A morphological and molecular review of the genus Goniurosaurus, including an identification key

  • Hai Ngoc Ngo Vietnam National Museum of Nature, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, 18 Hoang Quoc Viet Road, Hanoi, Vietnam https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5471-965X
  • Huy Quoc Nguyen Graduate University of Science and Technology, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, 18 Hoang Quoc Viet Road, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Hieu Minh Tran Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, 18 Hoang Quoc Viet Road, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Hanh Thi Ngo Department of Genetics, Faculty of Biology, University of Science, Vietnam National University Hanoi, 334 Nguyen Trai Road, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Minh Duc Le Central Institute for Natural Resources and Environmental Studies, Vietnam National University Hanoi, 19 Le Thanh Tong, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Laurenz Rafael Gewiss Institute of Zoology, University of Cologne, Zülpicher Strasse 47b, 50674 Cologne, Germany
  • Mona van Schingen-Khan Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, CITES Scientific Authority, Konstantinstrasse 110, 53179 Bonn, Germany
  • Truong Quang Nguyen Graduate University of Science and Technology, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, 18 Hoang Quoc Viet Road, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Thomas Ziegler Institute of Zoology, University of Cologne, Zülpicher Strasse 47b, 50674 Cologne, Germany
Keywords: CITES enforcement, morphology, molecular phylogeny, taxonomy, tiger geckos


The genus Goniurosaurus (tiger geckos) currently consists of 23 species distributed in China, Japan and Vietnam. Several species complexes and recent discoveries of cryptic species pose challenges to the species identification, which is crucial to effectively implement the recent listing of the species from China and Vietnam in CITES Appendix II and the species from Japan in CITES Appendix III. Based on the results of our field work in northern Vietnam and data compiled from literature, we herein provide a taxonomic review of the genus Goniurosaurus. Our phylogenetic analyses showed that all recorded populations of tiger geckos from Vietnam, which were found to be monophyletic with low intra-specific genetic divergences, are assigned to one of the four species: G. catbaensis, G. huuliensis, G. lichtenfelderi or G. luii. Both genetic and morphological analyses confirm that the species from China and Vietnam can be split into three major groups. Based on the newly collected data, we provide an extended morphological description of the Vietnamese species. In addition, we provide an identification key for all Goniurosaurus species from China, Japan and Vietnam in order to assist authorities in the enforcement of the recent CITES listing.


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How to Cite
Ngo, H. N., Nguyen, H. Q., Tran, H. M., Ngo, H. T., Le, M. D., Gewiss, L. R., van Schingen-Khan, M., Nguyen, T. Q., & Ziegler, T. (2021). A morphological and molecular review of the genus Goniurosaurus, including an identification key. European Journal of Taxonomy, 751(1), 38–67. https://doi.org/10.5852/ejt.2021.751.1379
Research article