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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
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Marbled Bent-toed Gecko

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3

Fig 4

Fig 5


Species : Cyrtodactylus quadrivirgatus
Size (snout to vent) : male 69 mm, female 75 mm
Size (total length) : ~ 150 mm

This attractive gecko inhabits lowland primary or tall secondary rainforest, freshwater swamp forest and lower montane forest up to at least 1100 metres. It is generally found clinging to low vegetation, and only occasionally on boulders or rock outcrops.

It has slender digits which lack expanded pads : the fingers and toes are well adapted for gripping on fissured tree bark or other rough surfaces. The reddish-brown eyes have vertical pupils. These are both distinguishing feature of Cyrtodactylus geckos.

The body colour is medium brown, pale cream or pale grey, patterned with four buff or dark brown lateral stripes : these may be semi-continuous or completely broken into irregular blotches. The species is sometimes called 'Four-striped Bent-toed Gecko'.

The tail is patterned with dark and light bands of roughly equal thickness. The dorsal colour is pale.

The species occurs in Southern Thailand and   Peninsular Malaysia. It is also listed as occurring in north Sumatra and north-western Borneo.

Recent research (Grismer et al, 2012) suggests that the species is unlikely to occur in Singapore. Historical records from Singapore formerly assigned as C. quadrivirgatus are now recognised as two entirely different species including the Singapore Bent-toed Gecko Cyrtodactylus majulah, and the Peninsular Bent-toed Gecko Cyrtodactylus semenanjungensis.

Figs 1 to 3 : Specimen from Fraser's Hill, Peninsular Malaysia (elevation 1000 metres), found clinging to vegetation 0.5 metres above the ground. This specimen has well developed dorsal superciliary scales (the yellow scales above the eye which give the appearance of eyelashes).

Fig 4 : Another specimen from Fraser's Hill, Peninsular Malaysia (elevation 1000 metres), clinging to plant roots exposed in a roadside embankment.

Fig 5 : Example from the lowlands of Selangor, Peninsular Malaysia, with well developed lateral stripes.

References : H11

Grismer, L. et al, 2012.  Cyrtodactylus majulah, a new species of bent-toed gecko (Reptilia: Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Singapore and the Riau Archipelago. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 60(2) : 487-499.