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Cnemaspis leucura KURITA, NISHIKAWA, MATSUI & HIKIDA, 2017

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Curse Rock Gecko 
SynonymCnemaspis leucura KURITA, NISHIKAWA, MATSUI & HIKIDA 2017 
DistributionMalaysia (Borneo: Sarawak)

Type locality: Gunung (= Mt.) Penrissen, Padawan, Kuching District, Sarawak, Malaysia, 01°07'21" N, 110°13'43" E, 1035 m elevation.  
Reproductionoviparous. Gravid females with two eggs in the oviducts were collected in February and at the end of August. Cnemaspis leucura might reproduce all year round or have a long reproductive season, perhaps due to the stability of annual climate in the area. 
TypesHolotype: SRC 00022, Adult male, (Sarawak Research Collections), Forest Research Center Sarawak (collected on 21 February 2012 by T. Hikida. Paratypes (Fig. 4). Two adult females (SRC 00021, on 19 February 2012; SRC 00329, on 12 March 2013) by K. Nishikawa from the type locality, and three adult males (KUHE 57421, 57423, and 57424) and one adult female (KUHE 57422) on 31 August 2016 by T. Kurita from Kampung (= Village) Sadir, Padawan, Kuching District, Sarawak, Malaysia (1°06'25.128" N, 110°16'27.678" E, 180 m a.s.l.). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Cnemaspis leucura, a medium sized Cnemaspis, differs from all other Southeast Asian species of Cnemaspis in having a dark-yellow head and a gray trunk with dark-yellow upper flanks in adult males. It differs from all other species of Cnemaspis except C. paripari, C. mumpuniae Grismer et al., 2014, C. peninsularis Grismer et al., 2014, and C. roticanai Grismer & Chan, 2010 in having a yellow regenerated tail in adult males, and also differs from the four species in that posterior one-half of original tail in males is white, with black blob dorsally. It differs further from all other species in the unique combination of the following characters: SVL up to 62.7 mm; 10–13 supralabial scales; 9–11 infralabials; 0–2 (mostly 1) internasals; 4–7 postmentals; head, ventral, forearm, tibial, subcaudals, and dorsal tubercles keeled; 24–31 paravertebral tubercles between limb insertions, not linearly arranged; no or a few tubercles on flank; discontinuous rows of 4–9, pore-bearing, precloacal scales with round pores, separated at the midline by 2–4 poreless scales, in adult males; no femoral pores; 3–8 postcloacal tubercles on each side; slightly enlarged, submetatarsal scales beneath first toe; 27–34 subdigital lamellae on fourth toe; tubercles present within lateral caudal furrow at least anterior part; ventrolateral, caudal tubercles present anteriorly; an enlarged, smooth, median row of subcaudals; a pair of large, round, black spots in shoulder region; amorphous, pale spots in middorsal trunk; thin, yellow (male) or white (female), transverse markings on flanks; anterior one-half of tail black, with very faint gray bands on dorsal side.

Comparisons. Cnemaspis leucura sp. nov. is differentiated from all other Southeast Asian congeners by males having a dark yellow head and upper flanks, and in that the posterior part of the original tail is white with black dorsal blotches, and yellow with black flecks in the regenerated tail of males. It differs further from all other Cnemaspis except C. paripari, C. biocellata Grismer, Chan, Nurolhuda & Sumontha, 2008, C. kumpoli Taylor, 1963, and C. aurantiacopes Grismer & Ngo, 2007 in that adult males and females show marked, sexual dichromatism. In addition to the above characters, Cnemaspis leucura is distinct from the other three Bornean species in the following ways: from C. dringi by having larger maximum SVL (62.7 mm in C. leucura versus 46.4 mm in C. dringi), fewer postmentals (4–7 versus 10), more precloacal pores (4–9 versus 5–6), caudal tubercles in lateral caudal furrows present in general (versus absent), ventrolateral caudal tubercles present anteriorly (versus absent), and scale row beneath first metatarsus usually enlarged (versus not enlarged); from C. nigridia by having smaller maximum SVL (62.7 mm in C. leucura versus 76.9 mm in C. nigridia), more finger lamellae from second to fifth digits (e.g., 21–26 versus 18–23 in second finger), fewer precloacal pores (4–9 versus 13–15), caudal tubercles in lateral caudal furrows usually present (versus absent), and narrower postorbital and nape lines; and from C. paripari by having larger maximum SVL (62.7 mm in C. leucura versus 52.9 mm in C. paripari), fewer postmentals (4–7 versus 5–10), somewhat more finger and toe lamellae except first toe (e.g., 27–34 versus 25–32 in fourth toe), more precloacal pores (4–9 versus 3–5), more postcloacal tubercles (3–8/3–8 versus 1–3/2–3) and ventrolateral caudal tubercles anteriorly present (versus absent). 
CommentHabitat: surface of sandstone boulders and outcrops in primary dipterocarp forest. The surface of boulders were wet from spray from waterfalls (Figs. 5B, C). Cnemaspis leucura was exclusively found on the rock surface and, in the case of Kampung Sadir, all individuals of Cnemaspis on tree trunks were C. kendallii.

Sympatry: Cyrtodactylus pubisulcus, C. consobrinus

Abundance: only known from its original description (Meiri et al. 2017). 
EtymologyThe specific epithet leucura is from the Greek leukos and oura, meaning white-tailed, referring to white subcaudal color on the posterior part of tail in the male holotype. The generic name is feminine in gender. 
  • KURITA, TAKAKI; KANTO NISHIKAWA, MASAFUMI MATSUI, TSUTOMU HIKIDA 2017. A new species of Rock Gecko genus Cnemaspis (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Western Sarawak, Malaysia. Zootaxa 4258 (6): 525–538 - get paper here
  • Meiri, Shai; Aaron M. Bauer, Allen Allison, Fernando Castro-Herrera, Laurent Chirio, Guarino Colli, Indraneil Das, Tiffany M. Doan, Frank Glaw, Lee L. Grismer, Marinus Hoogmoed, Fred Kraus, Matthew LeBreton, Danny Meirte, Zoltán T. Nagy, Cristiano d 2017. Extinct, obscure or imaginary: the lizard species with the smallest ranges. Diversity and Distributions - get paper here
  • Nguyen, H.N., Hung, C., Yang, M. et al. 2020. Sympatric competitors have driven the evolution of temporal activity patterns in Cnemaspis geckos in Southeast Asia. Sci Rep 10: 27 - get paper here
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