The genera Rhoptropus and Phelsuma (Reptilia: Gekkonidae) in Southern Africa: A case of convergence and a reconsideration of the biogeography of Phelsuma

  • Anthony P. Russell


The genus Rhoplropella Hewitt, 1937 is shown to be a junior synonym of Phelsuma Gray, 1825 and the genera Phelsumaand Rhoplropus Peters, 1869 are compared. It is pointed out that Phelsuma ocettata shows a great deal of convergence with Rhoplropus but that both of these forms exhibit their own distinctive derived character combinations. The distribution pattern of Phelsuma on the main-land of Africa and on Madagascar is reviewed inthe light of current theories of biogeography and past continental relationships. It is suggested that the distribution of Phelsuma may represent a track which is also occupied by other reptilian genera.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2224-073X
print ISSN: 1562-7020