scientific names of amphibians and reptiles. Bonner Zoologische Beiträge 52: 83-94. (Nactus serpensinsula durrellorum [sic], corrected name).