The Marche Leon least gecko is only known from one specimen collected in 1966, and despite additional surveys no other specimens have been found since!
The lack of sightings on this species has given rise to fears that it may have already become extinct.
The Marche Leon least gecko is part of the infraorder of geckos which includes some of the smallest reptiles in the world, reaching around only 1.5 – 6 cm in length.
It is part of the family Sphaerodactylidae which diverged from all other families of reptiles 87 million years ago, around the time that humans and rabbits shared a common ancestor!
The Marche Leon least gecko is found on the island of Haiti where habitat loss due to agricultural expansion is a major threat to this species, along with charcoal production and overgrazing. Only 1% of the forest below 1,000 metres above sea level still remains in its natural form on this island.
There are no known species-specific conservation measures currently in place for this species and it is not found in any protected areas. To aid conservation, further research is required to clarify the population status of this species and see if it still survives.
- Order: Squamata
- Family: Sphaerodactylidae
- Population: Possibly extinct
- Trend: decreasing
The species is found from Massif de la Hotte, Haiti, at an elevation of 790 metres above sea level.
Habitat and Ecology
Very little is known about the ecology of this elusive species. The holotype (the single individual from which the species was named) was found around the roots of a rotten tree in a vegetated ravine with limestone rocks and boulders.