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Goniurosaurus kwanghua ZHU & HE, 2020

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Higher TaxaEublepharidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Kwanghua Cave Gecko 
SynonymGoniurosaurus kwanghua ZHU & HE in ZHOU et al. 2020 
DistributionChina (Hainan)

Type locality: Hainan Island, China, 750 m  
TypesHolotype. ECNU V0003, adult male, from western area, Hainan Island, China, 750 m in altitude; exact locality withheld because of conservation concerns, available to qualified researchers upon request. Collected in August, 2018 by Zhu Xiao-Yu & He Zhu-Qing.
Paratypes. One adult male ECNU-V0059; two adult females ECNU-V0004 and ECNU-V0005, one juvenile ECNU-V0035, same data as holotype. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Goniurosaurus kwanghua sp. nov. differs from other congeners by a combination of the following characters: moderate size (SVL 87.9–93.0 mm in adults); limbs relatively short and robust; three body bands with two between limb insertions. There are no obvious differences in measurements or scale counts between the new species and G. hainanensis or G. lichtenfelderi (Table 3). The color pattern can be used to distinguish these species with the new species having the following characteristics: nuchal loop wide posteriorly protracted, body bands wider with dark markings, yellow stripe present on posterior side of humerus and femur, linked with the first and third body bands, respectively, body and caudal bands in dark markings (Table 4 in Zhu et al. 2020).

Coloration in life. Dorsal ground color of head, body and limbs grey and mottled with irregularly large connected brown blotches; iris blood red; nuchal loop yellow and protracted medially, three wide body bands with two between limb insertions, and another one on tail base; the nuchal loop and three body bands are nearly the same color with dark markings, dark markings sometimes absent on nuchal loop; ventral surfaces of head, body and limbs dull white; one yellow spot on front side of hind femur (ECNU-V0059, V0003, and V0005), but absent in ECNU-V0004, and V0030; tail: brown with five dull white bands, brown markings in the first three bands (by ECNU-V0059); regenerated tail: irregular black and grey markings (Zhu et al. 2020).

Comparisons. Goniurosaurus kwanghua sp. nov. is similar to G. hainanensis and G. lichtenfelderi in having three body bands. This character is unique among Goniurosaurus spp. from China and Vietnam. In comparison to G. hainanensis, the nuchal loop of the new species is protracted posteriorly, yielding a greater relative width in the middle of the band. Body bands of the new species contained three to five tubercles longitudinally, whereas in G. hainanensis, body bands rarely include more than three tubercles longitudinally. Yellow stripes are found on the posterior side of humerus and femur in the juvenile (Fig. 3G–H), but are indistinct in adults (Figs. 1A, 5), while these characters are absent in adults and juveniles of G. hainanensis (Zhu et al. 2020). 
CommentSynonymy: this species may be synonymous with G. sinensis.

Conservation. Previous studies showed that Goniurosaurus species have also been threatened by poaching for the pet trade (Stuart et al. 2006). For G. luii, poaching has even caused extirpation at its type locality (Grismer et al. 1999). The authors encountered poaching of G. bawanglingensis at night. Thus this new species is also potentially affected by over-collecting for pet trade (Zhu et al. 2020). 
EtymologyThe specific epithet kwanghua is a noun in apposition and refers to Kwang Hua University (1925– 1951) in Shanghai, the predecessor of East China Normal University, which has made outstanding contributions to Chinese zoological sciences. 
  • Grismer, L. Lee, Brian E. Viets and Lawrence J. Boyle. 1999. Two new continental species of Goniurosaurus (Squamata: Eublepharidae) with a phylogeny and evolutionary classification of the genus. Journal of Herpetology 33 (3): 382-393 - get paper here
  • Stuart, B.L. et al. 2006. Scientific Description Can Imperil Species. Science 312 (5777): 1137 - get paper here
  • ZHU, XIAO-YU; CHU-ZE SHEN, YUN-FEI LIU, LIN CHEN, ZHENG LI, & ZHU-QING HE 2020. A new species of Goniurosaurus from Hainan Island, China based on molecular and morphological data (Squamata: Sauria: Eublepharidae). Zootaxa 4772 (2): 349–360 - get paper here
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