Front page
Archive
Silflay Hraka?


Bigwig is a systems administrator at a public university
Hrairoo is the proprietor of a quality used bookstore
Kehaar is.
Woundwort is a professor of counseling at a private university

The Hraka RSS feed

Email
bigwig AT nc.rr.com

Friends of Hraka
InstaPundit
Daily Pundit
cut on the bias
Meryl Yourish
This Blog Is Full Of Crap
Winds of Change
A Small Victory
Silent Running
Dr. Weevil
Little Green Footballs
ColdFury
Oceanguy
Fragments from Floyd
VodkaPundit
Allah
The Feces Flinging Monkey
the skwib
Dean's World
Little Tiny Lies
The Redsugar Muse
Sperari
Natalie Solent
From the Mrs.
ErosBlog
The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler
On the Third Hand
Public Nuisance
Not a Fish
Rantburg
AMCGLTD
WeckUpToThees!
Electric Venom
Skippy, The Bush Kangaroo
Common Sense and Wonder
Neither Here Nor There
Wizbang!
Bogieblog
ObscuroRant
RocketJones
The Greatest Jeneration
Ravenwolf
Ipse Dixit
TarHeelPundit
Blog On the Run
blogatron
Redwood Dragon
Notables
Greeblie Blog
Have A Cuppa Tea
A Dog's Life
IMAO
Zonitics.com
Iberian Notes
Midwest Conservative Journal
A Voyage to Arcturus
HokiePundit
Trojan Horseshoes
In Context
dcthornton.blog
The People's Republic of Seabrook
Country Store
Blog Critics
Chicago Boyz
Hippy Hill News
Kyle Still Free Press
The Devil's Excrement
The Fat Guy
War Liberal
Assume the Position
Balloon Juice
Iron Pen In A Velvet Glove
IsraPundit
Freedom Lives
Where Worlds Collide
Knot by Numbers
How Appealing
South Knox Bubba
Heretical Ideas
The Kitchen Cabinet
Dustbury.com
tonecluster
Bo Cowgill
mtpolitics.net
Raving Atheist
The Short Strange Trip
Shark Blog
Hoplites
Jimspot
Ron Bailey's Weblog
Cornfield Commentary
Testify!
Northwest Notes
pseudorandom
The Blog from the Core
Ain'tNoBadDude
CroMagnon
The Talking Dog
WTF Is It Now??
Blue Streak
Smarter Harper's Index
nikita demosthenes
Bloviating Inanities
Sneakeasy's Joint
Ravenwood's Universe
The Eleven Day Empire
World Wide Rant
All American
Pdawwg
The Rant
The Johnny Bacardi Show
The Head Heeb
Viking Pundit
Mercurial
Oscar Jr. Was Here
Just Some Poor Schmuck
Katy & Bruce Loebrich
But How's The Coffee?
Roscoe Ellis
Foolsblog
Sasha Castel
Dodgeblogium
Susskins Central Dispatch
DoggerelPundit
Josh Heit
Attaboy
Aaron's Rantblog
MojoMark
As I was saying...
Blog O' Dob
Dr. Frank's Blogs Of War
Betsy's Page
A Knob for Brightness
Fresh Bilge
The Politburo Diktat
Drumwaster's rants
Curt's Page
The Razor
An Unsealed Room
The Legal Bean
Helloooo chapter two!
As I Was Saying...
SkeptiLog AGOG!
Tong family blog
Vox Beth
Velociblog
I was thinking
Judicious Asininity
This Woman's Work
Fragrant Lotus
DaGoddess
Single Southern Guy
Caerdroia
GrahamLester.Com
Jay Solo's Verbosity
TacJammer
Snooze Button Dreams
Horologium
You Big Mouth, You!
From the Inside looking Out
Night of the Lepus
No Watermelons Allowed
From The Inside Looking Out
Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics
Suburban Blight
Aimless
The SmarterCop
Dog of Flanders
From Behind the Wall of Sleep
Beaker's Corner
Bad State of Gruntledness
Who Tends The Fires
Granny Rant
Elegance Against Ignorance
Moxie.nu
Eccentricity
Say What?
Blown Fuse
Wait 'til Next Year
The Pryhills
The Whomping Willow
The National Debate
The Skeptician
Zach Everson
MonkeyWatch
Geekward Ho
Argghhh!!!
Life in New Orleans
Rotten Miracles
Fringe
The Biomes Blog
illinigirl
See What You Share
Truthprobe
Blog d’Elisson
Your Philosophy Sucks
Watauga Rambler
Socialized Medicine
Consternations
Verging on Pertinence
Read My Lips
ambivablog
Soccerdad
The Flannel Avenger
Butch Howard's WebLog
Castle Argghhh!
Andrew Hofer
kschlenker.com
Moron Abroad
White Pebble
Darn Floor
Wizblog
tweedler
Pajama Pundits
BabyTrollBlog
Cadmusings
Goddess Training 101
A & W
Medical Madhouse
Slowly Going Sane
The Oubliette
American Future
Right Side Redux
See The Donkey
Newbie Trucker
The Right Scale
Running Scared
Ramblings Journal
Focus On Reality
Wyatt's Torch

May 05, 2005

Reptiles of Iraq: The Rough-Tailed Gecko

Aside from the general lack of information on the subject of reptiles in Iraq, another factor that complicates identifying the various species is the plethora of common names ascribed to each one, not to mention the practically dizzying pace of taxonomic change.

Take the little fellow below, who is known as either the Bent-toed gecko, the Keeled Rock Gecko, the Rough-scaled gecko, the Rough-tailed gecko or the Rough thin-toed gecko, depending upon the source one consults.

The Latin names are just as bad. In the late fifties, when Professor Khalaf published Reptiles of Iraq, this species was known as Gymnodactylus scaber. Since then the entire Gymnodactylus genus has joined the Soviet Union in the dust bin of history. Previous to Khalaf's publication our gecko had been known as Stenodactylus scaber, then Gymnodactylus geckoides. Afterwards; Cyrtodactylus scaber, then Tenuidactylus (Mesodactylus) scaber. Presently, the Latinate form is "Cyrtopodion scabrum." There I hope it stays, if only to save some future geek from the arduous search I undertook in my quest to id the gecko in the picture above, one of a number sent in by our Iraqi herpetologist, 1LT. Bill

And when I say "arduous," I mean "arduous." I'm getting a callous on my Google finger.

If the plethora of appellations wasn't enough, there's also a striking variation in appearance among the species, which is perhaps why Khalaf relies so heavily on scale count and toe configuration for identification purposes in his book. This is the Iranian version--scanned in from Dr. Steven C. Anderson's Lizards of Iran--of the Rough-tailed gecko, an individual he photographed in 1975 in the city of Abadan, just a hop, skip and a jump across the Shatt al-Arab from Iraq. Fortunately for my peace of mind, the Florida version of the species is much closer in appearance to the Baghdad Airport version, which is where 1LT Bill found the gecko above.

He found four other species as well. I figure I'm on track to id them all by the summer of 2007.

Notes: Prof's Khalaf's Reptiles of Iraq entry on the Gymnopdactylus/Cyrtopodion geckos appears below.

Previously: Geckos of the Hemodactylus Genus

Next: Geckos of the Phyllodactylus Genus

See Also: Birds of Iraq, Insects of Iraq, Fishes of Iraq

From Kamel T. Khalaf's Reptiles of Iraq

--------------------------------------------

Genus Gymnodactylus
(ground geckos)
Eyelids absent. Pupil vertical. Digits not dilated, cylindrical or slightly depressed at base. The two or three distal phalanges more or less compressed, not dilated, forming an angle with the basal portion (Fig. 4).

Fig. 4

Head and body depressed. Head covered, above with small granules intermixed posteriorly with larger tubercles. Nostril between the rostral, first labial, an internasal, and several small scales. Body granular, the granules intermixed with tubercles. Tail cylindrical, tapering. Males with or without preanal or femoral pores. Claws five, free, with sheath. The claw between two enlarged scales, the lower of which deeply notched under the claw.

Gymnodactylus scaber - (rough-scaled gecko)

In the head the eye is large; the ear opening rather small, elliptical, vertical. Usually 12 or 13 upper and 10-12 lower labials. Two pairs of chin shields; but sometimes there are three pairs.

Small species. 10 or 12 regular longitudinal series of large and prominent subtrihedral, strongly keeled tubercles upon the back, narrowly separated from one another by small scales, or touching one another. An indistinct lateral fold. Belly with cycloid-hexagonal, imbricate, large scales, about twenty across the middle. Male with 4-7 preanal pores in a transverse series.

Tail longer than the head and body, more or less depressed, tapering, with rows of large spinose trihedral tubercles above, and a median series of enlarged transverse plates inferiorly. Limbs with keeled imbricate scales above. Toes slender, cylindrical at base.

Sandy-colored above with brown spots regularly arranged. There may be a more or less distinct curved mark upon the nape. Tail banded with brown annuli. Whitish below.

--------------------------------------------

Posted by Bigwig at May 5, 2005 01:05 PM | TrackBack
Postscript:
First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself.
Comments

When can we expect "Mollusks of Iraq" Big?

Posted by: Sully at May 5, 2005 03:47 PM

Ooo! That'd be cool!

And snakes too.

Posted by: rita at May 5, 2005 07:12 PM

Annelidae of Iraq?

Pseudosporum of Iraq?

Festering, flesh eating bacterium of Iraq that mostly prefer to feast on tender eyeballs?

Just kidding. I'm mildly geeked about the amateur naturalism going on in IZ, Dr. Maturin.

Posted by: Blackavar at May 5, 2005 09:09 PM

Aubrey, you have debauched my sloth!

Posted by: Bigwig at May 6, 2005 11:38 AM

I got dibs on "Nematodes of Iraq"!

Posted by: Captain Holly at May 6, 2005 01:36 PM
Post a comment Note: Comments with more than two dashes per line will be blocked as spam.









Remember personal info?