Hemitheconyx caudicinctus, the African fat-tailed gecko, occurs in the West African countries of Cameroon, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo, Mali, and Ivory Coast. It is primarily a scrub to desert inhabitant, and has become one of the most popular lizards in the pet trade (where this specimen originated) due to its striking appearance, velvety skin, and docile nature.
Hemitheconyx caudicinctus is a eublepharid gecko (see also Coleonyx variegatus, the western banded gecko). Eublepharids have a worldwide distribution including North and Central America, Asia (including Japan), and Africa. This clade, also known as the 'eyelid geckos', is characterized in part by the presence of eyelids, a supratemporal bone, and an angular bone, all features that can be seen in the animations above. Their combination of features indicate that eublepharids are the most basal lineage of gekkos.
About the Species
This frozen specimen originated in the pet trade and no locality information is available. It was made available to the University of Texas High-Resolution X-ray CT Facility for scanning by Dr. Jessie Maisano of The University of Texas and Dr. Jacques Gauthier of Yale University. Funding for scanning and image processing was provided by an NSF grant (DEB-0132227) to Dr. Jack Sites of Brigham Young University.
About this Specimen
The specimen was scanned by Matthew Colbert on 13 December 2002 along the coronal axis for a total of 555 slices, each slice 0.0599 mm thick with an interslice spacing of 0.0599 mm.
de Vosjoli, P. 1990. The general Care and Maintenance of Leopard Geckos and African Fat-Tailed Geckos. Advanced Vivarium Systems, Lakeside, California. 36 p.
Grismer, L. L. 1988. Phylogeny, taxonomy, classification, and biogeography of eublepharid geckoes, pp. 369-464. In R. Estes and G. Pregill (eds.), Phylogenetic Relationships within Lizard Families. Herpetologists' League Special Publication 2.
Kluge, A. G. 1987. Cladistic relationships in the Gekkonoidea (Squamata, Sauria). Miscellaneous Publications of the Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan 173:1-54.
Ota, H., M. Honda, M. Kobayashi, S. Sengoku, and H. Tsutomu. 1999. Phylogenetic relationships of eublepharid geckos (Reptilia: Squamata): a molecular approach. Zoological Science (Tokyo) 16:659-666.
Global Gecko Association
Caresheet for H. caudicinctus from Mellisa Kaplan's Herp Care Collection
Eublepharidae page from the Cyberlizard
Geckocam, a webcam of a leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularis) named Blinky