Sphaerodactylus ariasae

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Sphaerodactylus ariasae
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Sphaerodactylidae
Genus: Sphaerodactylus
Species: S. ariasae
Binomial name
Sphaerodactylus ariasae
Hedges & Thomas, 2001[1]

Sphaerodactylus ariasae, commonly called the Jaragua sphaero or the Jaragua dwarf gecko, is a very small species of lizards in the family Sphaerodactylidae.


Sphaerodactylus ariasae is one of the world's two smallest known reptiles. The other is S. parthenopion, native to the British Virgin Islands. The Jaragua sphaero measures 16–18 mm (0.63–0.71 in) from the snout to the base of the tail and can fit on a US 25-cent coin.

Geographic range[edit]

The geographic range of S. ariasae is believed to be limited to Jaragua National Park in the extreme southwest of the Dominican Republic and nearby forested Beata Island.


S. ariasae was first described by Blair Hedges, a Pennsylvania State University evolutionary biologist, and Richard Thomas, a University of Puerto Rico biologist, in the December 2001 issue of the Caribbean Journal of Science.[2]


The Jaragua sphaero's binomial name was chosen in honor of herpetologist Yvonne Arias,[3] the leader of the Dominican conservation organization Grupo Jaragua, which was instrumental in securing the environmental protection of Jaragua National Park.[4][5]


  1. ^ Hedges, S. Blair; Thomas, Richard (2001). "At the Lower Size Limit in Amniote Vertebrates: A New Diminutive Lizard from the West Indies" (PDF). Caribbean Journal of Science. 37 (3-4): 168–173. 
  2. ^ "Tiny gecko is 'world's smallest'". BBC. 3 December 2001. Sci/tech News. Retrieved 2009-02-08. 
  3. ^ Sphaerodactylus ariasae at the Reptarium.cz Reptile Database. Accessed 2015-02-21.
  4. ^ "World's Smallest Reptile Discovered in Caribbean". Conservation.org (Press release). Conservation International. 3 December 2001. Retrieved 2015-02-21. 
  5. ^ Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Sphaerodactylus ariasae, p. 11).

External links[edit]