Variation in claw morphology among the digits of Bent‑toed geckos (Cyrtodactylus: Gekkota: Gekkonidae)
Background. Ecomorphological studies of lizards have increasingly employed comparison of claw morphology among species in relation to spatial niche use. Typically, such studies focus on digit IV of the autopodia, especially the pes. Uniformity of claw morphology among digits is more often implicitly assumed than tested. Results. Using four species of Cyrtodactylus, comprising two generalist and two scansorial taxa that use different substrates, we examined whether claw morphology is uniform among digits and among species. We found that, within each species, ventral claw curvature is uniform across all digits whereas there are small but insignificant differences in ventral claw length and claw depth. The claws of the pes of each species are longer and deeper than those of the corresponding digits of the manus. The claw of digit I of each species is significantly shorter and shallower on both autopodia compared to those on digits IV and V (digit I, including its claw, is idiosyncratically variable among lizards in general). Conclusions. We conclude that digit IV is an adequate representative of claw form in each species and exhibits variation among species, thereby serving as an exemplar for use in studies of potential discrimination between ecomorphological types in studies of Cyrtodactylus.