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A new record of the phantom gecko Matoatoa spannringi from Sainte Luce, SE Madagascar augments the species' known range

Sheila Funnell, Megan Shrum, Emahalala Ellis and Franco Andreone.

The gekkonid genus Matoatoa currently consists of two species endemic to Madagascar: Matoatoa brevipes Mocquard (1900) and M. spannringi Nussbaum, Raxworthy and Pronk 1998. While M. spannringi occupies rainforest habitats in the eastern part of Madagascar, M. brevipes lives in the arid spiny forests located in the southwest of the island (Glaw and Vences, 2007). Examples of similar east-west vicariance among related Madagascan reptiles are not uncommon (Boumans et al., 2007). The two species within the genus Matoatoa are often called ghost geckos due to their cryptic habits and peculiar morphology. Notably, life history information and distribution data regarding M. spannringi is lacking. Previous documentation provided only a single distribution record located between the communes of Ambohimanana and Fiadanana (S21°28.61’, E47°33.83’, 690 m elevation), at which the type series was collected (Nussbaum, Raxworthy and Pronk, 1998). Hence, M. spannringi is currently listed as ´Critically Endangered´ on the IUCN Red List (Raxoworthy et al., 2011). The current paper provides a new record for M. spannringi from Sainte Luce, southeastern Madagascar. We also provide a morphological description of M. spannringi based on the recorded specimen.

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Herpetology Notes, 2012, 5:151-153
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