Cabo Verde giant gecko: how many units for conservation?
journal contributionposted on 22.06.2021, 07:11 by Katelene Delgado, Evandro P. Lopes, Raquel Vasconcelos
Tarentola gigas (Bocage, 1875) is the largest gecko living in the Cabo Verde Archipelago. It is subdivided into two subspecies, one confined to the Branco Islet, Tarentola gigas brancoensis (Schleich, 1984), and another to the Raso Islet, Tarentola gigas gigas (Bocage, 1875). These islets were classified as Integral Natural Reserves and further studies on the species are needed to outline more assertive conservation measures. Thus, this study aims to integrate for the first time genetic, morphometric and meristic data to test if there are significant differences between these two taxonomical groups that would support the subspecific designation. The results indicated that they are two closely related subspecies, with some visible differences in size and shape, possibly related to diet, habitat conditions or drift. Given the conservation status of the species, this should be further investigated, aiming an adequate management of these two evolutionarily significant units.