Notes on the Rediscovery and Range Extension of the Palawan Wolf Gecko (Luperosaurus palawanensis, Brown and Alcala, 1978) in Palawan, Philippines

Authors : Edgar D. Jose, Joel Becira, Jonah van Beijnen, Honorio Pagliawan

Volume/Issue : Volume 5 - 2020, Issue 3 - March

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Palawan hosts two endemic species of Luperosaurus, a poorly understood genus that is regarded as one of the rarest group of geckos in Southeast Asia. Luperosaurus palawanensis was discovered in 1961 in the central portion of the island and Luperosaurus gulat was described in 2010 in Mt. Mantalingajan, in the south of the island. Both species have not been recorded again since their discovery. This research notes described the rediscovery of L. palawanensis in November 2019, in El Nido, northern Palawan during a rapid assessment in the Biodiversity Assessment Monitoring Site of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Protected Area Office. The new observation involves an individual which resembles the first specimen reported by Brown and Alcala (1978), and is identified as L. palawanensis by its possession of extended skin flaps bordering the limbs and body, and extensive webbing among its finger toes. Additionally, it has spines laterally on its tail, small scales encircling the tail, small granular snout scales, and reduced chin plates—all of which allies it with Luperosaurus to the exclusion of Gekko as traditionally defined. This record suggests a range extension of the species from central to northern Palawan and a new species record for El Nido. This further demonstrates the importance of El Nido ́s remaining forest areas for biodiversity research, wildlife monitoring, and conservation of Palawan’s unique and highly endemic land vertebrates.

Keywords : Luperosaurus; Rediscovery; Range Extension; Palawan; Philippines.


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