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Genus: Alsophylax Fitzinger, 1843 North Asian geckos

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A. pipiens (non Pall.), A. kashkarovi Andrushko, 1968

Typical territory: Kara-Bent on the river. Tejen (Turkmenistan).


The torso and head are slightly flattened. Across the forehead between the centers of the eyes is 16-20 roundish flat scales. The opening of the nostril is located between the intermaxillary, the first upper labial and one large nasal shield. Upper lip shields 5–8, of which the second is significantly lower than the first. The chin shield is narrow, its width is usually less than the length. The upper body, neck and base of the tail are covered with a more or less homogeneous polygonal flat, tiled scales located, among which there are no distinct noticeably enlarged scales or tubercles. The throat scales are small, almost the same size as the dorsal. The scales on the upper side of the tail are noticeably smaller than those below and on the sides. The plates on the underside of the fingers without ribs or denticles on the free edge.

The upper body is yellowish with a gray tint, on the back there are 4-6 transverse weakly expressed, sometimes torn dark stripes, the same type of stripes on the upper side of the limbs, and sometimes the tail. On the sides of the head from the end of the muzzle through the eye passes a more or less pronounced brown stripe, curving arched above the ear and ending at the neck. The end of the muzzle and its upper lateral margins are usually yellowish or yellow. The belly is white. The color of the tail above and below is lemon yellow or orange yellow, which differs sharply from the color of the body (Tables 9, 9).

It is sporadically distributed in the foothill plains of southern Turkmenistan (from the Maly Balkhan in the west to the valley of the Tejen river in the east), in southwestern Kyzylkum, southern regions of Uzbekistan, and southwestern Tajikistan (map 33). Outside the USSR, it is possible to be in North-East Iran and Afghanistan.


Map 33

Individuals from the southern regions of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, characterized by larger scales of the chin area, may form a subspecies of A. I. kashkarovi Andrushko, 1968.

It lives in a clay desert, on solonchak takyrs and takyr-like soils almost devoid of vegetation. As shelters, it uses cracks in the soil and voids formed under the peeling solid bark of takyr, abandoned nests of termites and ants, minks of various invertebrates, voids in stumps and at the base of saxaul trunks.

Abundance is usually high. In various habitats in the south of Turkmenistan, on a route of 1 km, there were an average of 2.2 to 3.1, and in Kyzylkum - 1.5 individuals. In the Tejen Valley, over 200 m for 2 hours, 62 geckos were found in minks.

Leads a twilight and nightlife. At a temperature of + 19 ° C and above it is active throughout the entire dark time of the day. The voice is like a thin squeak.

After wintering in Southern Turkmenistan with favorable weather, it appears in late February and is active until the end of October.

It feeds mainly on small spiders and insects. In the stomachs of numerous individuals from Turkmenistan studied over a number of years, spiders (49.3% of occurrence), termites (25%), small beetles (11%), ants (5.7%), butterflies and their caterpillars (7%) were found grasshoppers (2.5%) and other insects.

Egg laying occurs in May. The female lays, for the season, apparently, 2-4 eggs approximately 6 × 9 mm in size. Young ones appear at the beginning of July, their total length is 16-17 mm, with a little less than half on the tail. Maturity occurs, apparently, at the age of slightly less than 1 year, with a body length of 25-29 mm.

GENUS Alsophylax Fitzinger, 1843 = North Asian geckos

Fingers straight, unexpanded, from below covered with one longitudinal row of plates. A toe of small toothed scales at the edges of the fingers is present or absent. Among small dorsal scales, large, more or less convex scales (tubercles) are scattered, which in some species are arranged in regular longitudinal and transverse rows. The pupil is vertical. There are anal pores.

Thirteen species are known, grouped into subgenuses of Alsophylax Fitzin itself. and Bunopus Blanf. In the representatives of the first of them, the dorsal scales are completely homogeneous or mixed with randomly scattered larger, flat rounded scales, and the subdigital plates are smooth, without ribs. Among the species of the CIS fauna, these include A. pipiens, A. laevis, and A. spinicauda.

In representatives of the second subgenus, greatly enlarged convex ribbed tubercles are located on the upper side of the body in regular longitudinal and transverse rows. Among domestic species, these include A. tuberculatus and A. loricatus.

The range of the genus covers North Africa, Front Asia (excluding Turkey), Central and Central Asia, North-West India and Pakistan. There are 5 species in the fauna of the CIS.

Squeaky Gecko - Alsophylax pipiens Pall., 1813

A. microtis Blanf., 1875 Typical area: Mount Bogdo in the lower Volga.

The torso and head are slightly flattened. Across the forehead between the centers of the eyes is 12-17 (usually 14-15) roundish flat scales. The nostril is located between the intermaxillary, the first upper labial and one large nasal shield. Upper labial shields 5-8 (usually 7), of which the second is much lower than the first. Non-jaw-shaped guards are available. The trunk, neck and base of the tail are covered on top with more or less zerous scales, among which rounded, slightly convex smooth or slightly ribbed scales (tubercles) stand out for their somewhat larger sizes, they do not form regular transverse rows, the distance between individual tubercles is greater than the diameter of the tubercle. Throat scales are very small. The plates on the underside of the fingers without ribs or denticles on the free edge.

On top is a pale yellowish or brown color with a grayish tint and five broad, obscure dark transverse, sometimes torn stripes on the back, the same nature of the strip on the upper surface of the limbs and tail. Narrow yellowish stripes pass on the muzzle, from its tip to the upper front edge of the eye, and transverse gray stripes on the back of the head. The bottom is white with a yellowish-lemon hue.

Distributed in Central Asia and Kazakhstan. Outside the CIS, in Northeast Iran, Northern Afghanistan and further east to northern China and southern Mongolia.

It lives in saxaul thickets, on overgrown vegetation of loess, clay, rocky and, less commonly, sandy soils, on clay and calcareous cliffs. Burrows are burrows of various burrowing animals, spaces under stones, cracks and crevices in the soil, hollows and voids in the basal part of saxaul trunks. It leaves the shelter with the onset of darkness, however, in cloudy weather it also occurs during the day. Able to publish a long metal squeak, which in the daytime is easily confused with the voice of a bird. After wintering appears in late March - early April. It feeds mainly on insects, among which small beetles, caterpillars and butterflies predominate, bedbugs, orthopterans, cicadas, dipterans, ants, as well as spiders, scorpions and phalanges. In the stomachs of geckos caught in April - May on the Ustyurt plateau in Uzbekistan, the prevalence of prevalence was dominated by beetles (35%), spiders (25%), butterflies and caterpillars (20%), bugs (17%) and ants (7.5 %). Egg laying begins in late May and lasts until the end of June. During this period, the female lays several times one at a time, less often 2 eggs with an average size of 6X9 mm. Young begin to appear in July. Maturity occurs, apparently, at the age of 20 months, i.e., in the second spring after birth.

Smooth gecko - Alsophylax laevis Nik., 1905

A. pipiens (Pall.), A. kashkarovi Andrushko, 1968

B. Typical area: Kara-Bont on the river. Tejen (Turkmenistan).

The torso and head are slightly flattened. Across the forehead between the centers of the eyes is 16-20 round, flat scales. The opening of the nostril is located between the intermaxillary, the first upper labial and one large nasal shield. Upper labial shields 5-8, of which the second is much lower than the first. The chin shield is narrow, its width is usually less than the length. The upper body, neck and base of the tail are covered with a more or less homogeneous polygonal flat, tiled scales located, among which there are no distinct noticeably enlarged scales or tubercles. The throat scales are small, almost the same size as the dorsal. The scales on the upper side of the tail are noticeably smaller than those below and on the sides. The plates on the underside of the fingers without ribs or denticles on the free edge.

The upper body is yellowish with a gray tint, on the back there are 4-6 transverse weakly expressed, sometimes torn dark stripes, the same type of stripes on the upper side of the limbs, and sometimes the tail. On the sides of the head from the end of the muzzle through the eye passes a more or less pronounced brown stripe, curving arched above the ear and ending at the neck. The end of the muzzle and its upper lateral margins are usually yellowish or yellow. The belly is white. The color of the tail above and below is monmonol yellow or orange yellow, which differs sharply from the color of the body.

It is sporadically distributed in the foothill plains of southern Turkmenistan (from the Small Balkhan in the west to the valley of the Tejen river in the east), in southwestern Kyzylkum, southern regions of Uzbekistan, and southwestern Tajikistan. Outside the CIS, it is possible to be in Northeast Iran and Afghanistan.

Individuals from the southern regions of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, which are distinguished by larger scales of the chin region, may form a subspecies of A. kashkarovi Andrushko, 1968.

It lives in a clay desert, on solonchak takyrs and takyr-like soils almost devoid of vegetation. As shelters, it uses cracks in the soil and voids formed under the peeling solid bark of takyr, abandoned nests of termites and ants, minks of various invertebrates, voids in stumps and at the base of saxaul trunks.

Abundance is usually high. In various habitats in the south of Turkmenistan, on the route 1 km long, there were an average of 2.2 to 3.1, and in Kyzylkum - 1.5 individuals. In the Tejen Valley, over 200 m for 2 hours, 62 geckos were found in minks.

Leads a twilight and nightlife. At a temperature of + 19 ° C and above it is active throughout the entire dark time of the day. The voice is like a thin squeak.

After wintering in Southern Turkmenistan with favorable weather, it appears in late February and is active until the end of October.

It feeds mainly on small spiders and insects. In the stomachs of numerous individuals from Turkmenistan studied over a number of years, spiders (49.3% of occurrence), termites (25%), small beetles (11%), ants (5.7%), butterflies and their caterpillars (7%) were found grasshoppers (2.5%) and other insects.

Egg laying occurs in May. The female lays for the season, apparently, 2–4 eggs approximately 6X9 mm in size. Young ones appear at the beginning of July, their total length is 16-17 mm, with a little less than half on the tail. Maturity occurs, apparently, at the age of slightly less than 1 year, with a body length of 25-29 mm.

Carapace gecko - Alsophylax loricatus Str., 1887

Typical area: Mount Mogul (Northern Tajikistan). .

The torso and head are slightly flattened. The width of the pentagonal intermaxillary scutellum is significantly greater than its height. Across the forehead between the centers of the eyes 10-13 scales. The nostril is located between the intermaxillary, the first upper lip and two or three nasal scutes. Upper labial flaps 6-7, of which the second is almost the same height as the first. Behind the chin shield are 2 large mandibular scutes. The trunk, neck and base of the tail are covered from above with fine, more or less granular scales, among which oval, convex and ribbed scales (tubercles), located in regular longitudinal and transverse rows, are distinguished by a significantly larger size, and the distance between individual tubercles is less than the diameter of the tubercle itself. The throat scales are very small, almost the same size as the dorsal scales between the tubercles. Tail scales are arranged in segments, each of which in the anterior third or quarter of the tail is formed by three to four transverse rows of small and one row of significantly larger convex scales. Scales of the middle longitudinal row of the lower surface of the tail are larger than neighboring ones. Anal pores in males are large, in females inconspicuous. The subdigital plates are smooth, without ribs or denticles on the free edge.

The body is brownish or light brown with a yellowish tinge, without a pattern. Above and on the sides of the tail there are 3 longitudinal, interrupted in some places, dark brown strips with uneven edges, connected to the end by transverse bridges. The underside is whitish.

It is found sporadically in the north-east of Turkmenistan (known from the vicinity of Darganat and a number of points in the Takhtip region on the left bank of the Amu Darya), in Eastern Uzbekistan (Mirzabat and the watershed of the Angren and Syr Darya rivers) and in northern Tajikistan (Mount Mogol, Leninabad and Kokkurak village on the right bank Syrdarya) (map 33).

It lives in the remnant mountains and in the takrno-solonchak desert, and on cultivated lands it often stays among thinned vegetation along the banks of small ditches and in adobe ruins. In the daytime, it hides in various cracks, crevices and voids between clods of soil and in the steppes of ruins. The abundance in the cultural landscape is relatively high. In Turkmenistan, during nightly surveys with a lantern for an hour-long excursion in May from 21 to 22 hours, from 16 to 30 individuals were taken into account. Here, during excavations on the bank of the irrigation ditch, during the 150 m route, 34 geckos were mined.

It leads a twilight and nocturnal lifestyle, appearing from shelters immediately after sunset. On moonlit nights, activity decreases markedly. The voice of the armored gecko is like a very thin squeak. It feeds on insects and other small invertebrates. In the stomachs of the individuals examined in May, spiders (51% of occurrence), ants (45.3%), as well as small beetles and dipterans were found. One or two eggs are laid at the end of May - the beginning of the nurse. The length of the young one year after birth is 19-20 mm, not counting the tail.

Spiny-tailed gecko - Alsophylax spinicauda Str., 1887

Typical territory: Shahrud (Northern Iran).

The torso and head are noticeably flattened. Across the forehead between the centers of the eyes 21 - 23 are polygonal convex scales. The nostril is located between the intermaxillary, the first upper lip and two nasal scutes. Upper labial flaps 7–9, of which 5 anterior are significantly larger than the rest. The chin shield is triangular in shape. The mandibular scutes are well defined. The upper body, neck and base of the tail are covered with small convex scales, between which roundish tubercles are scattered in disorder, approximately twice the size of the surrounding scales. The throat scales are small, almost the same size as the dorsal scales between the tubercles. The tail is ringed at the top, with each ring formed by four to five scales, between which on each side there are 2–4 prickly tubercles, giving the tail a characteristic “prickly” look. On the underside of the tail, only the first 5-8 rings are distinctly visible, the scales covering the tail from below are approximately equal in size. The top is grayish, with 5-7 narrow, wavy, unevenly outlined, dark, transverse stripes. The bottom is grayish-white (tab. 9.75).

It is found sporadically in southern Turkmenistan in the foothills of the Central and Western Kopetdag, as well as Badhyz (map 34). Outside the CIS, it is known from Northeast Iran.

Biology is almost unstudied. It lives in foothills on clay hills with rare dry-loving vegetation. In spring, the first specimens are found in mid-March. It leads a twilight and nocturnal lifestyle, in the daytime it hides in cracked soils and under stones. Small arthropods, mainly spiders and bedbugs, were found in the stomachs. Females with eggs ready for laying in the oviducts were caught in the western part of Kopetdag on April 1 and 19. In the clutch there are 2 eggs 5X7 mm in size. Included in the Red Book of the CIS.

Tuberous gecko - Alsophylax tuberculatus Blanf., 1876

Typical Territory: Mand and Bampur in Balochistan (Southwest Iran).

The torso and head are slightly flattened. Across the forehead between the centers of the eyes 26–31 a relatively large convex scale. The nostril is located between the intermaxillary, the first labial and three nasal scutes. There are 9-12 labial flaps, of which the first or first two are slightly higher than the others. The mandibular scutes are not pronounced.The upper side of the body is covered with small uniform scales and 10–13 longitudinal rows of strongly enlarged ribbed tubercles, forming more or less pronounced transverse rows. The width of individual tubercles is equal to or greater than their length. The throat scales are small, almost equal in size to the dorsal between the tubercles. The tail is ringed on top. Fingers trimmed at the edges with small horn denticles, subdigital plates with ribs.

The color of the upper side of the body varies from milky gray to dark brown with a chocolate tint, on the back there are 5 wide dark transverse stripes or numerous dark spots on the tops of the trunk tubercles, usually forming a transverse pattern. Tail with 9-11 alternating white and black stripes. The underside is whitish. In living lizards, the color can change under the influence of excitation, as well as depending on temperature. Distributed from the southwest of the Arabian Peninsula and Iraq through Iran and the extreme south of Central Asia to Afghanistan and Pakistan in the east. Within the CIS, it was found only in Turkmenistan, Badkhyz, at an altitude of about 500 m above sea level.

Geckos from Turkmenistan, as well as from Eastern Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, belong to the nominative subspecies A. t. tuberculatus. Individuals from Western Iran and Iraq are distinguished by large sizes (body length 50–56 mm versus 45–48 mm in East Iranian ones), a large number of preanal pores (7–13 versus 6–7, respectively) and more pronounced dorsal tubercles.

A few individuals from Badkhyz were found under stones on effusive remains, and one was found at the entrance to the hole of a gerbil. The gecko, held in captivity for a long time, fed almost exclusively on termites.

In southwestern Iran, one or two eggs are laid in mid-May.

Squeaky gecko (Alsophylax pipiens)

Squeaky gecko (Alsophylax pipiens) is characterized by a grayish or yellowish torso, usually with five dark brown transverse stripes on the back and the same color stripes on the tail and the outside of the legs. Its body is covered with granular scales mixed with small roundish or slightly ribbed tubercles. The length of even the largest individuals does not exceed 80–90 mm along with the tail. Geckos live on the slopes of cliffs, in saxaul forests, on rocky and clayy soil, often almost devoid of vegetation, and less often on fixed sands. They are active mainly at night, but in cloudy and warm weather they are often found during the day. Their food consists of various insects, which are hunted both on the ground and on the branches of small shrubs. At the same time, the female lays 1, rarely 2 eggs, but apparently produces several clutches per season.

The number of species in "sister" taxa

viewSmooth geckoAlsophylax laevisNikolsky1907
kindNorth Asian geckoAlsophylaxFitzinger1843
subfamilyGeckosGekkoninaeGray1825
familyGeckos (Gecko Lizards, Chain-toed Lizards)GekkonidaeGray1825
superfamilyGeckosGekkonoidea
infra-squadGeckoGekkota
suborder / orderLizardsSauriaOwen
squad / orderScalySquamataOppel
superorder / orderLepidosaursLepidosauria
infraclassLepidosaursLepidosauromorphaGauthier, Estes & deQueiroz1988
subclassDiapsidsDiapsidaOsborn1903
the classReptiles (Reptiles)Reptilia
overclassTetrapodsTetrapodaBroili1913
subtype / subdivisionVertebrates (Cranial)Vertebrata (craniata)
type / departmentChordateChordata
overtypeCoelomic animalsCoelomata
sectionBilateral Symmetric (Three Layer)Bilateria (Triploblastica)
subdivisionEumetazoiEumetazoa
kingdomMulticellular animalsMetazoa
kingdomAnimalsAnimalia
kingdomNuclearEukaryotaChatton1925
empireCell
Alsophylax laevisNikolsky1907

US biologists have found out why geckos have such a large margin of adhesion to surfaces. If the gecko sits on a flat vertical wall, the adhesion force of its legs is enough to hold a hundred times more weight. Scientists simulated a gecko jump and calculated that in a real situation, the adhesion force is barely enough to catch on landing.

Geckonchik smooth species has no primary data.

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