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Hemidactylus minutus VASCONCELOS & CARRANZA, 2014

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymHemidactylus minutus VASCONCELOS & CARRANZA 2014
Hemidactylus homoeolepis ARNOLD 1977: 103 (part.) 
DistributionNE Oman to extreme E Yemen

Type locality: Asylah, Oman, 21.95181N, 59.60820E WGS84 Map legend:
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.
 
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: BMNH (= NHMUK) 2013.901 (sample code 0S7676), male, collected on the 9th October 2010 by Salvador Carranza and Fèlix Amat (Fig. 5B, D-E, Morphobank M999494- M9999).
Paratypes. NHMUK 2013.902 (sample code0S7657), NHMUK2013.903 (sample code S7673), ONHM3716 (sample code0S7668) and NMP6V 74885 (sample code0S7664), All paratypes are males, except the latter one (female), and have the same collection data as the holotype (Morphobank M100008-M100011, M100012- M100017, M100000-M100007, M100039-M100043, respectively). 
CommentSimilar species: Hemidactylus homoeolepis.

Diagnosis. A small Hemidactylus characterized by the following combination of morphological characters: (1) maximum recorded snout-vent length, SVL 34.6 mm (mean 29.2 ± 3.4 mm); (2) absence of enlarged tubercles anywhere on the body; (3) expanded subcaudal scales beginning some way from tail base; (4) head narrow and low (4.2–6.7 mm in width and 2.4–3.7 mm in height); (5) relatively short snout (2.0–2.9 mm nostril–eye); (4) 4–6 preanal pores, PAP (mean 5.8 ± 0.5); (6) four or five lamellae under the first posterior toe, LP1st (4.5 ± 0.5); (7) seven to nine, but most usually eight lamellae under the fourth posterior toe, LP4th (mean LP4th 8.0 ± 0.2); (8) weakly contrasted black and white banded pattern on the ventral part of tail.
Hemidactylus minutus sp. nov. is morphologically similar to its sister taxon H. homoeolepis but is differentiated from it by its smaller adult size (mean SVL 29.2 mm, maximum 34.6 mm, compared with mean 37.1 mm, maximum 46.8 mm; Table 2), higher number of PAP (80.8% with six PAP and none with three, compared with 66.7% with four PAP and 3.8% with three; Fig. 5F versus Fig. 5M, Table 2), fewer lamellae under the first toe (55.1% with four lamellae, 44.9% with five lamellae, compared with 0.0% with four lamellae, 97.5% with five lamellae and 2.5% with six lamellae), and fewer lamellae under the fourth toe (97.3% with either seven or eight lamellae, compared with 100% with nine to eleven lamellae; Fig. 5G, versus Fig. 5N; Table 2), and the less contrasted black and white banded pattern on the tail, especially on the ventral part (Fig. 5B, E compared with Fig. 5I, L).
Hemidactylus minutus sp. nov. differs morphologically from neighboring populations of H. paucituberculatus (formerly H. homoeolepis) from South Oman in its rather smaller adult size (SVL mean 29.2 mm, maximum 34.6 mm, compared with mean 32.2 mm, maximum 38.4), absence of enlarged tubercles anywhere on the body (some enlarged tubercles present on the lateral sides of the second half of body), and expanded subcaudal scales beginning some way from tail base (expanded subcaudal scales usually extending almost to tail base). It differs from H. masirahensis (formerly H. homoeolepis) endemic from Masirah Island, Oman, by its smaller adult body size (SVL mean 29.2 mm, maximum 34.6 mm, compared with mean 32.2 mm, maximum 45 mm), higher number of PAP in males (96.1% with five or six pores, compared with 100% with four pores), fewer lamellae under the first toe of pes (four or five lamellae, compared with six lamellae), and under the fourth toe of pes (from seven to nine lamellae, compared with 10-11 lamellae), absence of enlarged tubercles anywhere in the body (enlarged tubercles present on lateral sides of body), expanded subcaudal scales beginning some way from tail base (expanded subcaudal scales usually extending almost to tail base), and less contrasted black and white banded pattern on the tail, especially on the ventral part (dark bands of the tail very conspicuous and marked, especially on the underside of tail). It differs from H. inexpectatus (formerly H. homoeolepis) endemic to Oman, by its smaller adult body size (SVL mean 29.2 mm, maximum 34.6 mm, compared with mean 37.5 mm, maximum 44.1 mm), higher number of PAP in males (96.1% with five or six pores, compared with 100% with four PAP), fewer lamellae under the first toe of pes (four or five lamellae, compared with six lamellae), and under the fourth toe of pes (from seven to nine lamellae, compared with 10–11 lamellae), absence of enlarged tubercles anywhere on the body (presence of conical or weakly keeled and extensive tubercles on the body, nape, hind legs and tail).
Hemidactylus minutus sp. nov. is clearly differentiated from sympatric or geographically close populations of H. hajarensis Carranza & Arnold, 2012, H. alkiyumii Carranza & Arnold, 2012, H. festivus Carranza & Arnold, 2012, and H. robustus Heyden, 1827 by its smaller adult body size and absence of enlarged tubercles anywhere on the body (all four species with maximum SVL larger than 34.6 mm, and with conical or strongly keeled and extensive tubercles on the body, nape hind legs and tail); from H. lemurinus Arnold, 1980, and from H. flaviviridis Rüppell, 1835 by its smaller adult body size (maximum SVL larger than 34.6 mm in both species), absence of femoral pores (4–14 femoral pores on the underside of each thigh in H. flaviviridis), and fewer lamellae under the first toe of pes (counts higher than four or five in both species). 
EtymologyThe species epithet “minutus” is a Latin adjective that refers to the small size of this species, the smallest Hemidactylus in mainland Arabia. 
References
  • Ball, L.D. & Borrell, J.S. 2016. An inventory of herpetofauna from Wadi Sayq, Dhofar, Oman. Journal of Threatened Taxa 8 (12): 9454-9460
  • Rösler, Herbert 2015. Bemerkungen über einige Geckos der Zoologischen Staatssammlung München. Gekkota, Suppl. (2): 3-54
  • VASCONCELOS, RAQUEL; SALVADOR CARRANZA 2014. Systematics and biogeography of Hemidactylus homoeolepis Blanford, 1881 (Squamata: Gekkonidae), with the description of a new species from Arabia. Zootaxa 3835 (4): 501–527
 
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