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Morphological Variation and Distributional Ecology of the Giant Micronesian Gecko (Perochirus scutellatus) of Kapingamarangi Atoll

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Title: Morphological Variation and Distributional Ecology of the Giant Micronesian Gecko (Perochirus scutellatus) of Kapingamarangi Atoll
Authors: Buden, Donald W.
Issue Date: Jul 1998
Publisher: University of Hawaii Press
Citation: Buden DW. 1998. Morphological variation and distributional ecology of the giant Micronesian gecko (Perochirus scutellatus) of Kapingamarangi Atoll. Pac Sci 52(3): 250-258.
Abstract: Distribution, habitat preferences, and intraspecific variation in
the giant Micronesian gecko (Perochirus scutellatus) are discussed for the first
time, based on 136 recently acquired specimens together with field observations
spanning approximately 2 months. Only two specimens, both adult males, have
been reported previously in the literature. Perochirus scutellatus is a large (up
to 132 mm snout-vent length and 60 g body mass), sexually dimorphic (males
larger than females), arboreal, and predominately diurnal gecko known only
from Kapingamarangi Atoll (on 18 of 31 islands). Adults occur mainly on tree
trunks (chiefly Guettarda speciosa), with densities as high as 25 per tree and
encounter rates of up to approximately 150 per hour. Juveniles were encountered
mainly in Cocos leafaxi1s during the day and in Scaevola bushes along the
strand line at night. Adults are cryptically colored on lichen-covered limbs and
trunks, being mottled dark brown to pale gray, with small, scattered whitish
flecks and patches, and often faintly washed with yellow green. Juveniles tend
to be paler, brighter (more yellow green), and more uniformly colored than
adults.
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/1577
ISSN: 0030-8870
Appears in Collections:Pacific Science Volume 52, Number 3, 1998



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