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Cyrtodactylus tanim NIELSEN & OLIVER, 2017

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymCyrtodactylus tanim NIELSEN & OLIVER 2017 
DistributionPapua New Guinea (Western Province)

Type locality: Papua New Guinea, Western Province, limestone range approximately 9 km east of Kaiangibip Village, 1075 m.a.s.l. (5.53° S, 141.56° E)  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: NMV 75956 (F# SJR14640), adult male with original tail, collected by P. M. Oliver (19 April 2013), with frozen tissue for genetic analysis at Museum Victoria. Paratypes: NMV D75957 (SJR14638), SAMA R70319 (SJR14668), SJR14637, SJR14709 (males), NMV D75958–75960 (SJR14639, SJR14669, SJR140670) (females), NMVD75961 (SJR14717) (juvenile), all with same locality and collector details as holotype and collected between 19 and 20 April 2013 (Papua New Guinea, Western Province, n=12). NMVD 75962–63 (SJR14708, SJR14743), SAMA R70320 (SJR13150) (all males) Mt Uni, approximately 6 km west of Kaiangibip Village, approximately 540 m.a.s.l. (5.48° S, 141.54° E) collected between 26 April and 3 May 2013; NMVD75964 (PMO39) (male) approximately 9 km east of Kiangibip Village, approximately 760 m.a.s.l. (−05.51°, 141.57°) collected 8 May 2013. 
DiagnosisCyrtodactylus tanim n. sp. can be distinguished from all other Melanesian and (Wallacean) Cyrtodactylus by the following unique combination of characters: moderate size (SVL to 96.7mm) and slender, with a relatively narrow head (HW/SVL 0.17–0.19), mid-dorsal tubercles in 14–16 longitudinal rows at midpoint of body, ventrolateral fold without enlarged tubercles, subcaudal scales not transversely widened, pores in a tripartite series, precloacal pores obvious and of moderate number (15–17), femoral pores minute and numerous (31–30 per limb, 66–76 total), and dorsal colour pattern on torso consisting of six to nine semi-distinctly defined, alternating dark-brown bands or blotches, on a medium-brown background.

Comparisons: Cyrtodactylus tanim n. sp. differs from Australasian Cyrtodactylus species in the louisiadensis, loriae, novaeguineae and tuberculatus groups in its smaller size (adult SVL <100 mm versus >100 mm), in having minute femoral pores (figure 7) much smaller than the precloacal pores (versus clearly visible and similar sized), in lacking enlarged tubercles on the ventrolateral folds (versus present), and in lacking enlarged subcaudal scales (versus present in the C. louisiadensis and C. tuberculatus groups only) [32,34,35]. Cyrtodactylus tanim n. sp. differs from C. minor and C. papuensis in its larger adult size (SVL <80 versus >80 mm), much higher total number of pores (<30 versus >60), and further differs from the latter in lacking a precloacal groove [refs. 34,50].
Cyrtodactylus tanim n. sp. differs from similar-sized (max adult SVL ∼ 80–110 mm) but distantly related Melanesian species as follows: from C. aaroni and C. mimikanus by the absence of enlarged subcaudals (versus present), dorsal pattern of moderately wide jagged dark-brown dorsal bands (versus very wide chocolate-brown bands separated by thin light stripes), and higher total number of pores in males (>80 versus <80) [51]; from C. arcanus by the absence of enlarged subcaudals (versus present) and longer legs (HDL/SVL <0.17 versus >0.18; table 2); from C. biordinis (Solomon Islands) by its higher number of dark transverse bands (6–8 versus 3–4), more numerous dark-brown blotches on the head and neck (versus two thick dark-brown postorbital stripes extending posterior to forelimbs, and a single large dark-brown spot); from C. derongo in smaller size (<97 versus >104 mm) and in having prominent dark- brown dorsal bands (versus unpatterned dorsum); from C. nuaulu (Seram Island) by lacking enlarged dentate tubercles on the tail (versus present), in lacking a precloacal groove (versus present) and its higher number of and darker dorsal bands (6–8 versus 3 greyish brown); and from C. sermowaiensis by the presence of enlarged femoral scales in both sexes (versus absent), the presence of precloacal and femoral pores in males (versus absent), and its longer limbs on average in proportion to SVL (FA/SVL 0.153–0.175 versus 0.138–0.159).
Cyrtodactylus tanim n. sp. differs from C. boreoclivus and C. medioclivus in lacking transversely enlarged subcaudal scales (versus present), by its smaller size (SVL <96.7 versus >97.2 mm), higher total number of femoral/precloacal pores (>83 versus <62), slightly more shallow head (max HD/SVL <0.105 versus >0.108) and lower number of dorsal tubercle rows (14–16 versus 20 [C. medioclivus only]) (table 2). It occurs in sympatry with its putative sister taxon, C. capreoloides, at lower elevations, but differs from this taxon in its larger size (adult SVL >89.9 versus <84.0mm), much longer limbs (FA/SVL >0.153 versus <0.147, HDL/SVL 0.183–0.201 versus 0.164–0.185), fewer dorsal tubercle rows (14–16 versus 20–22), more shallow head depth (HD/SVL 0.096–0.105 versus 0.106–0.118), slightly shorter snout (EN/SVL 0.085–0.093 versus 0.092–0.096), wider orbital (OrB/SVL 0.075–0.083 versus 0.067– 0.072) and dorsal pattern (6–8 dark-brown transverse bands versus 5–6 light, greyish brown bands) (table 2 in Nielsen & Oliver 2017).
 
Comment 
Etymology‘Tanim’, ‘Tanem’ or ‘Tanemkan’ is the ‘tokples’ name that Faiwol speakers from western Papua New Guinea gave specifically for Cyrtodactylus geckos, both on this survey, and earlier surveys undertaken by Fred Parker around Wangbin and Migalsimbip Villages in 1969 (personal communication). Incidentally, several local people including experienced hunters, showed distaste for Cyrtodactylus geckos, and were reluctant to touch, hold, or in the case of large specimens even look at them. 
References
  • Nielsen, Stuart V.; Paul M. Oliver 2017. Morphological and genetic evidence for a new karst specialist lizard from New Guinea (Cyrtodactylus: Gekkonidae) R. Soc. open sci. 2017 4 170781; DOI: 10.1098/rsos.170781 - get paper here
 
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