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39. Colombian Dwarf Gecko

Lepidoblepharis miyatai

About

Following its discovery in 1964, the Colombian dwarf gecko had not been seen again until a new population was recently discovered more than 100 km from the original location.

Despite this area being widely visited by herpetologists collecting geckos, this species had not been collected since its initial discovery, leading to fears that it may be extinct. However, recent research has led to the discovery of the Colombian dwarf gecko in a completely new location, more than 100 km inland from where it was originally discovered.

This gecko is incredibly small, reaching just over 2 cm excluding its tail, and is part of a genus of lizards (Lepidoblepharis) known as the scaly-eyed geckos. Species from this genus of dwarf geckos are distributed across Central and South America, and diverged from all other lizards more than 70 million years ago. That’s before the extinction of the dinosaurs, and around the same time humans and lemurs last shared a common ancestor!

Increasing levels of burning, livestock presence and deforestation threaten the gecko in both locations from which it is known. Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona, the area in which it was originally discovered, is particularly affected by tourists visiting the nearby beaches. Surveys are required to determine whether the species survives in the coastal location, and to identify any further locations where the species occurs.

  • Order: Squamata
  • Family: Sphaerodactylidae
  • Population: Possibly extinct
  • Trend: decreasing
  • Size: 23 mm (?)

EDGE Score

EDGE Score: 5.78 (?)
ED Score: 19.23 (?)
GE / IUCN Red List (?)
Not Evaluated Data Deficient Least Concern Near Threatened Vulnerable Endangered Critically Endangered Extinct in the Wild Extinct

Distribution

The species is found in the Departments of Cesar and Magdalena, Colombia.

Habitat and Ecology

This species lives in the leaf litter of thorny scrub and semiarid coastal forest.

Find out more

Liliana Saboyá Acosta

  • Project name: The small world of Lepidoblepharis myatai: Taxonomic-ecological relationships as conservation tools
  • Project site: Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia
  • Active: 2018 - ongoing
Find out more