It has been named after him and called Pachydactylus maraisi.
This small (about 8cm) Gecko was found in Namibia near Swakopmund on the north coast about 5 years ago and has a restricted distribution within the National Park.
It inhabits minute cracks in small dark boulders scattered in desert sand.
What a magnificent find!! Congratulations Johan!! You deserve to have it named after you!!
In reply to my question "How did you feel on making the discovery of a new species and having it named after you?
"The practise of naming animals after people when describing new species was quite common many years back but in recent years most animals are named using previously suggested but disused names as these often have preference. Otherwise they are names after the area where they are found or a description of some attribute, e.g. striped (striata), spotted (punctatus), thick-toed (Pachydactylus), very large for the group (rex), etc. So to have a gecko named after me was a big surprise and a great honour. Very cool, to say the least. The description was done by the leading reptile scientist in the world, Prof. Aaron Bauer of Villa Nova University in Pennsylvania and in honour of my contribution to science and popular knowledge on reptiles."
|What a gorgous, cute one too!!|
Johan is a very well known herpetologist and travels throughout southern Africa recording the species of reptiles found here. Him and his books have been of tremendous help to me in identifying species as they are packed with wonderful pictures and information. They are available in all book stores or can be ordered through his website http://www.johanmarais.co.za/
For more information, go to: Herpetologist Johan Marais new book