Normal developmental stages of the Madagascar ground gecko Paroedura pictus with special reference to limb morphogenesis



A table of developmental stages of the target species is useful for studying the development of any animal. Although tables of developmental stages have been established for several squamates, none has been published for gekkonid lizards. We have established a table of developmental stages for the Madagascar ground gecko Paroedura pictus. The table includes 27 embryonic stages from oviposition to hatching based on chronology and external morphology. The interval from oviposition to hatching is 60 days. Eleven to sixteen somites were observed at oviposition, and 5 to 6 somites were formed each day. Limb bud swellings were recognized by the third day after oviposition. After 2 weeks of incubation, the presumptive autopod was detected by carpal/tarsal cartilage formation. Cartilages in all digits were seen by 3 weeks after oviposition. Skin pigment was visible after 4 weeks incubation, and the skin color pattern was apparent 40 days after oviposition. Developmental Dynamics 238:100–109, 2009. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.