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Ebenavia robusta HAWLITSCHEK, SCHERZ, RUTHENSTEINER, CROTTINI & GLAW, 2018

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymEbenavia robusta HAWLITSCHEK, SCHERZ, RUTHENSTEINER, CROTTINI & GLAW 2018
Ebenavia inunguis complex Clade C — HAWLITSCHEK et al. 2016
Ebenavia inunguis complex Highland Clade — HAWLITSCHEK et al. 2016 
DistributionCE Madagascar

Type locality: Ambatofotsy, Alaotra-Mangoro Region, former Prov. Toamasina, Madagascar (19.5431° S, 48.3165° E, 907 m a.s.l.),  
Reproductionoviparous. Eggs are laid in dry rolled leaves or leaf axils of plants 
TypesHolotype: ZSM 296/2010 (FGZC 4526), adult female, collected 15 April 2010 by M. Pabijan, F. Randrianasolo, and S. Rasamison. Paratypes: ZSM 332/2004 (FGZC 629), adult female, col- lected 2004, at ‘Gilbert’s Site’, Alaotra-Mangoro Region, for- mer Prov. Toamasina, Madagascar, by local collectors; ZSM 295/2010 (FGZC 4387), adult female, collected 10 April 2010, at Andasibe (Feonnyala Hotel), Alaotra-Mangoro Region, former Prov. Toamasina, Madagascar, by F. Glaw, J. Köhler, P.-S. Gehring, M. Pabijan, K. Mebert, E. Rajeriarison, F. Randrianasolo, and S. Rasamison; ZSM 297/2010 (FGZC 4635), adult female, collected 15 April 2010, at Ambatofotsy, Alaotra-Mangoro Region, former Prov. Toamasina, Madagascar (19.5431° S, 48.3165° E, 907 m a.s.l.), by M. Pabijan, F. Randrianasolo, and S. Rasamison; ZSM 156/ 2016 (FGZC 4956), adult male, collected 25 December 2012, at Vohimana (Relais de Naturaliste), Alaotra-Mangoro Region, former Prov. Toamasina, Madagascar (18.9203° S, 48.5160° E, 786 m), by F. Glaw, D. Prötzel, and L. Randriamanana. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Morphological data is given in Table 2 and ESM 1, photographs of living specimens are available in Fig. 4e, g. Distinguished from Ebenavia maintimainty by larger SVL (34.4–42.6 vs. ≤ 24 mm), rostral scale bordered by postrostrals distinct from posterior head scales, absence of prenasal scale between rostral and nostril, keeled abdominal scales, and lighter colour; from all other Ebenavia by presence of distinct tubercles on hindlimbs (TUB = yes); from E. boettgeri by larger SVL (34.4–42.6 vs. 28.9–37.8 mm), larger ratio of BW/SVL (0.15– 0.22 vs. 0.11–0.20), higher ILAB (10–11 vs. 8–11), IOS (20–23 vs. 15–21), and DTAP (46–51 vs. 33–49); from E. inunguis, E. tuelinae sp. nov., and E. safari sp. nov. by rostral scale mostly not in contact with nostril (RNO = yes), larger SVL (34.4–42.6 vs. 31.0–39.5 mm), larger ratio of BW/SVL (0.15–0.22 vs. 0.12–0.20), and more IOS (20–23 vs. 16–22); from E. inunguis by higher ILAB (10–11 vs. 8–10) and DTAP (46–51 vs. 33– 43); from E. tuelinae sp. nov. by higher ILAB (10–11 vs. 9–10) but lower DTAP (46–51 vs. 52–62). Distinguished from E. boettgeri and E. safari sp. nov. by short nasal process of premaxilla; from all other analysed Ebenavia except E. tuelinae sp. nov. by short premaxillary lappets of nasals; from E. safari sp. nov. by recognisable basal tubercle on basisphenoid; from E. tuelinae sp. nov. by a codon insertion of AGG (Glutamine) at position 498 from the 5′ primer binding site of the PRLR fragment; and from E. inunguis and E. boettgeri by a codon deletion of CGA (Proline) at position 438. 
CommentEbenavia robusta sp. nov. has been successfully kept and bred in captivity (Glaw 2016).

Behavior: Unlike many other geckos, captive specimens of E. robusta sp. nov. do not show any signs of territorial behaviour or any other kind of intraspecific aggression. They have been observed to emit soft purring vocalisations of unknown function 
EtymologyThe specific name is the feminine form of the Latin adjective ‘robustus’, meaning ‘robust’ or ‘sturdy’. It was chosen because this species is the largest and most sturdily built member of this genus of small geckos. 
References
  • Hawlitschek, O., Toussaint, E. F. A., Gehring, P.-S., Ratsoavina, F. M., Cole, N., Crottini, A., Nopper, J., Lam, A. W., Vences, M. and Glaw, F. 2016. Gecko phylogeography in the Western Indian Ocean region: the oldest clade of Ebenavia inunguis lives on the youngest island. J. Biogeogr., doi:10.1111/jbi.12912 - get paper here
  • Hawlitschek, Oliver; Mark D. Scherz; Bernhard Ruthensteiner; Angelica Crottini & Frank Glaw 2018. Computational molecular species delimitation and taxonomic revision of the gecko genus Ebenavia Boettger, 1878 The Science of Nature 105:49 - get paper here
  • Kwet, A. 2019. Liste der im Jahr 2018 neu beschriebenen Reptilien. Elaphe 2019 (3): 52-72
 
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