Gecko diversity: a history of global discovery

  • Peter Uetz, Alex Slavenko, Shai Meiri, Matthew Heinicke
  • Israel Journal of Ecology and Evolution, November 2020, Brill
  • DOI: 10.1163/22244662-bja10003

What is it about?

1935 gecko species were known in 2019. They are classified in seven families and 124 genera. These nearly 2000 species were described by ~950 individuals of whom more than 100 described more than 10 gecko species each. Most gecko species were discovered during the past 40 years. The evolution of geckos is well studied, with DNA sequences being available for ~76% of all geckos (compared to ~63% in other reptiles) and morphological characters now being collected in databases. Geographically, geckos occur on five continents and many islands but are most species-rich in Australasia (which also houses the greatest diversity of family-level taxa), Southeast Asia, Africa, Madagascar, and the West Indies. Among countries, Australia has the highest number of geckos (241 species), with India, Madagascar, and Malaysia being the only other countries with more than 100 described species each. As expected, when correcting for land area, countries outside the tropics have fewer geckos.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/22244662-bja10003

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