Atlas day gecko (Quedenfeldtia trachyblepharus)

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Atlas day gecko
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Atlas day gecko fact file

Atlas day gecko description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassReptilia
OrderSquamata
FamilySphaerodactylidae
GenusQuedenfeldtia (1)

The Atlas day gecko (Quedenfeldtia trachyblepharus) is a small, high altitude lizard endemic to Morocco (3). All geckos are relatively small, soft-skinned and have a flattened body shape. Many geckos are noted for their climbing abilities, and the feet of many species are well-adapted for such forms of locomotion, with highly specialised pads on their toes which enable them to grip onto most surfaces (4).

The male and female Atlas day gecko are very different in appearance. The female is dark brown or grey, with dark stripes running the length of the body. The female may also occasionally have an irregular series of dark spots on the upper side of the body. The male is paler with a large quantity of red or dark brown spots, which are more abundant along the sides of the body and neck. Often, the underside of both sexes is yellowish-green, although it may sometimes be darker in the male, especially towards the front of the body (3).

Many geckos are able to produce a wide range of vocalisations, including chirps, clicks, growls and barks (4).

Size
Snout-vent length: up to 4 cm (2)
Tail length: up to 5.7 cm (2)
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Atlas day gecko biology

A diurnal species (5), the Atlas day gecko hunts in the day and, like most other geckos, is likely to use a combination of visual and chemical cues to find its prey. As with other geckos, this species is likely to feed on insects and other small invertebrates (4).

The female Atlas day gecko lays two to three clutches, each of a single egg (1), which is enclosed in a hard, calcareous shell (4). The eggs of this species are deposited in rock crevices (1).

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Atlas day gecko range

The Atlas day gecko is endemic to south-western Morocco where it is found in the Toubkal Massif and surrounding mountainous areas of the High Atlas Mountains (1) (3).

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Atlas day gecko habitat

The Atlas day gecko is associated with montane rock faces and boulders close to water sources. Living at elevations between 1,200 and 4,000 metres (1), this species has one of the highest vertical distributions of any gecko (2).

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Atlas day gecko status

The Atlas day gecko is classified as Near Threatened (NT) on the IUCN Red List (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Near Threatened

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Atlas day gecko threats

The distribution of the Atlas day gecko is severely fragmented (1). However, there are not known to be any major threats to this species and its population is currently believed to be stable (1).

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Atlas day gecko conservation

The Atlas day gecko occurs in a few protected areas within its range (1). However, there are no known specific conservation measures currently in place for this species.

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Find out more

Discover more about this species and reptile conservation:

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Authentication

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
arkive@wildscreen.org.uk

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Glossary

Calcareous
Containing calcium carbonate, chalky.
Diurnal
Active during the day.
Endemic
A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
Invertebrates
Animals with no backbone, such as insects, crustaceans, worms, molluscs, spiders, cnidarians (jellyfish, corals, sea anemones) and echinoderms.
Montane
Of mountains, or growing in mountains.
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References

  1. IUCN Red List (November, 2011)
    http://www.iucnredlist.org/
  2. Reptile Database - Quedenfeldtia trachyblepharus (November, 2011)
    http://reptile-database.reptarium.cz/species?genus=Quedenfeldtia&species=trachyblepharus
  3. Arnold, E.N. (1990) The two species of Moroccan day-geckoes, Quedenfeldtia (Reptilia: Gekkonidae). Journal of Natural History, 24: 757-762.
  4. Halliday, T. and Adler, K. (2002) The New Encyclopedia of Reptiles and Amphibians. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  5. Röll, B. (2000) Carotenoid and retinoid - two pigments in a gecko eye lens. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part A: Molecular and Integrative Physiology, 125: 105-112.
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