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Hemiphyllodactylus nilgiriensis AGARWAL, BAUER, PAL, SRIKANTHAN & KHANDEKAR, 2020

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Nilgiris slender gecko 
SynonymHemiphyllodactylus nilgiriensis AGARWAL, BAUER, PAL, SRIKANTHAN & KHANDEKAR 2020 
DistributionIndia (Tamil Nadu)

Type locality: near Mulli view point, Kilkunda, (11.252 N, 76.663 E; ca. 1240 m asl.), Nilgiris District, Tamil Nadu, India  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype. BNHS 2632, SVL 32.2 mm, adult male, collected by Saunak Pal on 11 December 2011.
Paratype. CEL 467, SVL 34.8 mm, adult female, same locality as holotype; BNHS 2436 SVL 26.2 mm & BNHS 2437 SVL 31 mm, adult males, from near Maruthamalai, Daliyur, (11.037 N, 76.858 E; ca. 640 m asl.), Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India collected by Achyuthan Srikanthan on 18 March 2015. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Hemiphyllodactylus nilgiriensis sp. nov. can be diagnosed from congeners by the unique combination of snout-vent length up to 35 mm (n=2); nine or ten chin scales; postmentals not enlarged; ten or 11 supralabials; 9–11 infralabials; 16–19 dorsal scales and 12–15 ventral scales at midbody contained within one longitudinal eye diameter; four subdigital lamellae on the first finger and toe; lamellar formula of manus and pes 2222; males with eight or nine precloacal pores separated by 7–9 poreless scales from a series of 7–9 femoral pores on each thigh; no plate-like enlarged subcaudals; dark postorbital stripe and longitudinal markings on nape extending just past forelimb insertions; dorsal pattern of broken dark longitudinal markings and light paravertebral spots; postsacral marking with light-coloured anteriorly projecting arms indicated by spots; belly stippled with black.

Comparison with peninsular Indian congeners. Hemiphyllodactylus nilgiriensis sp. nov. can be distinguished from all other Indian congeners on the basis of the following differing or non-overlapping characters: males with eight or nine precloacal and 7–9 femoral pores (versus six or seven precloacal and 6–8 femoral pores in H. aurantiacus, eight or nine precloacal and two or three femoral pores in H. arakuensis, nine or ten precloacal and six or seven femoral pores in H. jnana, nine precloacal and eight femoral pores in H. kolliensis); males with 7–9 poreless scales between precloacal and femoral series (versus 9–11 poreless scales between precloacal and femoral series in H. aurantiacus, 11–14 poreless scales between precloacal and femoral series in H. arakuensis, 10–12 poreless scales between precloacal and femoral series in H. jnana, five poreless scales between precloacal and femoral series in H. kolliensis); 16–19 midbody dorsal scales in one eye diameter (versus 13–16 midbody dorsal scales in one eye diameter in H. aurantiacus and H. arakuensis, 16 midbody dorsal scales in one eye diameter in H. kolliensis); 12–15 midbody ventral scales in one eye diameter (versus 9–13 midbody ventral scales in one eye diameter in H. aurantiacus, 7–9 midbody ventral scales in one eye diameter in H. arakuensis, 10–13 midbody ventral scales in one eye diameter in H. kolliensis); lamellar formula of toes 2222 (versus lamellar formula of toes 2233, 2333 or 3333 in H. aurantiacus, lamellar formula of toes 2333 or 3333 in H. arakuensis). 
Comment 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is a toponym for the Nilgiri mountain range or Nilgiris, to which the new spe- cies is restricted. 
References
  • AGARWAL, ISHAN; AARON M BAUER, SAUNAK PAL, ACHYUTHAN N SRIKANTHAN, AKSHAY KHANDEKAR 2020. Two more new Hemiphyllodactylus Bleeker, 1860 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Tamil Nadu, India. Zootaxa 4729 (2): 249–265 - get paper here
 
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