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Hemidactylus siva SRINIVASULU, SRINIVASULU & KUMAR, 2018

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesHampi Rock Gecko 
SynonymHemidactylus siva SRINIVASULU, SRINIVASULU & KUMAR 2018 
DistributionIndia (Karnataka)

Type locality: Underground Śiva temple (15.317° N, 76.464° E; 442 m a.s.l.), Hampi, Karnataka, India  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: NHM.OU REP.H77-2017, adult female; collected on 3rd February 2017 by Gandla Chethan Kumar & Tariq A. Shah. Paratypes. NHM.OU REP.H79-2017, subadult male, NHM.OU.REP.H80-2017, subadult male, NHM.OU. REP.H78-2017, adult female, collection details are same as the holotype. NHM.OU.REP.H35-2017, adult female, NHM.OU.REP.H36-2017, adult female, locality details same as the holotype; collected on 4th February 2017 by Tariq A. Shah & C. Srinivasulu. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A large sized Hemidactylus, snout-vent averaging 99.8 ± 5.3 mm (n=4, adult females) up to 104.7 mm. Dorsal pholidosis heterogeneous, with 16 irregularly arranged longitudinal rows of enlarged, moderately to feebly keeled tubercles at midbody. First supralabial is in contact with nostril. Two, rarely three, well-developed pairs of postmentals, the inner pair slightly larger than the outer pair, and in contact with the outer pair. The primary pair of postmentals are broadly in contact with each other. Ventrolateral folds indistinct, 27–30 scale rows across venter. Enlarged scansors on all digits; 10–13 (manus) and 9–11 (pes) divided scansors beneath first digit, and 13– 14 (manus) and 13–15 (pes) beneath fourth digit; 17–18 femoral pores on each side of the thigh, separated by 5 poreless scales in males. Original tail depressed, oval in transverse section without a median dorsal furrow; scales on the tail slightly larger than dorsals of body, imbricate, with a longitudinal series of two enlarged, weakly keeled, striated, and flattened tubercles on either side of the median furrow, only on the first two tail segments.
The large size (to 104.7 mm SVL) of Hemidactylus siva sp. nov. easily distinguishes it from many other Indian and Sri Lankan congeners: H. albofasciatus Grandison & Soman, H. aquilonius McMahan & Zug, H. brookii Gray, H. frenatus Duméril & Bibron, H. garnotii Duméril & Bibron, H. cf. gleadowi Murray, H. gracilis Blanford, H. gujaratensis Giri, Bauer, Vyas & Patil, H. imbricatus Bauer, Giri, Greenbaum, Jackman, Dharne & Shouche, H. kushmorensis Murray, H. parvimaculatus Deraniyagala, H. persicus Anderson, H. platyurus Schneider, H. reticulatus Beddome, H. robustus Heyden, H. sataraensis Giri & Bauer, H. scabriceps Annandale, and H. treutleri Mahony, all of which are significantly smaller, reaching approximately 70 mm.
Other congeners can be distinguished on the basis of a suite of characters (differing or non-overlapping characters indicated parenthetically): dorsum with conical, granular, striated scales intermixed with enlarged, irregularly arranged, longitudinal rows of 16 sub-trihedral, feebly to moderately keeled, striated tubercles (enlarged dorsal tubercles usually few, sometimes absent in H. leschenaultii Duméril & Bibron; dorsum with very few enlarged tubercles, more often absent altogether in H. flaviviridis Rüppell; no enlarged dorsal tubercles in H. giganteus Stoliczka; dorsum with 18–20 rows of irregularly arranged, enlarged, rounded and feebly keeled tubercles in H. aaronbaueri Giri; heterogeneous scalation with 10–12 irregularly arranged longitudinal rows of enlarged, rounded tubercles in H. yajurvedi Murthy, Bauer, Lajmi, Agarwal & Giri); 17–18 femoral pores on each side of the thigh in males (6–14 femoral pores on each side in H. lankae Deraniyagala and H. triedrus Daudin, and 20 femoral pores on each side in H. sykesii Günther, a junior synonym of H. maculatus; vide Mirza & Sanap 2014); a combination of 13–15 scansors on IV digit of pes and femoral pores separated by 5 poreless scales (10–11 scansors on IV digit of pes and femoral pores separated by 2–4 poreless scales in H. depressus Gray; vide Batuwita & Pethiyagoda 2012) and a combination of 14–15 supralabials and femoral pores separated by 5 poreless scales (11–12 supralabials and femoral pores separated by 1–3 poreless scales in H. pieresii Kelaart; vide Batuwita & Pethiyagoda 2012).
Based on the dorsal pholidosis and general appearance, H. siva sp. nov. is most similar to Hemidactylus maculatus Duméril & Bibron, H. hunae Deraniyagala, H. graniticolus, and H. acanthopholis; however, it differs from these by having a dorsal pholidosis with conical, granular scales intermixed with enlarged, irregularly arranged longitudinal rows of 16 sub-trihedral, moderately to feebly keeled, striated tubercles of unequal size that are comparatively larger towards the distal midbody (versus back with conical, granular, striated scales intermixed with enlarged, fairly regularly arranged longitudinal rows of 16–18 sub-trihedral, weakly keeled, striated tubercles in H. graniticolus and H. hunae; dorsal scalation on trunk granular, intermixed with enlarged fairy regularly arranged longitudinal rows of 18–20 trihedral, moderately keeled, striated tubercles in H. acanthopholis; dorsum with small juxtaposed, conical, granular scales intermixed with large trihedral tubercles arranged in 20 fairly regular rows in H. maculatus; back with small granular scales intermixed with much larger scales); femoral pores in males 17–18 on each side of the thigh separated by 5 poreless scales (versus 22–24 femoral pores on each side with a gap of 3–6 scales in H. hunae; 23–28 femoral pores on each side separated by 1–3 poreless scales in H. graniticolus; 19–21 femoral pores on each side separated by 13–14 poreless scales in H. acanthopholis). H. siva sp. nov. differs from H. sushilduttai Giri, Bauer, Mohapatra, Srinivasulu & Agarwal in having 17–18 femoral pores on each side separated by 5 poreless scales (versus 21–24 on each side separated by 4 poreless scales); two rows of subtrihedral tubercles on the first and second caudal segments (versus 6–8 conical tubercles on the dorsum of first caudal segment). 
Comment 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is a patronym, noun in apposition, honouring the deity Śiva, referring to the underground Śiva temple from where the species was first collected. 
References
  • Srinivasulu, Chelmala; Aditya Srinivasulu and Gandla Chethan Kumar. 2018. A New Cryptic Rock-dwelling Hemidactylus Oken, 1817 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from northern Karnataka, India. Zootaxa 4444 (1); 25–42. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4444.1.2 - get paper here
 
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