Surprising Gecko Varieties on Pinel Islet

After a leisurely lunch at Yellow Beach, I set out to explore Pinel Islet to determine what species of iguana lives there. Although I did not find any iguanas, I did find at least two varieties of dwarf gecko in the leaf litter of a small wooded patch on the eastern side of the island.

The lighter-colored gecko seems to clearly be Sphaerodactylus sputator, a known resident of the island and is seen in four of the photos below. It was the largest of the geckos I encountered, although you can see from the photo in the plastic cup, it is quite small indeed.

There was at least one variety of darker gecko, although it is not clear to me that it is the other species known to reside on St. Martin (Sphaerodactylus macrolepis). Additionally, closer scrutiny of my photos has lead me to believe that the darker geckos may be of multiple varieties. The blurred shot of the gecko running most resembles the photos I have seen of S. macrolepis, but the body markings and general coloring are not very similar to the dark gecko in the last photo. Likewise, the photo where only the back of the head is visible may be the same species as the blurry photo, but looks clearly different from the lizard in the last photo.

At this point I might venture to guess that the blurry photo and the head photo are a local version of S. macrolepis, while the dark gecko with the broken light bands must be a different species or local race that may not be previously known to the island. Very exciting!

One Response to “Surprising Gecko Varieties on Pinel Islet”

  1. Pinel Island Dwarf Geckos | Les Fruits De Mer Says:

    […] I returned to the little wooded spot on Pinel Island where I found dwarf geckos previously, I was able to find a number that correspond to a couple […]