Development of the Subdigital Adhesive Pads of Ptyodactyhs guttatus (Reptilia: Gekkonidae)

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John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Subdigital adhesive pads play an important role in the locomotion of many species of gekkonid lizards. These pads consist of integrated components derived from the epidermis, dermis, vascular system, subcuticular tendons, and phalanges. These components become intimately associated with each other during the developmental differentiation of the digits and the sequence of this integration is outlined herein in Ptyodactylus guttatus. The pads initially appear as paired swellings at the distal tips of the digits. Subsequently, a fan-like array of naked scansors develops on the ventral surface of each digit, at about the same time that scales differentiate over the surface of the foot as a whole. At the time of appearance of the naked scansors, the vascular sinus system of the pad also differentiates, along with subcuticular connective tissue specializations. At this stage the digits, along with the rest of the body, are clad in an embryonic periderm. Only after hatching and as the periderm is shed, do the epidermal setae and spines appear. The developmental sequence described here is consistent with predictions previously advanced about the evolutionary origin and elaboration of subdigital pads in gekkonid lizards. The paucity of available staged embryonic material leaves many questions unresolved.
HERBERT I. ROSENBERG, ANTHONY P. RUSSELL AND MICHAEL J. CAVEY "Development of the Subdigital Adhesive Pads of Ptyodactyhs guttatus (Reptilia: Gekkonidae)" JOURNAL OF MORPHOLOGY 211:243-258 (1992)