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Cyrtodactylus rex OLIVER, RICHARDS, MUMPUNI & RÖSLER, 2016

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymCyrtodactylus rex OLIVER, RICHARDS, MUMPUNI & RÖSLER 2016 
DistributionPapua New Guinea (East Sepik Province)

Type locality: Papua New Guinea, East Sepik Province, un-named camp in Sepik River basin, (4°24'14"S, 142°17'33"E, 55 m elevation)  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype. SAMA R67636 (Field number SJR13190), adult female, collected by S. Richards, 1 March 2011, tissue stored in ethanol at the South Australian Museum ABTC114693.
Paratypes (n =19). Papua New Guinea: SAMA R67637 (SJR13011) Sandaun Province, Sepik River Basin, un-named camp (4°43'39"S, 141°47'08"E, 425 m a.s.l.), collected by S. Richards on 20 February 2010; BPBM 11522 Morobe Province, Oomsis Forestry Camp (6°41'54.1278"S, 146°48'56.412"E, 400 m a.s.l), collected by A. Allison 3 March 1988; BPBM 18655 Morobe Province, 8.4 km W of Mt Shun- gol summit (6°47'40.56"S, 146°40'49.98"E, 420 m a.s.l.), collected by F. Kraus 23 October 2003; BPBM 34719 Madang Province, Samorek village (4°42'38.0412"S, 145°24'51.3714"E, 690 m a.s.l.), collected by F. Kraus 1 October 2009; BPBM 34747 East Sepik Province, Joromba River, 16.25 km W of Wewak (3°34.732'S, 143°30.020'E, 227 m a.s.l.), collected by F. Kraus 25 September 2009; AMS R13025 Morobe Province, Lae (6°44'S, 147°00'E), collected by E.L. Troughton 18 May 1945; AMS R31940 Morobe Province, Lae Botanic Gardens (6°44'S, 147°00'E), collected by E.L. Troughton 5 September 1969; AMS R129290 East Sepik Province, Maprik (3°25'S, 143°02'E), collected by W.H. Ewers 5 November 1964; AMS R119548–50 Sandaun Province, Torricelli Mts,Wigote (3°39'S, 142°09'E), collected by T. Flannery 22 July 1985; AMNH 92341–2 Morobe Province, Oomsis Creek (6°41'S, 146°48'E), collected by H.M. Van Deusen April 1959; AMNH 95165–8 Morobe Province, Lae (6°44'S, 147°00'E); AMNH 95169 Morobe Province, Busu River, 8 mi. N of Lae; AMNH 95170 Morobe Province, 13 mi. N of Lae, previous six specimens collected by R. Zweifel & G. Sluder July–August 1964. 
CommentDiagnosis. A very large Cyrtodactylus (SVL to 172 mm), with a very broad head (HW/SVL 0.20–0.24), enlarged tubercles across the infra-angular region and often extending across the throat, mid-dorsal tubercles in 21 to 27 rows at midpoint of body, subcaudal scales not transversely widened, high number of mid-body ventral scales in transverse series (49–60), moderate number of femoral and precloacal pores (20–38) in a nearly continuous chevron, narrow dark brown barring on the throat, labials and often venter, and dorsal colour pattern on torso including indistinctly defined alternating dark-brown, medium-brown and whitish regions.

Comparisons. Cyrtodactylus rex sp. n. is readily distinguished from most other Cyrtodactylus by its very large size (SVL up to 172 mm vs generally < 130mm). It further differs from the relatively small number of other large Papuan species as follows. Cyrtodactylus rex sp. n. differs from C. loriae and C. serratus in having enlarged tubercles on the infra-angular region and often extending onto and across the throat (vs absent from both regions), a lower number of pores (up to 38 vs. up to 81), and in lacking enlarged tubercles extending the length of the tail (vs. C. serratus only). Cyrtodactylus rex sp. n. differs from members of the C. lousiadensis group (C. epiroticus (with which it is sympatric in Morobe Province), C. klugei, C. lousiadensis, C. murua, C. robustus, C. salomonensis and C. tripartitus) by its much smaller subcaudal scales, the presences of extensive tubercles on infra-angular region and often the throat, and in its much more poorly defined dark bands or paired blotches on the dorsum (vs. distinctly edged, unbroken transverse light and dark-brown bands). Cyrtodactylus rex sp. n. differs from C. zugi by the presence of dark-brown barring on the throat and venter, tuberculation often extending across the throat (vs. on infra-angular region only), and dorsal colour pattern on torso consisting of alternating indistinct dark-brown, medium brown and whitish regions (vs. alternating dark-brown and off-white). Cyrtodactylus rex sp. n. differs from C. irianjayaensis by the presence of dark-brown barring on the throat and venter (vs. plain and unpatterned), tubercles often extending across the throat (vs. infra-angular region only), dorsal colour pattern on torso consisting of alternating indistinct dark-brown, medium brown and whitish regions (vs. very wide brown transverse blotches on a lighter greyish brown ground colour), and higher number of femoral and precloacal pores (21–38 vs. 7–16). Cyrtodactylus rex sp. n. differs from all populations referred to C. novaeguineae in its wider head (HW/SVL 0.21–0.24 vs. 0.18–0.19) and larger size (SVL 172 vs. 129 mm), and differs from C. equestris sp. n. in its larger size (SVL 172 vs. 139 mm), in having a continuous (or nearly so) row of femoral and precloacal pores, presence of dark barring on the throat and ventral surfaces of body (vs. absent), and ‘messier’ dorsal colouration of alternating indistinct dark-brown, medium brown and whitish regions (vs. light-brown transverse bands or blotches on relatively plain light brownish-grey background).

Distribution: see map in Oliver et al. 2016: 120. 
EtymologyFrom the latin for king as it is the largest of the over 200 species of Cyrtodactylus, and amongst the largest of all known geckos (Bauer 2013). 
References
  • Kwet, Axel 2017. Neue Arten: Liste der im Jahr 2016 neu beschriebenen Reptilien Terraria-Elaphe (3): 54-70 - get paper here
  • Oliver PM, Richards SJ, Mumpuni, Rösler H 2016. The Knight and the King: two new species of giant bent- toed gecko (Cyrtodactylus, Gekkonidae, Squamata) from northern New Guinea, with comments. ZooKeys 562: 105–130, doi: 10.3897/zookeys.562.6052 - get paper here
 
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