Asaccus arnoldi SIMÓ-RIUDALBAS, TARROSO, PAPENFUSS, AL-SARIRI & CARRANZA, 2017
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Asaccus arnoldi?
|Higher Taxa||Phyllodactylidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)|
|Common Names||English: Arnolds’ Leaf-toed Gecko|
|Synonym||Asaccus arnoldi SIMÓ-RIUDALBAS, TARROSO, PAPENFUSS, AL-SARIRI & CARRANZA 2017|
Asaccus gallagheri — ARNOLD & GARDNER 1994: 427 (part.)
Asaccus gallagheri — VAN DER KOOIJ 2000: 108 (part.)
Asaccus gallagheri — SINDACO & JEREMCENKO 2008: 99 (part.)
Asaccus gallagheri — GARDNER 2013: 95 (part.)
Type locality: Wadi Bani Khalid (Oman), 22.6161N 59.0937E WGS84, elevation 647 m elevation
|Reproduction||oviparous (manual imputation, fide Zimin et al. 2022)|
|Types||Holotype: BMNH 2008.961, adult male (locality 28 in Fig. 1.1; Table S1), collected by S. Carranza, F. Amat, E. Gómez-Díaz on 3 May 2011, tissue code S7555 (not in BMNH database March 2019). Paratypes. BMNH2008.962 and ONHM4234, two adult females and IBES7576, adult male, same data as holotype, tissue codes S7554, S7252 and S7556, respectively (not in BMNH database March 2019).|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis: A new species of Asaccus from the Eastern Hajar Mountains of Oman characterized by the combina- tion of the following morphological characters: (1) small size with maximum SVL 33.6 mm; (2) first pair of post- mentals in contact in less than half of the studied speci- mens; (3) scales across supraorbital region fine; (4) dorsal tubercles absent on back, occiput, upper arm and else- where; (5) small subtibial scales; (6) paired terminal scan- sors on digits not extending markedly beyond claws; (7) cloacal tubercle minute or absent; (8) tail tip not laterally compressed or vertically expanded; (9) absence of enlarged tubercles on tail; (10) subcaudal series of expanded scales do not reach the vent area anteriorly; (11) dorsum with a pattern of narrow dark transverse bars; (12) tail colour sexually dimorphic in non-regenerated tails, being white barred black in females and yellow in males (see Fig. 3.3); (13) dorsal dark bars on the tail of females extend ventrally; (14) tail not coiled and waved in life.|
Comparison with other Asaccus species. Asaccus arnoldi sp. nov. differs from its sister taxon A. gallagheri mainly in its smaller size (SVL max. 33.6 mm, compared with max 37.3 mm) and in having less proportion of indi- viduals with the first pair of postmentals in contact (46% vs. 76%). It further differs in having fewer upper and lower labial scales (ANOVA comparison of ULS and LLS significant, P<0.001), by a genetic distance of 12.7% and 20.8% in the mitochondrial 12S and cytb genes, respectively (Tables 2 and S3), and by the absence of allele sharing in the c-mos and MC1R nuclear gene regions analysed here (Fig. S3). It can be clearly differen- tiated from all the other species of Asaccus described to date (A. andersoni, A. elisae, A. caudivolvulus, A. gard- neri, A. granularis, A. griseonotus, A. iranicus, A. ker- manshahensis, A. kurdistanensis, A. margaritae, A. montanus, A. nasrullahi, A. platyrhynchus, A. saffinae, A. tangestanensis, A. zagrosicus) by its smaller size (SVL max. 33.6 mm vs. 39.4–71) and by the absence of enlarged dorsal tubercles on back, occiput, upper arm and elsewhere.
|Comment||Asaccus arnoldi sp. nov. is the smallest species of the genus, measuring less than 33.6 mm from snout to vent.|
|Etymology||The species epithet ’arnoldi’ is a genitive Latin noun to honour the British herpetologist, Dr E. Nicholas Arnold (1940-), for his life-long dedication and contribution to Arabian herpetology, including the description of the little-known gecko Asaccus gallagheri 45 years ago.|
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