Leiocephalus herminieri 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Tropiduridae

Scientific Name: Leiocephalus herminieri (Duméril & Bibron, 1837)
Common Name(s):
English Martinique Curlytail Lizard
Holotropis herminieri Duméril & Bibron, 1837

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Extinct ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2015-07-23
Assessor(s): Powell, R.
Reviewer(s): Bowles, P.
Contributor(s): Hedges, B. & Hanson, S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): NatureServe
This species is known only from Martinique, from which it has not been recorded since the 1830s. It is undoubtedly now Extinct, although the reasons are unknown.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species was apparently endemic to Martinique (Henderson and Powell 2009). The precise area where it occurred is unknown, however Duméril and Bibron (1837) identify the collection data for the holotype as "Trinite"; this name refers to a town on the island, and this is the interpretation favoured by Parker (1935). Duméril and Bibron (1837) however refer to Iles de Trinite (=Trinidad), but there is no evidence that any member of this genus ever occurred on Trinidad and the association of the Trinite locality with the island is likely to have been an error made by the describing authors. The locality data associated with subsequent specimens includes records from both Martinique and Trinidad, but the latter may have been simply a transit port (Pregill 1992).
Countries occurrence:
Regionally extinct:
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The species has not been collected since 1837 and is classified as probably extinct by Powell and Henderson (2012). There is no reasonable doubt that this species, which would have been conspicuous and likely tolerant of human disturbance on a well-populated large island, is indeed now extinct (R. Powell pers. comm. 2015). It appears to have been abundant where it occurred in the 18th Century, although its range may have been very restricted (Breuil 2002).
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Leicocephalus species in the Caribbean are coastal and typically tolerant of human disturbance, and this species was apparently abundant some time after Europeans colonized Martinique (Breuil 2009).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There is no use or trade in this species, which is extinct.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The causes of extinction of this lizard are not established; it seems to have been abundant in the 18th century, but its range could also have been very restricted. It may have been a beach dweller, as are other species in the genus, and if so tsunami waves may have destroyed its last littoral habitats in Martinique. The 1843 earthquake in Guadeloupe produced waves that may have submerged its habitats, as a 1-2 m increase of sea level was detected hundreds of kilometres from the epicentre. It has been suggested that this species possesses morphological characteristics, being terrestrial, that make it vulnerable to predation by the small Asian mongoose, however in the Greater Antilles Leiocephalus survive well in areas where this predator is found, although possibly at depressed densities (R. Powell pers. comm. 2015). As there is a gap of more than 50 years between the last sighting of this lizard and the introduction of the mongoose, this is an unlikely cause of extinction (Breuil 2009).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No conservation measures are applicable to this species, which is extinct.

Errata [top]

Errata reason: This errata assessment has been created because the map was accidentally left out of the version published previously.

Citation: Powell, R. 2016. Leiocephalus herminieri (errata version published in 2017). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T11389A115102240. . Downloaded on 15 October 2018.
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