Gehyra cf. mutilata (Wiegmann, 1834)

Kaiser, Hinrich, Carvalho, Venancio Lopes, Ceballos, Jester, Freed, Paul, Heacox, Scott, Lester, Barbara, Richards, Stephen J., Trainor, Colin R., Sanchez, Caitlin & O'Shea, Mark, 2011, The herpetofauna of Timor-Leste: a first report, ZooKeys 109, pp. 19-86 : 33-34

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Gehyra cf. mutilata (Wiegmann, 1834)


Gehyra cf. mutilata (Wiegmann, 1834) Fig. 10 View Figure 10

Common names.

(E) Mutilated Gecko, Stump-toed Gecko, Tender-skinned Gecko. *(T) Teki kulit kanek (teki = small gecko, kanek = injured, kulit = skin).


Individuals of the genus Gehyra ( Fig. 10 View Figure 10 ) in Timor-Leste are most commonly seen around human habitations, where they occur sympatrically with the common house gecko Hemidactylus frenatus . Identification on sight is usually quite difficult because of the superficial similarity of these two species. Upon capture, an early indication that a specimen is Gehyra cf. mutilata is its ability to shed skin and scales as a defensive mechanism. Unless great care is taken, the skin tears very easily at capture and the animal will appear ‘mutilated.’ Furthermore, the anterior and posterior postmental chin shields are elongate and in broad contact down the midline in Gehyra mutilata , whereas in Hemidactylus frenatus these chin shields are shorter, more rounded, and only the anterior pair is in midline contact, the posterior pair being widely separated by heterogeneous granular scales.

Collection and natural history.

The three specimens of Gehyra cf. mutilata we collected occurred syntopically with Hemidactylus frenatus and were invariably collected at the same time as specimens of that species. They occurred on the walls of houses as well as on the trunks of trees. It is possible that Gehyra cf. mutilata was introduced to Timor at some point during prehistoric human colonization or pre-colonial or colonial inter-island trade.

Taxonomic comment.

Even though Gehyra mutilata sensu stricto is a widely distributed species and occurs throughout Southeast Asia and the western Pacific realm, there is very little known about its exact distribution in Wallacea ( Fisher 1997). There are several different names in the literature that could be applied to Gehyra populations on Timor that are not mutilata. Until we unequivocally confirm the identity of our specimens, they are here listed as Gehyra cf. mutilata .