Hemiphyllodactylus montawaensis GRISMER, WOOD, THURA, ZIN, QUAH, MURDOCH, GRISMER, LI, KYAW & LWIN, 2017
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Hemiphyllodactylus montawaensis?
|Higher Taxa||Gekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)|
|Common Names||E: Montawa dwarf gecko|
|Synonym||Hemiphyllodactylus montawaensis GRISMER, WOOD, THURA, ZIN, QUAH, MURDOCH, GRISMER, LI, KYAW & LWIN 2017|
Type locality: Montawa, Cave 3.7 km south-west of Taunggyi, Taunggyi District, Shan State, Myanmar (20°47.521N, 97°01.222E; 1171 m).
|Reproduction||oviparous. Adult female LSUHC 13012 contained two eggs.|
|Types||Holotype: LSUHC 13010, Adult male, collected on 17 October 2016 at 1600 hours by Evan S. H. Quah, Perry L. Wood, Jr., Matthew L. Murdoch, Thaw Zin, Myint Kyaw Thura, Htet Kyaw, Marta S. Grismer, and L. Lee Grismer.|
Paratypes: Adult male (LSUHC 13011) and adult females (LSUHC 13012–13) bear the same data as the holotype.
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis: Hemiphyllodactylus montawaensis sp. nov. can be separated from all other species of Hemiphyllodactylus by possessing the unique combination of having a maximum SVL of 40.1 mm; 4–7 chin scales; enlarged postmentals; 4–6 circumnasal scales; 1–4 scales between supranasals (=postrostrals); 8–10 supralabials; eight or nine infralabials; 13 or 14 longitudinally arranged dorsal scales at mid-body contained within one eye diameter and seven or eight ventral scales; varied digital formulae (Table 3); three or four subdigital lamellae on the first finger and toes; 19–21 pore-bearing femoroprecloacal scales; no plate-like subcaudal scales; dark, postorbital stripe not extending onto trunk; no pairs of paravertebral light spots on trunk; dorsal body pattern not unicolour; postsacral marking generally not bearing light-coloured, anteriorly projecting arms; and caecum and gonads unpigmented. These characters are scored across all species of Hemiphyllodactylus from clades 4 and 5 (Table 3).|
Comparisons: The molecular analyses indicate that Hemiphyllodactylus montawaensis sp. nov. is embedded within clade 4 of the typus group and is the sister species of H. tonywhitteni sp. nov. Hemiphyllodactylus montawaensis sp. nov. can be distinguished from all other species in clade 3 by having 4–7 as opposed to 7–12 chin scales, collectively; it differs further from all species of these two clades by having a dark, reticulate, dorsal pattern. It differs further from H. tonywhitteni sp. nov. in having relatively narrower head (0.16–0.17 versus 0.17–0.19) throughout its growth trajectory (Figure 8) and a statistically signifi- cantly narrower head (p < 0.024, n = 6) as an adult. Uncorrected pair-wise sequence divergence between H. montawaensis sp. nov. and all other species of clades 3 and 4 ranges from 6.4–19.3% (Table 7). See comparison section for H. tonywhitteni sp. nov. for a discussion of the PCA and DAPC results and for comparisons to H. tonywhitteni sp. nov.
|Comment||Habitat: Montawa Cave is situated at 1171 m in elevation along a steep, fast-flowing stream and lies approximately two-thirds the way up a precipitous 130 km north to south tending karstic ridge edging the eastern margin of a flat basin containing Inle and Nam Belu Lakes. The cave is associated with a small monastery and the mouth is approximately 30 m above the monastery level. Steep, vertical karst walls frame the mouth of the cave and extend into the forest in both directions (Figure 11). The limestone at this locality was not as weathered and porous as that of the Phapant Cave region but was more sedimentary in composition. We believe H. montawaensis sp. nov. is a karst-adapted species. All lizards were found at night between 1900 and 2300 hours 1–3 m above the ground on the flat, unerroded limestone faces outside the cave in open areas generally devoid of vegetation. No Hemiphyllodactylus were seen on the surrounding man-made structures of the monastery, within the cave, or on vegetation.|
|Etymology||This specific epithet ‘montawaensis’ refers to the type locality of Montawa cave.|
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