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Cnemaspis agarwali KHANDEKAR, 2019

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesAgarwal’s dwarf gecko 
SynonymCnemaspis agarwali KHANDEKAR 2019 
DistributionIndia (Tamil Nadu)

Type locality: near Kidayur road (11.500° N 77.859° E; datum WGS84; ca. 350 m asl), Sankari, Salem district, Tamil Nadu state, India  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: NCBS AU486, adult male, collected by A. Khandekar, C. Daniel, I. Agarwal and R. Chaitanya on 12 November 2017.
Paratypes: NCBS AU487, BNHS 2337, adult males, NCBS AU485, BNHS 2336, adult females, same collection data as holotype. NCBS AU488, NCBS AU490, and BNHS 2338, adult males, BNHS 2339, adult female, same data as holotype except collected by A. Khandekar, I. Agarwal and N. Gaitonde on 19 April 2018. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis and comparison with Indian congeners: A small-sized Cnemaspis, snout to vent length less than 33 mm. Dorsal pholidosis heterogeneous, weakly keeled granular scales intermixed with large strongly keeled, conical tubercles, 9–11 rows of dorsal tubercles, 12–17 tubercles in paravertebral rows; spine-like scales absent on flank. Ventral scales on belly smooth, subimbricate, 24–26 scales across the belly, 102–117 longitudinal scales between mental to anterior border of cloaca. Two pairs of postmentals, inner postmentals strongly in contact with each other, outer postmentals separated by two enlarged chin scales. Subdigital scansors smooth, entire, unnotched; lamellae under digit IV of pes 17–20. Males with 4–6 femoral pores on each thigh, separated on either side by eight poreless scales from four precloacal pores; precloacal pores separated medially by a single poreless scale.. Tail with enlarged, strongly keeled, conical tubercles forming whorls; a median row of sub-caudals smooth, enlarged. Dorsum with 5–7 light grey vertebral blotches between neck and tail base; two single dorsal ocelli on occiput and between forelimb insertions, two pairs on either side just anterior and posterior to forelimb insertions; throat off- white, strongly suffused yellow on lateral margins with three black longitudinal streaks running parallel to each other; original tail in males with alternating black and whitish-grey bands, regenerated tail orange.
Cnemaspis agarwali sp. nov. can be distinguished from all other Indian congeners on the basis of the following differing or non-overlapping characters: spine-like scales absent on flank (versus spine-like scales present on flank in C. amboliensis, C. assamensis, C. flaviventralis, C. goaensis, C. indraneildasii, C. jerdonii, C. littoralis, C. monticola, and C. nilagirica); scales on dorsal aspect of trunk heterogeneous (versus scales on dorsal aspect of trunk homogeneous in C. adii, C. assamensis, C. australis, C. boiei (Gray), C. indica, C. indraneildasii, C. jerdonii, C. kolhapurensis, C. littoralis, C. nilagirica and C. sisparensis); tail with median row of sub-caudal scales smooth and enlarged (versus median row of sub-caudal scales smooth and not enlarged in, C. ajijae Sayyed, Pyron & Dileepkumar, C. flaviventralis, C. girii, C. limayei; C. monticola, C. australis with keeled sub-caudal); absence of keeled scales on the venter or gular regions (versus keeled scales on the venter or gular region in C. beddomei and C. goaensis); males with 4–6 femoral pores on each thigh, separated on either side by eight poreless scales from four precloacal pores; precloacal pores separated medially by a single poreless scale (versus precloacal pores absent, femoral pores present in C. ajijae, C. anaikattiensis, C. flaviventralis, C. girii, C. indica, C. jerdonii, C. kottiyoorensis, C. limayei, C. littoralis, C. mahabali, C. sisparensis, C. heteropholis, C. wynadensis; only precloacal pores present in C. anamudiensis, C. beddomei, C. maculicollis, C. nairi, C. ornata; both femoral and precloacal pores absent in C. boiei, C. assamensis; three femoral and four precloacal pores present in C. otai; two femoral and two precloacal pores in C. adii; four to five femoral and three precloacal pores in C. australis; two to four femoral and three precloacal pores in C. goaensis; 3–6 femoral pores on each thigh, separated on either side by 7–10 poreless scales from two precloacal pores; precloacal pores separated medially by two or three poreless scale in C. gracilis; two femoral and two precloacal pores in C. mysoriensis; three femoral and two precloacal pores in C. yercaudensis; a continuous series of 26–28 precloacal-femoral pores in C. kolhapurensis).
Cnemaspis agarwali sp. nov. closely resembles C. gracilis in snout-vent length, dorsal pholidosis, mental and postmental arrangement, ventral scales in longitudinal series, and presence of femoral and precloacal pores. However, it can be distinguished from it by lacking enlarged, conical tubercles on lower flank (versus one or two rows of enlarged, conical tubercles present on lower flank); four precloacal pores separated medially by a single poreless scale (versus two precloacal pores separated medially by two or three poreless scales); by having 12–17 tubercles in paravertebral rows (versus 9–12 tubercles in paravertebral rows in C. gracilis); by having 9–11 rows of dorsal tubercles (versus 11–14 rows of dorsal tubercles in C. gracilis); lamellae under digit IV of pes 17–20 (versus lamellae under digit IV of pes 22); presence of two single dorsal ocelli on occiput and between forelimb insertions, two pairs on either side just anterior and posterior to forelimb insertions (versus presence of two single dorsal ocelli on occiput and between forelimb insertions in C. gracilis). 
Comment 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is a patronym, honouring Ishan Agarwal, Indian herpetologist, for his contributions to Indian lizard taxonomy and biogeography, and constant support and encouragement to the author. 
References
  • KHANDEKAR, AKSHAY 2019. A new species of rock-dwelling Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Tamil Nadu, southern India. Zootaxa 4571 (3): 383–397 - get paper here
 
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