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Thread: Big Changes In The World Of Rhacodactylus!

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    Thumbs up Big Changes In The World Of Rhacodactylus!

    Huuuuge thumbs up to Amy at Moon valley Reptiles for making this a lot easier to understand.

    http://www.moonvalleyreptiles.com/ed...-rhacodactylus

    Basically Cresteds, Chahouas, Leachies, Gargoyles, and trachys are not all under the same genus;Rhacodactylus, any longer. Eurodactylus are now considered to be part or the New Caledonia "family" now.

    Leachies, Trachys, and Gargs are still Rhacodactylus.

    Cresteds and Saras are now Correlophus. Cresteds may have their own subspecies now entitled as C. belepensis because the geckos found on the Northwest Belep Island are so highly different. (I didn't understand this too well, can someone clear this up?)

    R. ciliatus----> C. ciliatus
    R. sarasinorum----> C. sarasinorum

    Chahoua are now Mniarogekko. With M. jalu being the Northern range of grande Terre. and M. chahoua are the southern and central mainland species.


    Really shakes things up now doesn't it? Sorry if I made any mistakes in my little break-down, I was really confused. Now off to change my signature..
    0.0.1 R. ciliatus
    1.0 R. auriculatus
    0.0.1 R. leachianus


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    Thank you.
    Paul Morlock
    Paul@RhacHouse.com
    RhacHouse.com
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    Here is the official scientific article:

    http://pdfcast.org/pdf/revision-of-t...-new-caledonia

    (If somebody knows another site where you can upload .pfd let me know)

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    I have seen bits and pieces of this on facebook, but thanks to Amy for her detailed synopsis and link to Bauer's recently published paper.

    I am personally most concerned with Chahoua since that is the only (formerly) "Rhac" species that I keep. Amy's analysis notes:

    The last group of the New Caledonian Giant Geckos to be reclassified is the former R. chahoua. These are now the “angels and demons” of the genus Mniarogekko, the new taxa for chewies. M. chahoua & M. jalu (chahoua means devil while jalu means spirit). M. chahoua is identified as the Central & Southern mainland population, with M. jalu occupying the far Northern range of Grand Terre. It is unclear whether M. jalu has a narrowly restricted range or if it is indeed present in the rest of the mainland; the populations found thus far have been north of Koumac, with populations found in the Belep archipelago alongside populations of C. belepensis.
    This is interesting to me because, at last year's Gecko Symposium in Daytona, Philippe De Vosjoli and Allen Repashy mentioned that Troeger animals may come to be considered a third type of Chahoua. "Troeger" animals were originally collected by Willi Henkel and later made their way into Michael Troeger's collection. This was a different group of mainlands than what Harald Meier collected that ultimately went to Tim Tytle. It seems that these two groups of animals came from different parts of Grand Terre, so if the new taxonomy refers to species from two different areas of that island, I have to wonder if traditional "Grand Terre/Mainland" Chahoua would be part of the same group as "Troeger" Chahoua. I wonder if there is any way to find out what areas the original animals came from.

    Moving on...

    Neither species of Mniarogecko was found in Isle of Pines that Bauer et al. could document. It is only speculation at this point that chewies reportedly collected from this area now in the pet trade are M. chahoua. The paper notes that as a whole, the geckos differ very little morphologically but exibit a great genetic diversity between the two species. This makes distinguishing M. chahouha from M. jalu in the captive population a challenge, and the paper speculates that there may be several crosses between the two as well as some pure specimens.
    Is this essentially grouping PI Chahoua in with one of the two Grand Terre groups, M. Chahoua? Very interesting and somewhat hard to distinguish. Since Frank Fast and Philippe De Vosjoli collected the PI animals after Henkel collected his two groups of GT animals, and from another island, it seems odd to group them together.

    As for origins of Chahoua, what I have collected over the last few years is below:

    Harald Meier wild collected --> Willi Henkel purchased in 1978 --> Tim Tytle purchased in the late-80s --> Today's "Mainland or Grand Terre Chahoua" (The origination of most GT Chahoua in the hobby)

    Frank Fast/Philippe De Vosjoli wild collected in 1995--> "Pine Isle Chahoua" (The origination of most Pine Isle Chahoua in the hobby)

    Willi Henkel wild collected --> Michael Troeger purchased in the mid-90s --> "Troeger Chahoua" (The origination of all "Troeger" line Chahoua in the hobby)

    It is important to note that there are some European collections and animals that nothing is known of - where they originated or what lines they are.

    In the end, I think Chahoua genetics and classification are just as bad off as they were before
    Charming Chewies: Specializing in Grand Terre and Pine Isle locales of chahoua.

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    Aw, thanks everyone!

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian(: View Post
    Cresteds and Saras are now Correlophus. Cresteds may have their own subspecies now entitled as C. belepensis because the geckos found on the Northwest Belep Island are so highly different. (I didn't understand this too well, can someone clear this up?)
    It just means that they found a new sister species to C. ciliatus. It doesn't look a whole lot different but they were genetically distinct enough to be in their own species group. Otherwise, it would have been considered a sub-species of ciliatus. The fact that this is the same general area as the "new" sister species to chahoua indicates that this area may have had a long period of genetic isolation for these different species to emerge. Belep is a group of islands but it seems like the nearby mainland also hosts these species.

    Quote Originally Posted by MPLexus301 View Post
    Amy's analysis notes:


    This is interesting to me because, at last year's Gecko Symposium in Daytona, Philippe De Vosjoli and Allen Repashy mentioned that Troeger animals may come to be considered a third type of Chahoua. "Troeger" animals were originally collected by Willi Henkel and later made their way into Michael Troeger's collection. This was a different group of mainlands than what Harald Meier collected that ultimately went to Tim Tytle. It seems that these two groups of animals came from different parts of Grand Terre, so if the new taxonomy refers to species from two different areas of that island, I have to wonder if traditional "Grand Terre/Mainland" Chahoua would be part of the same group as "Troeger" Chahoua. I wonder if there is any way to find out what areas the original animals came from.
    It's important to note that what Bauer & co. are concerned with are genetic differences, which don't easily translate into morphological differences we look at in the hobby. We sometimes see different traits present in locales, but this can be purely due to sampling bias - the fact that you happen to have found more white collars in the southern area doesn't mean that they are the predominant forms, nor that they aren't located in the north as well. Usually locales are visually distinct but there can be a considerable amount of overlap. You could say that locales can be a precursor for speciation but not always, it really depends on gene flow in all the populations. So there very well can be two distinct species but one of the species accommodates two or more locales. This seems to be the case with leachies - LOTS of locales and morphological differences between island and mainland forms but they are all one species. Not even enough genetic difference to keep the henkleli subspecies label.

    Is this essentially grouping PI Chahoua in with one of the two Grand Terre groups, M. Chahoua? Very interesting and somewhat hard to distinguish. Since Frank Fast and Philippe De Vosjoli collected the PI animals after Henkel collected his two groups of GT animals, and from another island, it seems odd to group them together.
    Bauer really didn't have much to say with the chahoua found in the pet trade, or that "PI chahoua" = south (m. chahoua) and "mainland" = north (m. jalu). He just said - hey we found a genetically distinct population from the formerly recognized species, enough so that we're going to make it its own species. Not just subspecies but full-on species as determined by genetic data.

    I think that this will probably go back and forth in the scientific community, and possibly settle on assigning M. jalu (and C. belepensis for that matter) as subspecies of the first recognized species. From my knowledge (and following scientific trends), defining species so exactly is somewhat subjective.

    I think that "PI chahoua" are probably the more widely dispersed of the species, and exist/existed on PI island as well as the southern mainland, but Bauer didn't seem to bother investigating their presence too deeply. He mentioned there were museum specimens coming from PI, but they didn't look at them for this paper.

    As for origins of Chahoua, what I have collected over the last few years is below:

    Harald Meier wild collected --> Willi Henkel purchased in 1978 --> Tim Tytle purchased in the late-80s --> Today's "Mainland or Grand Terre Chahoua" (The origination of most GT Chahoua in the hobby)

    Frank Fast/Philippe De Vosjoli wild collected in 1995--> "Pine Isle Chahoua" (The origination of most Pine Isle Chahoua in the hobby)

    Willi Henkel wild collected --> Michael Troeger purchased in the mid-90s --> "Troeger Chahoua" (The origination of all "Troeger" line Chahoua in the hobby)

    It is important to note that there are some European collections and animals that nothing is known of - where they originated or what lines they are.

    In the end, I think Chahoua genetics and classification are just as bad off as they were before
    If anyone has a chance to look at the pictures in the article, the variations in M. jalu were mostly typical of what we'd call "mainland" chewie, but there was an individual with significantly more white, even collared. I really don't know about all of our captive populations! It's quite possible we have the two species and crosses, all possessing traits we consider either PI or mainland, which don't fit with the genetic differentiation at all!
    Specializing in Crested Geckos
    Working with Uromastyx | Uroplatus | PI Chahoua
    Also keeping: Australian Shepherds (Chester & Sadie)
    Moon Valley Reptiles | MVR @iherp | Facebook

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spyral View Post
    If anyone has a chance to look at the pictures in the article, the variations in M. jalu were mostly typical of what we'd call "mainland" chewie, but there was an individual with significantly more white, even collared. I really don't know about all of our captive populations! It's quite possible we have the two species and crosses, all possessing traits we consider either PI or mainland, which don't fit with the genetic differentiation at all!
    Well, that's just going to be confusing xD

    Thanks for putting it in laymens terms, it helps - now I just want to be able to understand it all AND figure out how to spell them all
    GoodTimeReptiles
    C. ciliatus, M. chahoua, P. regius

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    Ugh. Now I have to change my website n stuff.

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    Great. Now if I ever get more into breeding, I can't name my business "Nice Rhac". Darn!
    "I believe that education is all about being excited about something. Seeing passion and enthusiasm helps push an educational message."-Steve Irwin​

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    Big revisions like this are gonna take a while to all shake out in the scientific community. Ain't no argument like a lumpers and splitters (taxonomists) argument. Should be fun to watch.

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    Whaaaaaa? And I just started to pronounce Rhacodactylus correctly lol!

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