The Samana 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 Samana least gecko is an incredibly rare species, and extremely intensive surveys are required to simply record individuals. It is endemic to Samaná Bay, Hispaniola, and its total range is less than 100 km2.
This species is threatened by habitat loss due to agricultural expansion on the island. There are no known species-specific conservation management measures in place. Further research is required to understand its distribution, abundance, population trends and ecology.
The Semana Least Gecko is found in the Los Haitises National park, but this protected area is currently ineffective in protecting the forest against deforestation. Therefore, effective protected area management is needed to ensure the survival of this species.
- Order: Squamata
- Family: Sphaerodactylidae
- Population: Rare
- Trend: decreasing
- Size: 15-30mm
The species is found on the southern shore of Samaná Bay, Dominican Republic with an elevation range of 0-181 metres above sea level.
Habitat and Ecology
This species lives in mesic (moderately damp) environments including abandoned cacao plantations, mogotes and caves, where it is found under rocks and leaf litter