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Luperosaurus kubli BROWN, DIESMOS & DUYA, 2007

IUCN Red List - Luperosaurus kubli - Data Deficient, DD

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymLuperosaurus kubli BROWN, DIESMOS & DUYA 2007
Luperosaurus cf. kubli — BROWN et al. 2013 
DistributionPhilippines (Luzon)

Type locality: 900 m elevation, Mt. Lataan, western slopes of Sierra Madre Range, Barangay Disimungal, Municipality of Nagtipunan, Quirino Province, Luzon Island, Philippines (16° 20’.6 N, 121° 44.0’ E).  
Reproductionoviparous 
TypesHolotype: PNM 9156, adult male 
CommentKnown from a single specimen only.

All information below from BROWN et al. (2007).

Diagnosis: Although the new species somewhat blurs the distinction between our concepts of the genera Luperosaurus and Gekko (as defined by Brown & Alcala, 1978; Russell, 1979; and Brown et al., 2000a) we refer it to Luperosaurus by virtue of (1) its possession of a robust body and stout limbs; (2) interdigital webbing between all adjacent fingers and toes; (3) minute cutaneous folds bordering the posterior edge of the forelimb and a moderate flap on the posterior edge of the hind limbs; (4) small cycloid scales encircling the tail (enlarged, differentiated subcaudals absent); and (5) the absence of enlarged or elongate postmentals. However, we recognize the phenotypic similarity between some members of the genus Luperosaurus (L. kubli, L. palawanensis, and L. macgregori) and members of the genus Gekko. Therefore, we diagnose the new species from the Philippine members of the genus Gekko (below; and Brown et al., 2000a).

Luperosaurus kubli most closely resembles L. macgregori, and to a lesser extent, L. palawanensis, due to the presence of cycloid, juxtaposed, non-imbricate body scales, the absence of dorsal and dorsolateral ornamental tubercles, possession of a moderate cutaneous expansion on the posterior margins of the hind limbs and only slight expansion on the posterior margin of the forelimbs, slight interdigital webbing, and low preanofemoral pore-bearing scale count (Brown & Alcala, 1978; Brown et al., 2000a). However, L. kubli differs from all Philippine Luperosaurus in having a large body size (SVL = 105.4 mm vs. 61–82.7 in L. cumingii; 57.3–58.9 in L. macgregori; 43.7–52.0 in L. palawanensis and 27.5–32.4 in L. joloensis) and it further differs from L. cumingii, L. palawanensis, and L. joloensis by lacking ornate dorsal and/ or dorsolateral body tubercles. The new species differs further from L. macgregori by the absence (vs. presence) of enlarged lateral caudal tubercles, a greater number of Toe I and Toe III scansors (L. kubli: 12 and 16, respectively; L. macgregori: 10 or 11 and 12–14, respectively), and by having fewer infralabials (L. kubli: 12 or 13; L. macgregori: 14–16). Luperosaurus kubli differs further from L. cumingii and L. joloensis by the lesser extent of interdigital webbing (toes 1/ 6 to 1/4 webbed vs. 1/2 to 2/3 in these species). Both L. cumingii and L. macgregori possess preanofemoral pore- bearing scale count ranges that overlap with that of L. kubli (15–20 in L. cumingii and 16–18 in L. macgregori) but those of L. joloensis and L palawanensis do not (28–32 and 30–31, respectively).

Luperosaurus kubli differs from all known Philippine species of Gekko by the near uniform presence of cycloid, juxtaposed, non-imbricate scales covering the body (vs. minute to moderately enlarged scales on dorsum and enlarged, subimbricate to imbricate scales covering the venter in Gekko). Luperosaurus kubli also lacks elongate postmentals (vs. present in all Philippine species except G. gecko) as well as enlarged imbricate subcaudal scales (vs. present in all Philippine Gekko species). Luperosaurus kubli and G. athymus completely lack dorsal tubercles; in all other Philippine Gekko, dorsal tubercles are present. Luperosaurus kubli has a lower preanofemoral pore-bearing scale count than any Philippine Gekko (n=16; vs. 22–26 in G. athymus; 25– 45 in G. monarchus; 46–60 in G. mindorensis; 54–66 in G. gigante; 65–72 in G. palawanensis; 69–80 in G. romblon; and 80 in G. porosus).

Colouration in life: Dorsal surfaces of body and limbs light tan with dark brown blotches and transverse crossbars; head pale yellow with dark brown blotches and postrictal bars; labials alternating dark brown and bright yellow; iris grey; ventral surfaces of head light grey to white; oblique inguinal marking bright white. (From photographs of holotype before preservation).

Ecology and Natural History: We have no information on microhabitat preference, abundance and distribution, or reproduction in the new species. The single specimen was first observed gliding/parachuting from the canopy (estimated 8–15 m) and was collected where it landed at 1.5 m above the ground on the trunk of a large tree (70–90 cm dbh). When captured by hand, the animal attempted to escape by twisting and biting the collector. For a description of the forests of the Sierra Madres, see Danielsen et al. (1994). 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is chosen from Tagalog (traditional Filipino) term for hidden, unknown, or concealed, in reference to the secretive habits of this apparently rare forest species, and to the uncertain systematic affinities of the genus Luperosaurus.  
References
  • Brown, R.M., Diesmos, A.C., Duya, M.V., Garcia, H.J.D., & Rico, E.L. 2010. New forest gecko (Squamata; Gekkonidae; Genus Luperosaurus) from Mt. Mantalingajan, southern Palawan Island, Philippines. Journal of Herpetology 44 (1): 37–48 - get paper here
  • Brown, R.M.; Diesmos, A. C. & Duya, M.V. 2007. A new Luperosaurus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from the Sierra Madre of Luzon Island, Philippines. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 55 (1): 167-174 - get paper here
  • Brown, Rafe M.; Arvin C. Diesmos, and Carl H. Oliveros 2011. New Flap-Legged Forest Gecko (Genus Luperosaurus) from the Northern Philippines. Journal of Herpetology 45 (2): 202-210. - get paper here
  • Brown; Rafe; Cameron Siler, Carl Oliveros, Luke Welton, Ashley Rock, John Swab, Merlijn Van Weerd, Jonah van Beijnen, Dominic Rodriguez, Edmund Jose, Arvin Diesmos 2013. The amphibians and reptiles of Luzon Island, Philippines, VIII: the herpetofauna of Cagayan and Isabela Provinces, northern Sierra Madre Mou ntain Range. ZooKeys 266 (2013) Special Issue: 1-120<br />doi: 10.3897/zookeys.266.3982 - get paper here
 
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