Bunopus tuberculatus | UAE National Red List of Herpetofauna: Amphibians & Terrestrial Reptiles, Sea Snakes & Marine Turtles

Bunopus tuberculatus | Blanford, 1874
Countries in Assessment
United Arab Emirates
Country ISO code(s)
Does the assessment cover a marine EEZ area(s)?
Scope (Assessment)
Taxonomic Group
Taxonomic Group Level 2
Assessed taxon level
Taxonomic Notes
A previous assessment (Mousa Disi et al. 2010) of this taxon followed Arnold (1980), Å äerbak and Golubev (1996) and Disi (2002) in considering Bunopus blanfordii to be a synonym of B. tuberculatus. More recently Bauer et al. (2013) considered B. blanfordii a valid species. These authors do not discuss this assignment but state that they consider it valid ""pending further investigation"". As they provide no information on this taxon's distribution or differentiation from B. tuberculatus, B. blanfordii is tentatively retained within the species concept applied here. Phylogenetic analyses presented by Machado et al. (2018) show B. blanfordii nested within B. tuberculatus, indicating that recognizing it as distinct would render B. tuberculatus as presently understood, but these authors do not comment on this finding. This is a complicated species complex, and the genetics of B. blanfordii are currently under review to clarify its identity and true distribution (N. Ananjeva and T. Papenfuss pers. comm. 2016).
Taxon distribution as listed in assessment
Within the United Arab Emirates, this species is widespread, including on the offshore islands from sea level to 500 m asl (Leptien 1993, Gardner 2013, Burriel-Carranza et al. in press).Globally (Sindaco and Jeremäenko 2008), this species ranges from the Arava Valley in southern Israel, through Jordan (Amr et al. 1994, Disi 2002, Disi et al. 2001, 2004), northeastern Syria (Martens 1997, Disi and Böhme 1996), to Iraq, Iran (Anderson 1999; although it is not clear whether it reaches higher elevations of the Zagros Mountains) and Central Asia (Khan 2002, 2006), and south to the Arabian Peninsula (Arnold 1980, van der Kooij 2000), where it is widespread. It occurs from the lowlands up to 2,100 m asl (Afghanistan), however, in most of its range it appears to occur at lower elevations.
Habitats and Ecology
Ecological system type
Terrestrial system
Freshwater system
Marine system
Habitat details as listed in assessment
This is a common gecko that is a nocturnal, ground-dwelling species that feeds on insects, especially small beetles. It is found in desert and semi-desert habitats including sand sheets, sandy gravel plains, sandy sabkha, interdunal plains and coastal areas (Gardner 2013). It is often associated with urban areas and oases. It is commonly found from sea level to 499 m asl. Females lay one to two hard-shelled eggs (Gardner 2013). It is absent from urban areas.
Is there a map available in assessment?
Assessed status
Asessment status in full
Least Concern
Assessment status abreviation
Assessment rationale/justification
Within the United Arab Emirates, this species is widespread, including on the offshore islands. It is considered Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, broad habitat preferences, presumed large population, and lack of widespread threats. It is unlikely to be experiencing any significant population declines. This taxon is not a non-breeding visitor, and it is presumed that any immigration from populations outside the UAE is not significant, and therefore there is no adjustment to the Category according to the IUCN regional and national Guidelines (IUCN 2012).
About the assessment
Assessment year
Assessors/contributors/reviewers listed
UAE National Red List Workshop
Affliation of assessor(s)/contributors/reviewers listed on assessment
Assessor affiliation specific
Criteria system
Criteria system specifics
IUCN v3.1 + Regional Guidelines v4.0
Criteria system used
Criteria Citation
IUCN. 2012. IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria: Version 3.1, Second edition. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. iv + 32pp pp. And IUCN. 2012. Guidelines for Application of IUCN Red List Criteria at Regional and National Levels: Version 4.0. Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK: IUCN. iii + 41pp.
Endemic to region
Endemism Notes
Is an endemic?: Not_assigned
Threats listed in assessment
There are no specific threats to this species, which is widespread on a variety of soil substrates in desert areas. Local subpopulations are vulnerable to habitat loss and conversion.
Conservation Measures

Conservation measures:
Conservation measures notes:
Required conservation measures:

Scientific Name Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Bunopus tuberculatus Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Gekkonidae Bunopus