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Dixonius lao NGUYEN, SITTHIVONG, NGO, LUU, NGUYEN, LE & ZIEGLER, 2020

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymDixonius lao NGUYEN, SITTHIVONG, NGO, LUU, NGUYEN, LE & ZIEGLER 2020 
DistributionLaos (Khammouane)

Type locality: Na Ngua village, Thakhek Town, Khammouane Province (17°32N, 104°51E, 145 m elevation  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: VNUF R.2016.2, adult male, (Field no. TK16.2), icollected by V.Q. Luu and N. Schneider on 24 February 2016.
Paratypes. IEBR A.2019.5 (Field no. TK16.3), adult female; IEBR A.2019.6 (Field no. TK16.1), subadult female; the same data as the holotype. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A species of the genus Dixonius that can be distinguished from its congeners by a combination of the following characters: maximum SVL 55.4 mm; 20–23 longitudinal rows of dorsal tubercles at midbody; 23 or 24 longitudinal rows of ventrals across the abdomen; 8–10 supralabials, 7 or 8 in mid-orbital position; 7 or 8 infralabials; 8 precloacal pores in male; the male without femoral pores; precloacal and femoral pores absent in females; uniformly pebble brown dorsum.

Comparisons. We compared the new species from Laos with all other known Dixonius species (see Table 4 for a comparison with most similar species). Morphologically, the new species is most similar to Dixonius minhlei from Vietnam in the number of precloacal pores and ventral scale rows. However, the new species can be distinguished from the latter by having more dorsal tubercle rows at midbody (20–23 versus 14 or 15), the absence of canthal stripe (versus canthal stripe continuing behind orbit to back of head), and by a different color pattern (pebble brown dorsum versus olive grey ground color on dorsum, with more or less discernible brownish olive blotches in D. minhlei); from D. siamensis, which is known from Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam, by having more dorsal tubercle rows (20–23 versus 10–14), more precloacal pores (8 versus 6 or 7), and generally more supralabials (8–10 versus 7 or 8); from D. hangseesom from Thailand by having more dorsal tubercle rows (20–23 versus 12–14), more paravertebral scales in a row from first scale posterior to parietal scale to last scale at the level of vent opening (PV 40–43 versus 26), and coloration of tail almost the same as the dorsum (versus orange tail); from D. kaweesaki from Thailand by its larger size (maximum SVL 55.4 mm versus 41.6 mm), having more dorsal tubercle rows at midbody (20–23 versus 12 or 13), and in dorsal head and body pattern (back pebble brown and head with brownish olive spots versus dorsal surface of head gray in D. kaweesaki); from D. melanostictus from Thailand and Vietnam by having more dorsal tubercle rows (20–23 versus 10 or 11), more paravertebral scales in a row between limb insertions (PV’ 24–25 versus 10 or 11), and the absence of canthal stripe (versus canthal stripe extending along flanks in D. melanostictus); from D. aaronbaueri from Vietnam by having more ventral scale rows at mid-body (23 or 24 versus 18 or 19), more dorsal tubercle rows at midbody (20–23 versus 11), more precloacal pores in males (8 versus 5), and different dorsal pattern (back pebble brown versus dorsal yellowish-orange to bright orange color from head to tail tip); from D. taoi from Vietnam by its larger size (maximum SVL 55.4 mm versus 43.9 mm), having more dorsal tubercle rows (20–23 versus 11 or 12), more precloacal pores (8 versus 5 or 6) and different dorsal pattern (back pebble brown versus one or two irregular rows of yellowish marks running from head along flanks in D. taoi); from D. vietnamensis from Vietnam and Cambodia in having more dorsal tubercle rows at mid-body (20–23 versus 16), more supralabials (8–10 versus 5 or 6), more ventral scale rows at midbody (23 or 24 versus 20), more lamellae under fourth toe (15 versus 13), and more precloacal pores (8 versus 5–7). 
Comment 
EtymologyThe specific epithet “lao” is derived from both the official name of Laos, the Lao People’s Democratic republic in which the species was discovered, and the Lao, the main group of people inhabiting Laos. 
References
  • NGUYEN, THUONG HUYEN; SALY SITTHIVONG, HANH THI NGO, VINH QUANG LUU, TrUONG<br />QUANG NGUYEN, MINH DUC LE, & THOMAS ZIEGLEr,0 2020. A new species of Dixonius (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from the karst forest of Khammouane Province, central Laos. Zootaxa 4759 (4): 530–542 - get paper here
 
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