Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
Philippine lizards of the family Gekkonidae comprise 49 species (Taylor, 1915, 1922; Brown and Alcala, 1978) in 10 genera: Gehyra (1), Gekko (13), Hemidactylus (5), Hemiphyllodactylus (2), Lepidodactylus (6), Luperosaurus (8), Ptychozoon (1), Pseudogekko (4), and Cyrtodactylus (9), (Brown et al., 2007, 2010a, 2011; Welton et al., 2009, 2010a, 2010b; Zug, 2011). An amazing percentage of these species are endemic to the Philippines archipelago (roughly 85%; Brown et al., 2011). Several of the recently described gekkonids in the Philippines were discovered only recently as part of ongoing surveys around the archipelago. Recent phylogenetic studies focused on Philippine gekkonids (Siler et al., 2010; Welton et al., 2010a,b) have resulted in the observation of high levels of genetic diversity among populations of widespread species, an indication that the country's gecko diversity may still be greatly underestimated.
The genus Dibamus represents a unique radiation of lizards in that all species in the genus are entirely limbless. Of the 22 species of Dibamus currently recognized, only two species are known from the Philippines (Dibamus leucurus and Dibamus novaeguineae). Both species are rarely observed, fossorial lizards, recognized to occur in the southern portions of the Philippines (mostly in the Mindanao faunal region). Unfortunately, little is known about the ecology and natural history of these unique species in the Philippines.