Henkel's leaf-tailed gecko

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Henkel's leaf-tailed gecko (Uroplatus henkeli )
Uroplatus henkeli.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Sauria
Infraorder: Gekkota
Family: Gekkonidae
Genus: Uroplatus
Species: U. henkeli
Binomial name
Uroplatus henkeli
Böhme & Ibisch, 1990
Uroplatus henkeli distribution.png
Geographic range of Uroplatus henkeli.

Henkel's leaf-tailed gecko (Uroplatus henkeli ), also known as Henkel's flat-tailed gecko or the frilled leaf-tail gecko,[2] is a species of gecko endemic to Madagascar.

Geographic range[edit]

U. henkeli is found in primary forest on the island of Nosy Bé near Madagascar, as well as on the mainland of Madagascar itself, in the region of Ankaranafantsika.[1]

Behaviour[edit]

Henkel's leaf-tailed geckos live an arboreal lifestyle, often venturing down to the ground only to lay eggs in soft soil and leaflitter.

Description[edit]

There are two different morphs of U. henkeli, the Nosy Bé form and the mainland Madagascar form, and they can be distinguished by their colouration patterns, though these are not always reliable. Reaching a total length (including tail) of 280 mm (11 in), this is one of largest species in the genus.

Diet[edit]

Henkel's flat-tailed geckos are insectivores, but will also eat snails if they are found.

Etymology[edit]

The generic name, Uroplatus, is a Latinization of two Greek words: "ourá" (οὐρά) meaning "tail" and "platys" (πλατύς) meaning "flat". The specific name, henkeli, is a Latinization of German herpetologist Friedrich-Wilhelm Henkel's last name.[2]

Threats[edit]

Henkel's leaf-tailed gecko is currently classified as vulnerable by the IUCN. Habitat destruction and deforestation in Madagascar is the primary threat to this animal's future as well as collection for the pet trade. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) lists all of the Uroplatus species on their "Top ten most wanted species list" of animals threatened by illegal wildlife trade, because of it "being captured and sold at alarming rates for the international pet trade". It is a CITES Appendix 2 protected animal.[1][3]

Two U. henkeli hanging head-down from a glass wall of a display in the Museum of Science, Boston

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Raxworthy, C.J. & Vences, M. (2010). "Uroplatus henkeli". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  2. ^ a b 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. (Uroplatus hedersoni, p. 121).
  3. ^ "Inclusion of Uroplatus spp. in Appendix II" (pdf). Technical comments in support of amendments to CITES appendices submitted by Madagascar. CITES. 2004. Retrieved 2 November 2008. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Böhme W, Ibisch PL. 1990. "Studien an Uroplatus. I. Der Uroplatus fimbriatus-Komplex ". Salamandra 26 (4): 246-259. (Uroplatus henkeli, new species). (in German).

External links[edit]