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Cyrtodactylus meersi GRISMER, WOOD, QUAH, MURDOCH, M GRISMER, HERR, ESPINOZA, BROWN & LIN, 2018

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesBago Yoma Bent-toed Gecko 
SynonymCyrtodactylus meersi GRISMER, WOOD, QUAH, MURDOCH, M GRISMER, HERR, ESPINOZA, BROWN & LIN 2018 
DistributionMyanmar (Yangon)

Type locality: Myin Mo Swhe Taung Pagoda, Bago Region, Taikkyi Township, Yangon (north) District, Myanmar (17.46272N, 96.01624E, elevation 162 m).  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype. LSUHC 13455, juvenile male, collected on May 18, 2017 at 2,000 h by Mark. W. Herr. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Cyrtodactylus meersi sp. nov. differs from other species of the peguensis group by having the unique combination of seven supralabials and eight infralabials; 32 paravertebral tubercles; 13 longitudinal rows of body tubercles; 32 ventral scales; 17 subdigital lamellae on the fourth toe; 12 femoral pores; eight precloacal pores; two rows of post-precloacal scales; and domed to weakly conical and weakly keeled body tubercles (Table 7). We note, however, that this diagnosis is not robust due to having only a sample size of one juvenile and will be subject to adjustment if additional specimens are ever collected and analyzed. Nonetheless, the placement of this individual near the base of the phylogeny (Fig. 2) and it having an uncorrected percent sequence divergence of 10.0–13.7% from all other species in the phylogeny (Table 3) is strong evidence of its species status.

Comparisons. Cyrtodactylus meersi sp. nov. is differentiated from C. annandalei by the top of the head being blotched as opposed to being patternless. Differences between C. meersi sp. nov. and C. peguensis are reported in the comparisons section of the latter. C. meersi sp. nov. differs from C. pyinyaungensis in having significantly higher mean numbers of infralabial scales (IL; 8.0 vs. 6.0), fourth toe lamellae (4TL; 17.0 vs. 15.0), and having domed to weakly conical and weakly keeled body tubercles vs. raised and moderately keeled body tubercles (Tables 7 and 8). It differs from the new species (see below) from Mt. Popa and the Bago Yoma by having significantly higher mean number of infralabial scales (IL; 8.0 vs. 6.5) and a significantly lower mean number of longitudinal rows of dorsal tubercles (LRT; 13 vs. 18.6). C. meersi sp. nov. is widely separated from all other species in both the PCA and DAPC and does not fall within the plot distribution of any other species. Additionally, C. meersi sp. nov. has an uncorrected pairwise sequence divergence from them of 10–13.7% (Table 3). 
CommentKnown from only the juvenile holotype. 
EtymologyThe specific epithet, meersi, is named in honor of Mr. John Meers whose generous private donations to Fauna & Flora International’s in the name of karst conservation have resulted in the continuation of karst biology research in Indochina. 
References
  • Grismer LL, Wood PL Jr, Quah ESH, Murdoch ML, Grismer MS, Herr MW, Espinoza RE, Brown RM, Lin A. 2018. A phylogenetic taxonomy of the Cyrtodactylus peguensis group (Reptilia: Squamata: Gekkonidae) with descriptions of two new species from Myanmar. PeerJ 6: e5575 - get paper here
  • GRISMER, L. LEE; PERRY L. JR. WOOD, MYINT KYAW THURA, NAY MYO WIN, EVAN S. H. QUAH 2019. Two more new species of the Cyrtodactylus peguensis group (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from the fringes of the Ayeyarwady Basin, Myanmar. Zootaxa 4577 (2): 274–294 - get paper here
  • Kwet, A. 2019. Liste der im Jahr 2018 neu beschriebenen Reptilien. Elaphe 2019 (3): 52-72
 
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