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Asaccus gardneri CARRANZA, SIMÓ-RIUDALBAS, JAYASINGHE, WILMS & ELS, 2016

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Higher TaxaPhyllodactylidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Gardners’ Leaf-toed Gecko 
SynonymAsaccus gardneri CARRANZA, SIMÓ-RIUDALBAS, JAYASINGHE, WILMS & ELS 2016
Asaccus caudivolvulus — ARNOLD & GARDNER 1994: 426, 431 (part.)
Asaccus caudivolvulus — VAN DER KOOIJ 2000: 107 (part.)
Asaccus caudivolvulus — SINDACO & JEREMCENKO 2008: 98 (part.)
Asaccus caudivolvulus — PAPENFUSS et al. 2010: 586 (part)
Asaccus caudivolvulus — TORKI et al., 2011: 1 (part)
Asaccus caudivolvulus — GARDNER 2013: 91 (part.) 
DistributionOman (Musandam Peninsula)

Type locality: Musandam Peninsula (Oman), 26.14934° N 56.16193° E, WGS84, elevation 16 m elevation  
Reproductionoviparous 
TypesHolotype. BMNH 2008.1000, adult male, collected by S. Carranza, M. Metallinou, Ali Alghafri, Sultan Khalifa and Hamed Al Furkani on the 21st of April 2013 between 23:15– 23:45, tissue code CN3905.
Paratypes. BMNH2008.999 and ONHM4221, two adult females, from Musandam Peninsula (Oman), 26.21208N 56.23555E WGS84, elevation 17 m a.s.l., collected by S. Carranza, M. Metallinou, Ali Alghafri, Sultan Khalifa and Hamed Al Furkani on the 21st of April 2013 between 21:10–21:40, tissue codes CN5771 and CN2755, respectively; IBECN751, adult male, and IBECN844, adult female both from Musandam Peninsula (Oman), 26.22759N 56.21372E WGS84, elevation 5 m a.s.l., collected by S. Carranza, M. Metallinou, Ali Alghafri, Sultan Khalifa and Hamed Al Furkani on the 21st of April 2013 between 22:10–22:40, tissue codes CN751 and CN844, respectively; IBECN10423, IBECN10424 and IBECN10425, three adult females and IBECN10426 and IBECN10427, two adult males, all from Wadi Beh (Oman), 25,746417N 56,278278E WGS84, elevation 280 m a.s.l., collected by J. Els, S. Jayasinghe and T. Wilms on the 13th of February 2012 between 20:00–21:00, tissue codes, TW1020, TW1023, TW1036, TW1021 and TW1022, respectively; IBECN10428, adult female, from Ras al-Kaimah (UAE), 25,613917N 56,029556E WGS84, elevation 200 m a.s.l., collected by J. Els, S. Jayasinghe and T. Wilms on the 14th of February 2012 between 21:00–23:00, tissue code TW1028; BMNH1976.1414-15 and BMNH1976.1419, three adult females and BMNH1975.1416-1418, three adult males, all from Khasab (Oman), elevation 8 m a.s.l., collected by M. D. Gallagher on the 5th of November 1975. 
CommentDiagnosis. A new species of Asaccus from Oman and the United Arab Emirates characterized by the combination of the following characters: (1) large size (up to 70.7 mm from snout to vent); (2) relatively large limbs; (3) two pairs of postmentals, first in contact; (4) fine scales across supraorbital region; (5) keeled trihedral moderate-sized dorsal tubercles present on back (11–16 longitudinal rows at mid-body); (6) small pointed tubercles on occiput, neck and sides of head; (7) keeled tubercles present on forearms and hind limbs but absent on upper arms; (8) paired terminal scansors on digits extending well beyond claws; (9) cloacal tubercles small; (10) subcaudal series of expanded scales reaching vent area anteriorly; (11) tail tip laterally compressed and vertically expanded (strongly expanded in some specimens) (Fig. 4A); (12) dorsum with a pattern of approximately 5 orange-brown transverse bars (one on neck, three on body and one on sacrum; Fig. 4A); (13) tail colour not sexually dimorphic; (14) adults with whitish-ivory tails (whiter distally) with 3–5 wide orange-dark transverse crossbands (last 1–2 crossbands black and extending ventrally) (Fig. 4A); (15) tail can be coiled and waved.

Differential diagnosis. See Carranza et al. 2016.

Habitat: rocky sides of wadis, stony substrates, lower down on large boulders, and hiding in the caves.

Behavior: Strictly nocturnal, all specimens were captured during the night and avoided the beam of the flashlight, running into crevices and holes and fleeing across boulders with incredible agility and ease.

Abundance: The lizards can be very common in some areas. 
EtymologyThe species epithet ‘‘gardneri’’ is a genitive Latin noun to honor the British herpetologist Dr. Andrew S. Gardner for his life-long dedication and contribution to Arabian herpetology. He was the first to highlight, together with E. N. Arnold, the distinctiveness of Asaccus gardneri sp. nov. (Asaccus caudivolvulus Khasab population sensu Arnold & Gardner, 1994). 
References
  • Arnold E N; Gardner A S 1994. A review of the middle eastern leaf-toed geckoes (Gekkonidae: Asaccus) with descriptions of two new species from Oman. Fauna of Saudi Arabia 14: 424-441 - get paper here
  • Carranza S, Simó-Riudalbas M, Jayasinghe S, Wilms T, Els J. 2016. Microendemicity in the northern Hajar Mountains of Oman and the United Arab Emirates with the description of two new species of geckos of the genus Asaccus (Squamata: Phyllodactylidae). PeerJ 4:e2371 https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.2371 - get paper here
  • Gardner, A.S. 2013. The amphibians and reptiles of Oman and the UAE. Edition Chimaira, 480 pp.
  • PAPENFUSS, THEODORE J.; TODD R. JACKMAN, AARON M. BAUER, BRYAN L. STUART, MICHAEL D. ROBINSON, and JAMES F. PARHAM 2010. Phylogenetic Relationships Among Species of Southwest Asian Leaf-toed Geckos (Asaccus). Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, 61 (13): 587-596 - get paper here
  • Sindaco, R. & Jeremcenko, V.K. 2008. The reptiles of the Western Palearctic. Edizioni Belvedere, Latina (Italy), 579 pp. - get paper here
  • Torki, F. 2011. Beschreibung eines neuen Asaccus (Sauria: Phyllodactylidae) aus dem Iran. Sauria 33 (1): 51–62 - get paper here
  • van der Kooij, Jeroen 2001. The herpetofauna of the Sultanate of Oman: Part 2: the geckoes. Podarcis 1 (4): 105-120
 
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