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Cyrtodactylus soba BATUWITA & BAHIR, 2005

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Dumbara bent toed gecko 
SynonymCyrtodactylus soba BATUWITA & BAHIR 2005
Cyrtodactylus srilankensis DAS & SILVA 2005: 99 (nom. nud.)
Cyrtodactylus soba — ZIESMANN et al. 2007
Cyrtodactylus soba — AMARASINGHE et al. 2022 
DistributionSri Lanka

Type locality: Corbett’s Gap, Knuckles Mountains, Matale District (07°22’N, 80°51’E, elevation 1100 m).  
TypesHolotype: NMSL (= WHT) 6042, adult male (99.9 mm SVL), (regenerated tail broken at base). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis:– Cyrtodactylus soba, new species, is distinguished from all other congeners by the combination of following characters: subdigital lamellae beneath proximal portion of 4thdigit of manus, 6–7; beneath distal portion, 12–14; basal lamellae under proximal portion as wide as digit width. Subdigital lamellae beneath proximal portion of 4th digit of pes, 8; beneath distal portion, 12–16; absence of fragmented basal lamellae beneath distal phalanges; no precloacal groove; 5–8 precloacal pores in males; claws distinctly short (ClawLM/ ForeaL ratio 0.05–0.09; ClawLP/CrusL ratio 0.06–0.10); mental subpentagonal. Scales across mid-body between ventrolateral folds, 30–34. Dorsal scales across mid-body between ventrolateral folds,61–72. Tubercles on paravertebral row, 25–31; 7–10 rows of weakly keeled dorsal tubercles at mid-body.Ventral scales imbricate, with pointed posterior edges. Original tail longer than body (TailL/ SVL ratio range1.11). Among its Sri Lankan congeners, Cyrtodactylus soba resembles C. edwardtaylori, from which it may be distinguished by having 5 dorsal bands, 7–10 mid-dorsal tubercles, 25–31 paravertebral tubercles and mid-ventral scales with pointed posterior edge, vs. 4 dark bands, 14–15 mid-dorsal tubercles, 40–45 paravertebral tubercles and mid-ventral scales with rounded posterior edge. 
CommentApparently the original intention of BATUWITA & BAHIR 2005 was to name C. soba differently, namely C. srilankensis, so DAS & SILVA (2005) used that name in their book while BATUWITA & BAHIR 2005 changed their mind. Since DAS & SILVA did not designate any type specimen for C. srilankensis it is both a nomen nudum and a junior synonym of C. soba (Mark O’Shea and Indraneil Das, pers. comm.).

Abundance: only known from the type locality (Meiri et al. 2017). 
EtymologyNamed after the Sinhala word for “beautiful”, an allusion to the beauty of the habitat of this species, appliedhere as a noun in apposition. 
  • Amarasinghe, A. A. Thasun; Suranjan Karunarathna, Patrick D. Campbell, A. K. Anusha Gayan, W. D. Bhanuka Ranasinghe, Anslem De Silva & Zeeshan A. Mirza 2022. The hidden diversity and inland radiation of Sri Lanka’s ground-dwelling geckos of the genus Cyrtodactylus (Reptilia: Gekkonidae). Systematics and Biodiversity, 20:1, 1-25, - get paper here
  • Batuwita, S. & M. M. Bahir 2005. Description of five new species of Cyrtodactylus (Reptilia: Gekkonidae) from Sri Lanka. Raffles Bull. Zool., Suppl. No. 12: 351-380 - get paper here
  • Das, I. & De Silva, A. 2005. Photographic guide to snakes and other reptiles of Sri Lanka. New Holland Publishers, 144 pp.
  • de Silva, Anslem, A. Bauer, S. Goonewardene, J. Drake, S. Nathaniel and P. de Silva 2005. The Dumbara bent toed gecko Cyrtodactylus soba: The dominant gekkonid lizard inhabiting the Knuckles massif. Lyriocephalus (Special Issue) 6(1-2):137-144
  • 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
  • Rösler, H. & Glaw, F. 2008. A new species of Cyrtodactylus Gray, 1827 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Malaysia including a literature survey of mensural and meristic data in the genus. Zootaxa 1729: 8–22 - get paper here
  • Somaweera, R. & Somaweera, N. 2009. Lizards of Sri Lanka: a colour guide with field keys. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 304 pp.
  • Ziesmann, S.; Janzen, P. & Klaas, P. 2007. Die Vielfalt der Geckos [Sri Lankas]. Draco 7 (30): 38-44 - get paper here
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