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Cyrtodactylus houaphanensis SCHNEIDER, LUU, SITTHIVONG, TEYNIÉ, LE, NGUYEN & ZIEGLER, 2020

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Houaphan Bent-toed Gecko 
SynonymCyrtodactylus houaphanensis SCHNEIDER, LUU, SITTHIVONG, TEYNIÉ, LE, NGUYEN & ZIEGLER 2020 
DistributionLaos (Houaphan)

Type locality: Houaphan Province, near Viengxai, at an elevation of 850 m a.s.l.  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype. One adult male, IEBR A.2013.109, collected by Alexandre Teynié in June 2013. 
DiagnosisCyrtodactylus houaphanensis sp. nov. differs from all other Cyrtodactylus in the C. wayakonei species group by at least 3.3 % genetic divergence in the COI gene and can be diagnosed in morphology as follows: SVL 75.8 mm; supralabials 9 or 10; infralabials 8 or 9; ventral scales 35; dorsal tubercles in 20 rows at midbody; precloacal pores 6 in the male; femoral pores absent; subcaudals enlarged; five irregular, brown bands between limb insertions. The new species morphologically resembles C. chauquangensis and revealed to be a sister taxon to C. puhuensis according to our genetic analyses, from which it mainly differs in the absence of enlarged femoral scales (Schneider et al. 2020).

Diagnosis. The new species can be distinguished from all its congeners by a unique combination of characters: SVL 75.8 mm; supralabials 9 or 10; infralabials 8 or 9; ventral scales 35; dorsal tubercles in 20 rows at midbody; precloacal pores in the male 6; femoral pores absent; subcaudals enlarged; five irregular, brown bands between limb insertions (Schneider et al. 2020).

Comparisons. We compared the new species with its congeners from Laos (Table 2) and with other Cyrtodactylus from the Indochina region including Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia (Table 3). Morphologically, C. houaphanensis sp. nov. resembles the members of the C. wayakonei group due to the low amount of precloacal pores. Therefore, below we compared the new species with members of the C. wayakonei species group.
Morphologically, C. houaphanensis sp. nov. is most similar to the genetically only distantly related C. chauquangensis Hoang, Orlov, Ananjeva, Johns, Hoang & Dau from Vietnam but can be distinguished from the latter species in morphology by its smaller size (SVL 75.8 mm vs. 91–99.3 mm), having generally fewer infralabials (8 or 9 vs. 9–11), and the presence of an internasal scale which is absent in C. chauquangensis (Hoang et al. 2007).
From its sister species C. puhuensis Nguyen, Yang, Le, Nguyen, Orlov, Hoang, Nguyen, Jin, Rao, Hoang, Che, Murphy & Zhang, the new species differs by the absence of enlarged femoral scales (vs. presence), and having slightly more precloacal pores in males (6 vs. 5).
The new species has enlarged subcaudal scales and thus differs from the following species which are lacking enlarged subcaudals: C. bobrovi Nguyen, Le, Pham, Ngo, Hoang, Pham & Ziegler; C. otai Nguyen, Le, Pham, Ngo, Hoang, Pham & Ziegler; C. vilaphongi Schneider, Nguyen, Le, Nophaseud, Bonkowski & Ziegler; C. wayakonei Nguyen, Kingsada, Rösler, Auer & Ziegler.
The new species is lacking femoral pores in males and thus differs from the following species which have femoral pores in males: C. huongsonensis Luu, Nguyen, Do & Ziegler; C. soni Le, Nguyen, Le & Ziegler; C. sonlaensis Nguyen, Pham, Ziegler, Ngo & Le; C. muangfuangensis Sitthivong, Luu, Ha, Nguyen, Le & Ziegler; and the new Cyrtodactylus species described below.
The new species differs from C. cucphuongensis Ngo & Chan by the absence of enlarged femoral scales (vs. present), the presence of precloacal pores in males (vs. absent), and having fewer ventral scales (35 vs. 42); from C. martini Ngo by the absence of enlarged femoral scales (vs. present), having more precloacal pores in males (6 vs. 4), and having fewer ventral scales (35 vs. 39–43); from C. spelaeus Nazarov, Poyarkov, Orlov, Nguyen, Milto, Martynov, Konstantinov & Chulisov by having fewer precloacal pores in males (6 vs. 8–9), by its smaller size (75.8 mm vs. 91 mm) and by having a different color pattern of dorsum (banded vs. blotched); from C. taybacensis Pham, Le, Ngo, Ziegler & Nguyen by its smaller size (maximum SVL 75.8 mm vs. 97.5), the absence of enlarged femoral scales (vs. present), and having fewer precloacal pores in males (6 vs. 11–13). 
Comment 
EtymologyWe name this species after its type locality in Houaphan Province, Laos. 
References
  • SCHNEIDER, NICOLE; VINH QUANG LUU, SALY SITTHIVONG, ALEXANDRE TEYNIÉ, MINH DUC LE, TRUONG QUANG NGUYEN, THOMAS ZIEGLER 2020. Two new species of Cyrtodactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from northern Laos, including new finding and expanded diagnosis of C. bansocensis. Zootaxa 4822 (4): 503–530 - get paper here
 
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