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Cnemaspis mahsuriae GRISMER, WOOD, QUAH, ANUAR, NGADI & AHMAD, 2015

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Mahsuri’s Rock Gecko 
SynonymCnemaspis mahsuriae GRISMER, WOOD, QUAH, ANUAR, NGADI & AHMAD 2015 
DistributionPeninsular Malaysia (Pulau Langkawi)

Type locality: at 400 m in elevation from a northwest facing slope on Gunung Raya, Pulau Langkawi, Kedah, Peninsular Malaysia (0451.715° N, 10047.993° E).  
Reproductionoviparous (manual imputation, fide Zimin et al. 2022) 
TypesHolotype: LSUHC 11828, Adult male, collected on 24 August 2014 at 1900 hrs by L. L. Grismer, P. L. Wood, Jr., E. S. H. Quah, Jessika Vazquez.
Paratypes. The paratypes were all collected from along the road to the summit of Gunung Raya on Gunung Raya. LSUHC 11829 bears the same data as the holotype. LRCUKM 0098–99 were collected on 19 March 2014 at 503m asl (0622.905 N 09948.030 E) and 657 m (0622.665 N 09949.278 E), respectively. LRCUKM 0101 was collected 20 March 2014 at 503 m (0622.905 N 09948.030 E) and LRCUKM 0104 was collected on 21 March 2014 at 657 m (0622.665 N 09949.278 E). LRCUKM 098–99, 0101, 0104 were collected by Ehwan, N. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Cnemaspis mahsuriae sp. nov. differs from all other species of Cnemaspis in the affinis group in having the unique combination of a maximum SVL of 36.6 mm; keeled subtibials and ventrals; semi-linearly arranged body tubercles; 21–24 paravertebral tubercles; no tubercles on lower flanks; no tubercles in lateral caudal furrow; ventrolateral caudal tubercles absent; lateral row of caudal tubercles present; caudal tubercles not encircling tail; two postcloacal tubercles; no precloacal pores; 23–26 subdigital lamellae on fourth toe; dorsal color pattern sexually dimorphic; no white ocelli in shoulder region; no large, black, round spots on nape; no yellow postscapular band; faint yellow bars on flanks; no white, dorsal, caudal tubercles or distinct black and white caudal bands; and all ventral surfaces (except for subcaudal region) beige not yellow. These differences are summarized across all affinis group species in Table 4 (GRISMER et al. 2015).

Comparisons. Cnemaspis mahsuriae sp. nov. has numerous diagnostic scale and color pattern character states that separate it from all other species of the affinis group (see bolded character states in Table 4). The phylogeny indicates that C. mahsuriae sp. nov. is the basal species lineage of a monophyletic group containing it, C. harimau, and C. affinis (Figs. 1, 2, 3). From C. harimau and C. affinis, C. mahsuriae sp. nov. differs by having a smaller maximum SVL (36.6 mm versus 40.7 mm and 50.8 mm, respectively) and lacking precloacal pores, ocelli in the shoulder region and a yellow throat and gular region. Cnemaspis mahsuriae sp. nov. differs further from C. harimau in having 21–24 versus 18–28 paravertebral tubercles, lacking as opposed to having tubercles in the lateral caudal furrow, and lacking distinct black and white posterior caudal bands. Cnemaspis mahsuriae sp. nov. differs further from C. affinis in having 23–26 versus 28 or 29 subdigital lamellae on the fourth toe [GRISMER et al. 2015]. 
CommentAbundance: only known from its original description (Meiri et al. 2017). 
EtymologyThe specific epithet mahsuriae is a patronym honoring the legendary woman Mahsuri Binti Pandak Mayah who lived on Pulau Langkawi during the early 1800s. Her renown beauty helped to usher in her marriage to the warrior Wan Darus but it also engendered jealously in the wife of the village chief who falsely accused Mahsuri of adultery while her husband was away at war. As punishment, Mahsuri was tied to a tree and stabbed to death with her family kris and while dying she placed a curse on the island for seven generations. A tomb honoring Mahsuri rests below the type locality on Gunung Raya. 
  • GRISMER, L. LEE; & EVAN S. H. QUAH 2019. An updated and annotated checklist of the lizards of Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, and their adjacent archipelagos. Zootaxa 4545 (2): 230–248 - get paper here
  • GRISMER, L. LEE; P. L. WOOD, JR., EVAN S. H. QUAH, SHAHRUL ANUAR, EHWAN NGADI & NORHAYATI AHMAD 2015. A new insular species of Rock Gecko (Cnemaspis Boulenger) from Pulau Langkawi, Kedah, Peninsular Malaysia. Zootaxa 3985 (2): 203–218 - 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
  • Zimin, A., Zimin, S. V., Shine, R., Avila, L., Bauer, A., Böhm, M., Brown, R., Barki, G., de Oliveira Caetano, G. H., Castro Herrera, F., Chapple, D. G., Chirio, L., Colli, G. R., Doan, T. M., Glaw, F., Grismer, L. L., Itescu, Y., Kraus, F., LeBreton 2022. A global analysis of viviparity in squamates highlights its prevalence in cold climates. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 00, 1–16 - get paper here
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