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Lepidoblepharis emberawoundule BATISTA, PONCE, VESELY, MEBERT, HERTZ, KÖHLER, CARRIZO & LOTZKAT, 2015

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Higher TaxaSphaerodactylidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common Names 
SynonymLepidoblepharis emberawoundule BATISTA, PONCE, VESELY, MEBERT, HERTZ, KÖHLER, CARRIZO & LOTZKAT 2015
Lepidoblepharis xanthostigma — AUTH 1994 (part.)
Lepidoblepharis xanthostigma — YOUNG et al. 1999 (part.)
Lepidoblepharis xanthostigma — IBÁÑEZ et al. 2001 (part.)
Lepidoblepharis xanthostigma — KÖHLER 2001: Fig. 172
Lepidoblepharis xanthostigma — KÖHLER 2008: Fig. 136 (part.)
Lepidoblepharis xanthostigma — JARAMILLO et al. 2010 (part.) 

Type locality: La Cascada trail, Burbayar private reserve (9.31837°N, 79.00266°W, 360 m elevation), Cartí, Narganá, Comarca Guna Yala, Panama  
Reproductionoviparous (manual imputation, fide Zimin et al. 2022) 
TypesHolotype: SMF 50968, Adult male, original field number AB 963 (Fig. 10), collected from leaf-litter on 26 November 2013 at 23:40 hrs, by Abel Batista and Konrad Mebert. Paratypes. Three adult males, two adult females, and one juvenile, all from Panama. Three males (SMF 81950–52) from Nusagandí field station and two females (SMF 81953–54) from the nearby Sendero Nusagandí, Comarca Guna Yala, collected 14–17 April 2000; one juvenile (MHCH 2952) from Río Terable, El Llano, Chepo, Panama, collected on 27 November 2012; see Appendix I for locality details. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Lepidoblepharis emberawoundule (our sp. nov. 1) is characterized by the following combination of characters: (1) dorsal body scales small, granular, and juxtaposed, ventral scales large, cycloid, flat, and imbricate; (2) scales on head small and granular; (3) 3–4 (3.1 ± 0.3) postrostral scales; (4) a vaguely M-shaped posterior mental border with two paramedian clefts; (5) 3–7 (5.1 ± 1.04) postmentals, larger than the posteriorly adjacent scales on chin; (6) lamellae under fourth toe 6–9 (7.9 ± 0.85), lamellae under fourth finger 5–8 (6.7 ± 1.01); (7) median subcaudals conspicuously wider than long, but their width less than twice the width of the laterally adjacent scales or their own length, with straight or rounded posterior margins, arranged in a regular tail sequence of 1'1''; (8) ventral escutcheon consisting of 38–61 (48.4 ± 8.85) scales, 6–7 (6.8 ± 0.45) scales long and 10–13 (11.6 ± 1.14) wide; (9) subfemoral escutcheon consisting of 4–5 (4.4 ± 0.52) well-discernible scales per thigh arranged in a single row (Fig. 5 A); (10) 16–20 (18.2 ± 1.17) longitudinal rows of ventral scales at midbody; (11) 52–74 (61.8 ± 7.61) longitudinal rows of dorsal scales at midbody; (12) bilobate hemipenis, with a third lobule rising from the pedicel (Fig. 6 A–B); (13) SVL 21–30 (25 ± 2.07) mm.

Comparison with other species of the genus. Lepidoblepharis emberawoundule can be differentiated from many species in the genus by its small size and its low number of lamellae under the fourth toe and finger (Figs. 3– 4). In the following, we provide comparisons to all other species within the genus, with the characteristics for L. emberawoundule in parentheses. Lepidoblepharis emberawoundule can be distinguished from the Panamanian species L. xanthostigma, L. sanctaemartae, Lepidoblepharis sp. nov. 2 (described below), and Lepidoblepharis sp. nov. 3 (described below) by uncorrected genetic p-distance (10–26% in 16S mtDNA between individuals). Lepidoblepharis xanthostigma has greatly enlarged median subcaudal scales (slightly enlarged), and 12–16 lamellae under its fourth toe (6–9). Lepidoblepharis sanctaemartae has large, flat, imbricate dorsal body scales (small granular scales). Lepidoblepharis sp. nov. 2 (described below) has 13 lamellae under its fourth toe (6–9) and 11 under its fourth finger (5–8). Lepidoblepharis sp. nov. 3 (described below) has 4–5 lamellae under its fourth finger (5–8) and a unique lamellar configuration with 1–3 proximal lamellae per digit greatly enlarged, i.e., about 3–4 times longer than any of the remaining lamellae, the ventral escutcheon consisting of 61–68 scales (38–61), and no discernible subfemoral escutcheon (4–5 discernible subfemoral escutcheon scales per thigh). To date, seven species of the genus Lepidoblepharis have been reported to possess ten or fewer lamellae under the fourth toe, i.e., to be short-toed. Two of these, L. miyatai Lamar 1985 and L. sanctaemartae, possess large, flat, and imbricate dorsal scales (small, granular, and juxtaposed dorsals). Three others, Lepidoblepharis buchwaldi Werner 1910, L. montecanoensis Markezich & Taphorn 1994, and L. williamsi Ayala & Serna 1986, can be readily distinguished from L. emberawoundule because the inspection of the illustrations and photographs available for the respective holotypes showed clear differences between the species: In L. buchwaldi, the enlarged subcaudals are much wider than long and at least twice as wide as the laterally adjacent subcaudals (less than twice as wide as they are long or as the neighboring subcaudals are wide), the dorsal tail scales are small, i.e., less than twice the size of the dorsal body scales (twice or more the size of the dorsal body scales), and the posterior border of the mental has a single median cleft (two paramedian clefts). Lepidoblepharis montecanoensis is a very small species with a SVL of 18–21 mm (21–30), and lacks defined occipital marks in males (two well defined occipital marks in males) as well as distinctly enlarged median subcaudals (median subcaudals distinctly enlarged). Lepidoblepharis williamsi also lacks enlarged median subcaudal scales (median subcaudals distinctly enlarged), and has only 25–40 ventral escutcheon scales (38–61). The holotype of L. peraccae Boulenger 1908 has eight lamellae under the fourth finger (5–8) and ten under the fourth toe (6–9), its plantar and palmar scales have ovoid and strongly imbricate posterior borders (those scales small, rounded, and juxtaposed; Fig. 7). The holotype of L. microlepis (Noble 1923) is very similar to L. emberawoundule, but differs in the scalation of the chin region and the ventral tail surface (Fig. 7). The posterior margin of its mental is V-shaped and lacks conspicuous clefts (posterior margin M-shaped, i.e., slightly convex in the middle, with two conspicuous paramedian clefts), there are six postmentals, with one medial postmental greatly enlarged and two neighboring scales slightly enlarged (3–7 postmentals, median scales slightly larger than the others), and the posteriorly adjacent chin scales are small and conical (small and flat, some slightly pointed, and juxtaposed, Figs. 3, 7). Most decisively, each of the slightly enlarged subcaudal scales of the holotype of L. microlepis is bordered laterodistally by only one scale, leading to a regular tail sequence of 1'1' (the larger of the enlarged subcaudals bordered laterodistally by two scales, the smaller ones by one, forming a regular tail sequence of 1'1''; see Fig. 7 E–F). The remaining species of the genus, i.e., L colombianus Mechler 1968, L conolepis Avila-Pires 2001, L. duolepis Ayala & Castro 1983, L. festae Peracca 1897, L. grandis Miyata 1985, L. heyerorum Vanzolini 1978, L. hoogmoedi Avila-Pires 1995, L. intermedius Boulenger 1914, and L. ruthveni Parker 1926 are long-toed with eleven or more lamellae under the fourth toe (6–9 in L. emberawoundule) [BATISTA et al. 2015]. 
EtymologyThe name emberawoundule is a compound word in honor to “the forest guardians”, the three indigenous peoples inhabiting eastern Panama; embera: Emberá Indians from the foothills of Jingurudó, Bagre, Sapo, Darién, and Pirre mountain ranges; woun: Wounaan Indians, mainly from the Tuira basin and Majé mountain range; dule: meaning people in the language of the Guna Indians from the Caribbean and Pacific versants of the San Blas and Darién mountain ranges. 
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  • Barrio-Amorós, Cesar Luis, Michelle Quiroz, Cristian Porras-Ramírez, Rene Villanueva-Maldonado, Alejandro Estrada-García, Abel Batista 2023. Amphibians and reptiles encountered during an expedition to Panama Reptiles & Amphibians 30 (1): e18359 - get paper here
  • BATISTA, ABEL; MARCOS PONCE, MILAN VESELY, KONRAD MEBERT, ANDREAS HERTZ, GUNTHER KÖHLER, ARCADIO CARRIZO & SEBASTIAN LOTZKAT 2015. Revision of the genus Lepidoblepharis (Reptilia: Squamata: Sphaerodactylidae) in Central America, with the description of three new species. Zootaxa 3994 (2): 187–221 - get paper here
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