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Hemidactylus kolliensis AGARWAL, BAUER, GIRI & KHANDEKAR, 2019

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesKolli rock gecko 
SynonymHemidactylus kolliensis AGARWAL, BAUER, GIRI & KHANDEKAR 2019 
DistributionIndia (Tamil Nadu)

Type locality: below Sollakadu on Kolli Hills Road (11.323295° N, 78.344492° E; ca. 900 m asl.), Namakkal District, Tamil Nadu state, India  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype. BNHS 2537, adult male, collected by Aparna Lajmi, Aniruddha Datta-Roy and Ishan Agarwal on 23 March 2011. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A medium sized Hemidactylus, SVL 79.5 mm (n=1). Dorsal pholidosis heterogeneous, comprising subcircular granular scales intermixed with 15–16 fairly regularly arranged longitudinal rows of enlarged, strongly keeled, pointed tubercles, that are heterogeneous in shape and size, extending from occiput to tail (Fig. 3); enlarged tubercles on the two most medial parasagittal rows smaller than rest on dorsum and these rows most broadly spaced from one another, gradually increasing in size and becoming conical towards flanks, last two rows on flanks are smaller and strongly conical. Ventrolateral folds indistinct; about 29 scale rows across belly. Digits with enlarged scansors, lamellae in straight transverse series, all divided except the apical and a few basal that are undivided, 9 or 10 lamellae beneath first digit and 11 beneath fourth digit of manus and pes. Males with 21 femoral pores on each side separated by two poreless scales. Original tail depressed, granular scales on dorsal aspect heterogeneous, slightly larger than those on dorsum, intermixed with a longitudinal series of 4–8 much enlarged, strongly pointed, keeled tubercles; median row of subcaudal plates covering almost entire base of the tail, bordered laterally by two or three rows of larger pointed, smooth, imbricate scales; two subequal postcloacal spurs on each side that are much smaller than dorsal tubercles at midbody. Dorsal coloration brown with five indistinct transversely arranged dark saddle-shaped markings running from the occiput to the sacrum, limbs with purple-grey bars.

Comparison with members of the prashadi group. Hemidactylus kolliensis sp. nov. has over 16–25% uncorrected ND2 sequence divergence from other members of the prashadi group (Table 2). Hemidactylus kolliensis sp. nov. can be distinguished from other members of the prashadi group by the presence of 15–16 fairly regularly arranged longitudinal rows of strongly keeled, enlarged tubercles at midbody) from H. aaronbaueri (18–20 longitudinal rows of enlarged, rounded, weakly-keeled tubercles at midbody); H. graniticolus (16–18 rows of subtrihedral tubercles), H. paaragowli (22–24 longitudinal rows of subtrihedral tubercles), H. prashadi (14–16 rows of subtrihedral tubercles), H. scabriceps (homogenous dorsal pholidosis of imbricate scales and no enlarged tubercles); number and arrangement of femoral pores (21 femoral pores separated by two poreless scales) and body size (SVL up to at least 79.5 mm) from H. acanthopholis (19–21 FP separated by 13 or 14 poreless scales), H. hunae (22–24 pores separated by 3–6 poreless scales; SVL >100 mm), H. kangerensis (21 FP separated by four poreless scales, SVL up to 95 mm), H. sahgali Mirza, Gowande, Patil, Ambekar & Patel (11–15 FP separated by three poreless scales), H. siva (17–18 FP separated by five poreless scales, SVL up to 105 mm), H. sushilduttai (20–23 FP separated by 3–6 poreless scales, SVL up to 105 mm), H. triedrus (7–9 FP separated by 1–3 poreless scales), H. vanam (17–22 FP separated by 10 or 11 poreless scales), H. whitakeri Mirza, Gowande, Patil, Ambekar & Patel (seven or eight FP separated by three poreless scales). Hemidactylus kolliensis sp. nov. is similar in body size to H. depressus and H. pieresii (both Sri Lankan), from which it differs in dorsal scalation (15 or 16 fairly regularly arranged longitudinal rows of strongly keeled, enlarged tubercles at midbody) and femoral pore arrangement (21 femoral pores separated by two poreless scales): H. depressus (13–16 longitudinal rows of enlarged subtrihedral tubercles at midbody, 15–19 femoral pores separated medially by 2–4 poreless scales); H. pieresii (17–19 longitudinal rows of enlarged subtrihedral tubercles at midbody, 17–20 femoral pores separated medially by 1–3 poreless scales). 
CommentHabitat: The holotype was collected about an hour after dark on a high rock wall along the mountain road leading up to Solakkadu.

Sympatry: The only sympatric gecko was a Hemidactylus cf. triedrus at the base of the rock wall. Agarwal et al. did not see any large Hemidactylus above this elevation and found H. cf. graniticolus below 500 m asl. 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is a toponym for the Kollimalai Massif, the only known locality of the species. 
References
  • AGARWAL, ISHAN;AARON M. BAUER, VARAD B. GIRI & AKSHAY KHANDEKAR 2019. An expanded ND2 phylogeny of the brookii and prashadi groups with the description of three new Indian Hemidactylus Oken (Squamata: Gekkonidae). Zootaxa 4619 (3): 431–458 - get paper here
 
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