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

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

Type locality: near Sengaltheri, Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, (8.534 N, 77.450 E; ca. 980 m elevation) Tirunelveli District, Tamil Nadu, India  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype. BNHS 2633, SVL 34 mm, adult male, collected by Saunak Pal on 17 December 2011. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Hemiphyllodactylus peninsularis sp. nov. can be diagnosed from congeners by the unique combi- nation of snout-vent length up to 34 mm (n=1); 12 chin scales; postmentals not enlarged; nine or ten supralabials; ten infralabials; 20 dorsal scales and 14 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 11 precloa- cal pores separated by three or four poreless scales from a series of 11 femoral pores on each thigh; no plate-like enlarged subcaudals; dark postorbital stripe and longitudinal markings on nape extending to hindlimb insertions; dorsal pattern longitudinal dark markings formed by postorbital stripes enclosing lighter band, few lighter speck- les; postsacral marking with light-coloured anteriorly projecting arms that extend above hindlimb insertion; belly stippled with black.

Comparison with Indian congeners. Hemiphyllodactylus peninsularis sp. nov. can be distinguished from all other Indian congeners on the basis of the following differing or non-overlapping characters: males with 11 precloa- cal and 11 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, eight or nine precloacal and 7–9 femoral pores in H. nilgiriensis sp. nov.); males with three or four 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 precloa- cal 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, 7–9 poreless scales between precloacal and femoral series in H. nilgiriensis sp. nov.); 20 midbody dorsal scales in one eye diameter (versus 13–16 mid- body dorsal scales in one eye diameter in H. aurantiacus and H. arakuensis, 16 midbody dorsal scales in one eye diameter in H. kolliensis, 16–19 midbody dorsal scales in one eye diameter in H. nilgiriensis sp. nov.); 14 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); longitudinal markings on nape extend to tail base (versus extending up to or just beyond forelimb insertion in H. arakuensis, H. aurantiacus, H. jnana, H. kolliensis, and H. nilgiriensis sp. nov. 
CommentHabitat: The holotype was collected from an old, partially ruined rest house inside the forest. The habitat in the collection locality comprises a patch of grassland surrounded by moist deciduous and evergreen forest.

Sympatry: Hemidactylus acanthopholis 
EtymologyThe specific epithet comes from the Latin paene (almost) and insula (island), reflecting the isolated nature of the montane type locality of the new species at the southern extreme of the Indian peninsula. 
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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