Comparative epidermal microstructure anatomy and limb and tail osteology of eyelid geckos
While the morphology of the adhesive system of geckos has been investigated predominantly in a single species, the tokay Gekko gecko (Linnaeus, 1758), compared to that, there is still the need to examine those traits in a broad diversity of gecko species. Here we focus on the Asian representatives of eublepharid geckos, as a closely related group within Gekkota, and study the anatomy of micro-ornamentation as well as the morphology of bone structures of toes and tails in three species of Eublepharidae. Surface microstructures are described by using SEM microscopy. Osseous structures present in limbs and in the tail are compared by using 3D analysis based on micro-CT data. The presence of epidermal outgrowths associated with friction-enhancement in arboreal representatives of Eublepharidae and the lack of setae in ground-dwelling species is discussed. A clear allocation of the term ‘seta’ is provided. Apart from a comparative consideration of ecomorphological specialisations in limbs, adaptations to the lateral flexibility of the prehensile tail found in Aeluroscalabotes felinus (Günther, 1864) are illustrated. Correlations between the life style of the species studied and the morphology of their osseous structures in limbs and tail are shown and their significance for locomotion is outlined.