Cnemaspis kendallii ( Gray, 1845 )

Grismer, Lee, Wood, Perry L., Anuar, Shahrul, Riyanto, Awal, Ahmad, Norhayati, Muin, Mohd A., Sumontha, Montri, Grismer, Jesse L., Onn, Chan Kin, Quah, Evan S. H. & Pauwels, Olivier S. A., 2014, Systematics and natural history of Southeast Asian Rock Geckos (genus Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887) with descriptions of eight new species from Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia, Zootaxa 3880 (1), pp. 1-147 : 107-111

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.3880.1.1

publication LSID

persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Cnemaspis kendallii ( Gray, 1845 )


Cnemaspis kendallii ( Gray, 1845)

Kendall’s Rock Gecko

Figs. 55 View FIGURE 55 , 56 View FIGURE 56

Heteronota kendallii Gray, 1845:174 View in CoL (in part)

Gonatodes kendalli (in part) Boulenger, 1885:63; Shelford, 1901:48

Gonatodes affinis Shelford, 1901:49

Gonatodes kendallii de Rooij, 1915:25 (in part)

Lectotype. BM XXII.92 (designated by Dring 1979:223). Type locality: “Borneo”

(02°34.44 N, 104°19.53 E) at 100 m in elevation.

Diagnosis. Maximum SVL 58.4 mm; 10 or 11 supralabials; eight or nine infralabials; keeled ventral scales; no precloacal pores; 18–26 paravertebral tubercles; body tubercles semi-linearly arranged, weak to present on flanks, tubercles absent from lateral caudal furrows; ventrolateral and lateral row of caudal tubercles present; caudal tubercles encircle tail; subcaudals keeled with no enlarged median row; two postcloacal tubercles on each side of tail base; no enlarged femoral, subtibial or submetatarsal scales; subtibials keeled; 25–33 subdigital fourth toe lamellae; distinct black and white caudal bands on posterior portion of tail; subcaudal region immaculate white (Tables 6,7).

Color pattern in life ( Figs. 55 View FIGURE 55 , 56 View FIGURE 56 ). Coloration differs greatly depending on the time of the day. Diurnal coloration: dorsal ground color of the head, body, and limbs grey to dark brown; dark and yellow markings on top of head; thin, dark, diffuse, postorbital stripe extends onto nape; medial, black marking on nape followed by black, vertebral spots extending from shoulder region to base of tail and flanked laterally by additional row of spots on each side on anterior portion of body; dorsum and upper portions of limbs bearing whitish to yellowish spots, those in vertebral region largest; black and white caudal bands in males and females, bands encircling tail in females; subcaudal region nearly immaculate white in males in both original and regenerated tails; dorsal pattern of regenerated tail beige with dark flecking; ventral surfaces of head and neck dull-beige; pectoral region, abdomen and ventral surfaces of limbs beige, usually immaculate. Nocturnal coloration: ground color of dorsal surface of head and body nearly white to light yellow, highlighting dark markings on head and spotting on dorsum; ground color of limbs and tail yellowish.

Distribution. Cnemaspis kendallii ranges throughout northwestern Borneo in Sarawak, East Malaysia ( Das & Bauer 1998) and western Kalimantan, Indonesia. It ranges northward to Pulau Serasan of the Southern Natuna Islands and onto Pulau Buona of the Tambelan Islands, Pulau Pedjantan [sic.] (=Pejantan), and Pulau Karimata ( Umilaela et al. 2009) to the south ( Fig. 4 View FIGURE 4 ). Das and Bauer (1998) erroneously reported this species from “Pulo [sic] Lingga” based on specimen USNM 28145. However, Pulau Lingga is an island south of Pulau Bintan, Indonesia that lies just south of Singapore on the western edge of the South China Sea. The original hand written collection label on USNM 28145 reads “Pulau Lingung [=Pulau Lagong] near Natuna Besar” which is a small island off the southern tip of Pulau Natuna Besar ( Fig. 4 View FIGURE 4 ). USNM 28145 is recognized here as C. mumpuniae sp. nov.

Natural history. Cnemaspis kendallii is a habitat generalist that ranges throughout primary, secondary, and old secondary forests. Lizards are generally diurnal and can be found on the shaded surfaces of large granite boulders, limestone formations, tree roots, and tree trunks ( Fig. 56 View FIGURE 56 ). Upon retreat, males often roll their tail over their back displaying its white, immaculate underside ( Fig. 56 View FIGURE 56 ) while waving the tip back and forth. At Gunung Gading, we observed lizards during the day on the same granite boulders wherein we observed the much larger C. nigridia at night, indicating these species may be partitioning their microhabitat by means of body size and activity period as has been suggested for other sympatric pairs of Cnemaspis ( Grismer et al. 2010b) . At night, C. kendallii is often found abroad sleeping on tree trunks and other vegetation and in open areas on the faces of granite boulders.

Relationships. Cnemaspis kendallii is the sister species of C. pemanggilensis ( Fig. 2 View FIGURE 2 ).

Remarks. We examined two specimens from the Tambelan Archipelago, Indonesia collected in 1899: one from Pulau Benua (=Buona) and another from Pulau Pejantan (USNM 26573 and 26555, respectively). Both were very faded and in poor shape overall. More importantly, both lacked tails meaning that eight of some of the most important diagnostic character states used to delimit species boundaries between Cnemaspis were unavailable for examination. The combination of the remaining character states such as no precloacal pores, keeled ventrals and subtibials, SVLs of 51.5 and 55.7 mm coupled with their locality off the west coast of Borneo would place them in C. kendallii as was reported by Das and Bauer (1998). However, being that this archipelago has been separated from Borneo for nearly as long as the Anambas and Natuna archipelagos (which collectively harbor at least three species of endemic Cnemaspis ) and their specific identity is not possible, we recognize these populations as C. cf. kendallii . Plans are in preparation to collect additional specimens.

Material examined. East Malaysia: Sarawak, Gunung Gading LSUHC 9171–73, 9176, USNM 76633; Santubong LSUHC 9178–81. Indonesia: Riau Province, Natuna Archipelago, Pulau Serasan TNHC 64278; Tambelan Archipelago, Pulau Buona USNM 26573; Pulau Pejantan USNM 26555.


Bristol Museum


La Sierra University, Herpetological Collection


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History


Texas Memorial Museum, Texas Natural History Collection














Cnemaspis kendallii ( Gray, 1845 )

Grismer, Lee, Wood, Perry L., Anuar, Shahrul, Riyanto, Awal, Ahmad, Norhayati, Muin, Mohd A., Sumontha, Montri, Grismer, Jesse L., Onn, Chan Kin, Quah, Evan S. H. & Pauwels, Olivier S. A. 2014

Gonatodes kendallii

De Rooij, N. 1915: 25

Gonatodes affinis

Shelford, R. 1901: 49

Gonatodes kendalli

Shelford, R. 1901: 48
Boulenger, G. A. 1885: 63

Heteronota kendallii

Gray, J. E. 1845: 174
GBIF Dataset (for parent article) Darwin Core Archive (for parent article) View in SIBiLS Plain XML RDF