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Gonatodes superciliaris BARRIO-AMOROS & BREWER-CARIAS, 2008

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Higher TaxaSphaerodactylidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos) 
Common NamesSarisariñama Forest Gecko 
SynonymGonatodes superciliaris BARRIO-AMOROS & BREWER-CARIAS 2008 
DistributionVenezuela (Bolívar)

Type locality: Sima Mayor, Sarisariñama-tepui, Estado Bolívar, Venezuela (4°41'77’’ N, 64°13'190’’ W), elevation 1100 m. Map legend:
Type locality - Type locality.
TDWG region - Region according to the TDWG standard, not a precise distribution map.

NOTE: TDWG regions are generated automatically from the text in the distribution field and not in every cases it works well. We are working on it.
TypesHolotype: EBRG 4243, an adult male, collected by César L. Barrio-Amorós and Charles Brewer- Carías on 15 March 2002.
Paratypes. EBRG 4244 (an adult male), EBRG 4245–46 (adult females), EBRG 4247 (subadult female), EBRG 4248 and EBRG 4369 (juveniles); all with same data as the holotype. 
CommentSynonymy: Gonatodes superciliaris is morphologically indistinguishable from G. alexandermendesi (Cole & Kok 2006) and G. superciliaris is likely a junior synonym of this species [RIVAS et al. 2012].

Diagnosis. A Gonatodes with proximal subdigital lamellae narrower than digits; 22–28 lamellae under fourth toe; three lateral rows of scales on distal parts of fingers and toes; ventral surface of tail with repetitive series of single midventral scale in contact posterolaterally on each side with one scale followed by larger midventral scale in contact on each side with two scales (Type C of Rivero-Blanco 1979); elongate supraciliary spine present in both sexes; scales around midbody 80–96; ventrals in a longitudinal midventral row 35– 43. In life, males with a blackish-blue dorsal ground color; lower side of head and chest orange or yellow; females dark green with blue vertebral stripe, and two dorsolateral rows of yellow round spots that coincide with enlarged, spinelike scales. Gonatodes superciliaris is easily distinguished from other Gonatodes in the Guiana Shield and Amazonia by the following characters (those of G. superciliaris in parentheses). Gonatodes annularis has a Type A (Type C) subcaudal scale pattern, that is two single midventrals followed by a divided midventral, three or four lateral rows of scales on distal parts of fingers and toes (three), 41–49 (35–43) ventrals, males with or without vivid yellow spots (never with spots) a blue iris (brown), and no elongate supraciliary spines (present). Gonatodes eladioi is smaller, up to 34 mm SVL (up to 49 mm SVL), has 14–16 (22–28) subdigital lamellae under the fourth toe, has two lateral rows of scales on distal parts of fingers and toes (three), 43–48 (35–43) ventrals, males have a vertebral stripe (no stripe), and it is distributed south of the Río Amazonas (Guiana Shield). Gonatodes hasemani is the most similar species by having an elongate supraciliary spine and spinelike scales in the round spots on the flanks, but it differs by having Type F (Type C) subcaudal pattern, that is no distinct midventral series of scales, 41–55 (35–43) ventrals, and males have white spots (males without spots). Furthermore, G. hasemani occurs south of the Río Amazonas, and the closest record is 1200 km south of Sarisariñama (Avila-Pires 1995). Gonatodes humeralis is widespread in South America east of the Andes. It is a small species, up to 41.5 mm SVL (up to 49 mm SVL), with 15–21 (22–28) subdigital lamellae under the fourth toe, Type B (Type C) subcaudal pattern, two single midventrals followed by an enlarged one, 100–137 (80–96) scales around midbody, 48–78 (35–43) ventrals, and the dorsum in males with a red, yellow, and brown vermiculated pattern (males blackish-blue without vermiculations). Gonatodes tapajonicus has 18–23 (22–28) subdigital lamellae under fourth toe, Type A (like G. annularis) and B (like G. humeralis) subcaudal patterns (Type C), 116–126 (80–96) scales around midbody, 54–60 (35–43) ventrals, and the dorsum in males with vivid yellow and brown reticulation (males blackish blue). Gonatodes superciliaris is unique among its congeners by having the following combination of characters: elongate supraciliary scale, spinelike scales on round spots on the flanks only in females, 22–28 subdigital lamellae under fourth toe, 80–96 scales around midbody, and 35–43 ventral scales in a longitudinal midventral row; males blackish blue with yellow or orange throat, females with a middorsal stripe and yellow round spots on flanks.

Behavior: mainly diurnal 
EtymologyThe specific name refers to the spine-like supraciliary scale, a diagnostic character of the species. It is a Latin adjective derived from super- (over or above) + cilium (eyelid) + -aris (an adjectival suffix meaning “pertaining to”). 
  • Barrio-Amorós, C.L. 2010. GONATODES - Los Geckos diurnos de Venezuela. RioVerde 2010; 43-50
  • Barrio-Amorós, César L. & Brewer-Carias, Charles 2008. Herpetological results of the 2002 expedition to Sarisari–ama, a tepui in Venezuelan Guayana, with the description of five new species. Zootaxa 1942: 1-68 - get paper here
  • RIVAS, GILSON A.; CÉSAR R. MOLINA, GABRIEL N. UGUETO, TITO R. BARROS, CÉSAR L. BAR- RIO-AMORÓS & PHILIPPE J. R. KOK 2012. Reptiles of Venezuela: an updated and commented checklist. Zootaxa 3211: 1–64 - get paper here
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