The chromosomes of the turnip-tailed gecko Thecadactylus rapicauda from the Falcón State in northern Venezuela were examined by means of conventional staining, a variety of banding techniques and in situ hybridization with an 18S + 28S rDNA probe. In female specimens, C-banding analyses detected a cryptic W sex chromosome-associated interstitial heterochromatic segment which is absent in the Z sex chromosome. These ZW sex chromosomes are considered to be in a nascent stage of morphological differentiation and are absent in T. rapicauda collected in Guatemala. The amount, location and fluorochrome affinities of constitutive heterochromatin, the position of the nucleolus organizer region, and the genome sizes of female and male individuals were determined. The previously published cytogenetic data on T. rapicauda are discussed.

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