The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

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pdf 07. Eggshell structure of lizards of two sub families of the Gekkonidae

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Open Access

pp.230-234

Authors: D. C. Deeming

Abstract: The aim of this study was to describe and compare shell structure of parchment-shelled and rigid-shelled eggs of gekkonid lizards. Scanning electron microscopy was used to describe eggshells of two,species of gecko of the Eublepharinae and four species of Gekkoninae. Eggshell from a lacertid lizard was also described . The crystalline nature of calcium carbonate deposits on eggshells was studied; an aragonitic chelonian eggshell was used as a control. Eublepharine eggshells consist mainly of a fibrous membrane with an external layer of calcite. They resembled lacertid and other lizard shells described previously. Gekkonine eggshells have thin, fibrous shell membranes overlain by a relatively thick layer of calcite and resemble other hard-shelled gecko eggs reported elsewhere. A layer of fibres in a matrix coats the external surface of the calcite layer of gekkonine shells. Shell structure is considered important in determining water loss from gecko eggs, nest local ion and embryonic development. A more detailed examination of the reproductive biology of gekkonid eggs could help in assessing the role of the shell in reptilian development.

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