Hemidactylus afarensis ŠMÍD, MAZUCH, NOVÁKOVÁ, MODRY, MALONZA, ABDIRAHMAN-ELMI, CARRANZA, AND MORAVEC, 2020
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Hemidactylus afarensis?
|Higher Taxa||Gekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)|
|Common Names||E: Afar gecko|
|Synonym||Hemidactylus afarensis ŠMÍD, MAZUCH, NOVÁKOVÁ, MODRY, MALONZA, ABDIRAHMAN-ELMI, CARRANZA, AND MORAVEC 2019|
Hemidactylus sinaitus — BOULENGER 1895: 532
Hemidactylus sinaitus — PARKER 1942: 28
Hemidactylus sinaitus — LANZA 1972: 64
Hemidactylus sinaitus — LANZA 1983: 204 (in part)
Hemidactylus sinaitus — LANZA 1990: 416 (in part)
Hemidactylus sinaitus — LARGEN 1997: 95 (in part)
Hemidactylus sinaitus — BAHA EL DIN 2006: 64 (in part)
Hemidactylus sinaitus — LARGEN & SPAWLS 2006: 50
Hemidactylus sinaitus — SINDACO & JEREMČENKO 2008: 116
Hemidactylus sinaitus — LARGEN & SPAWLS 2010: 311
Hemidactylus aff. sinaitus — MAZUCH 2013: 7
Hemidactylus turcicus — BALLETTO 1968: 256 (in part)
Hemidactylus turcicus turcicus —LOVERIDGE 1947: 142 (in part)
Hemidactylus turcicus var. sinaitus — TORNIER 1905: 68
Hemidactylus turcicus sinaitus — NEUMANN 1905: 390
Hemidactylus turcicus sinaitus — CALABRESI 1927: 40 (in part)
Hemidactylus sp. 9 — ŠMÍD et al. 2013: 3
Hemidactylus sp. 9 — ŠMÍD et al. 2013: 81
Hemidactylus sp. 9 — GARCIA-PORTA et al. 2016: 3
|Distribution||Ethiopia (Afar Triangle), S/C Eritrea|
Type locality: Ethiopia, Somali region, 17 km NE of Dire Dawa (9.699°N, 41.982°E; datum = WGS84 in all cases; 1040 m elevation).
|Types||Holotype: NMP6V 75740, adult male, 31 January 2015, collected by T. Mazuch.|
Paratypes: NMP6V 75733, juvenile, Ethiopia, Afar region, Awash National Park (NP), Kudu Valley (8.991°N, 40.058°E, 970 m), 20 November 2010, collected by T. Mazuch, P. Novák, V. Socha, V. Trailin. NMP6V 75734, adult male, Ethiopia, Oromia region, Awash NP, Mt. Fantale (9.073°N, 39.905°E, 972 m), 21 November 2010, collected by T. Mazuch, P. Novák, V. Socha, V. Trailin. NMP6V 75735/1–2, adult males, Ethiopia, Oromia region, Awash NP (9.034°N, 39.863°E, 1045 m), 21 July 2011, collected by T. Mazuch, P. Novák, D. Hegner. NMP6V 75736, adult male, Ethiopia, Afar region, 35 km E of Wukro (13.72°N, 39.926°E, 877 m), 18 November 2012, collected by T. Mazuch, P. Novák, V. Trailin. NMP6V 75737/1, adult male, Ethiopia, Afar region, 4 km S of Gewana (10.121°N, 40.644°E, 592 m), 24 November 2012, collected by T. Mazuch, P. Novák, V. Trailin. NMP6V 75738, adult female, Ethiopia, Oromia region, 1 km N of Metehara (8.914°N, 39.912°E, 971 m), 19 July 2014, collected by T. Mazuch. NMP6V 75739, adult male, Ethiopia, Oromia region, 12 km E of Metehara (8.915°N, 40.029°E, 1018 m), 19 July 2014, collected by T. Mazuch. NMP6V 75741, adult male, Ethiopia, Oromia region, Awash NP, Mt. Fantale (9.021°N, 39.857°E, 1050 m), November 2014, collected by P. Novák, V. Trailin. MorphoBank picture numbers for the holotype, paratypes, and 12 of the 16 referred specimens are provided in Supplemental Table S1 in ŠMÍD et al. 2020.
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis. A species of the African radiation of the arid clade of Hemidactylus (sensu Smíd et al. 2013a) with the following combination of morphological characteristics: (1) small size, SVL 39.0–48.3 mm in males, 40.1–49.3 mm in females; (2) large and robust head, head depth 41–51% of head length, head width 71–82% of head length; (3) relatively short tail, tail length 97.3–116.6 % of SVL; (4) uppermost nasals mostly in broad contact (exceptionally in point contact); (5) large anterior postmentals mostly in contact with the first and second infralabials (exceptionally with the first infralabial only); (6) 7–10 supralabials; (7) 6–9 infralabials; (8) dorsum with 14–18 rows of enlarged, strongly keeled, conical tubercles; (9) other dorsal scales heterogeneous, smooth, and subimbricate; (10) 18–21 tail segments; (11) subcaudals enlarged; (12) 5–8 lamellae under the first finger, 7–9 lamellae under the fourth finger, 5–7 lamellae under the first toe, and 9–11 lamellae under the fourth toe; (13) four to six precloacal pores in males; (14) presence of lateral postanal tubercles; (15) in life, body color light beigebrownish with six (less frequently seven or exceptionally missing) wide dark-brown transverse bands starting on nape; tail also with distinct dark bands that do not extend on the underside of the tail; a dark stripe running from posterior margin of eye to above the ear and not touching the ear opening (Fig. 6).|
Comparisons. The new species can be distinguished from its sister species H. sinaitus by having distinctly enlarged subcaudal scales (vs. scales on the ventral surface of tail uniform in size). Morphological differences between H. afarensis and the other species of the African radiation of the arid clade of Hemidactylus follow (the most prominent morphological characters given for each species; see also Table 2): from H. albopunctatus, H. barbouri, H. curlei, H. funaiolii, H. isolepis, H. klauberi, H. laevis, H. megalops, H. modestus, H. ophiolepis, H. ophiolepoides, H. somalicus, and the new species from Kenya and southern Ethiopia by the presence of dorsal tubercles (vs. tubercles absent); from H. puccionii by having dorsal scales other than tubercles smooth, subimbricate, intermixed by large keeled tubercles (vs. dorsal scales smooth, granular intermixed with keelless tubercles); from H. barbierii by a lower number of precloacal pores in males (four to six vs. eight), and by its different coloration (dark dorsal bands clearly bordered with black in H. barbierii); from H. bavazzanoi by its different coloration (three well-delineated dark bands in H. bavazzanoi); from H. citernii by its larger size (SVL 39.0–49.3 mm vs. 29.6–39.9 mm), and longer free distal phalanges of digits (vs. phalanges short); from H. foudaii by longer free distal phalanges of digits (vs. phalanges short), and by its different coloration (usually eight narrow transverse bands of dark brown tubercles in H. foudaii); from H. squamulatus and H. tropidolepis by the presence of tail segments (vs. tail segments absent).
|Comment||Habitat: mostly terrestrial. In Somaliland, it is found in rocky or sandy habitats.|
Publication date: while the paper gives the volume as 33 (2019), the fine print on page 45 says “Published on 13 March 2020”.
Sympatry: H. flaviviridis and Tarentola annularis, H. awashensis, and H. ophiolepis.
|Etymology||The species epithet is an adjective referring to the Afar Triangle of northeastern Ethiopia and Eritrea where most specimens have been collected and where it is one of the most abundant gecko species.|
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