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

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1998-07
Authors
Buden, Donald W.
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University of Hawaii Press
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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.
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Buden DW. 1998. Morphological variation and distributional ecology of the giant Micronesian gecko (Perochirus scutellatus) of Kapingamarangi Atoll. Pac Sci 52(3): 250-258.
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