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Microgecko laki TORKI, 2020

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos) 
Common NamesE: Laki dwarf gecko 
SynonymMicrogecko laki TORKI 2020 
DistributionIran (Lorestan Province)

Type locality: 1500 m a.s.l. on the western slope of the Zagros mountains, Howmeyan, Kohdasht, Lorestan Province, western Iran (33°47’N, 47°33’E).  
TypesHolotype: ZFMK 102764, Adult male, leg. F. Torki on 6 May 2016. Paratype: Adult male (ZFMK 102765), same data as for holotype. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A small gecko with relatively short tail; dorsal scales uniform, smooth, small, homogeneous; single series of transverse and smooth subdigital lamellae; precloacal and femoral pores absent; one pair of postmentals (not in contact); nostril surrounded by four or five scales; bilobed hemipenis; posterior of dark bands on dorsum as well as on tail bordered with white; supranasals in contact (in contrast to M. varaviensis). Skull morphology: without anterolateral process of frontal (in contrast to M. helenae); nasal completely divided by longitudinal suture (in contrast to M. helenae).

Comparison: Bauer et al (2013) divided dwarf geckoes into two genera (Tropiocolotes and Microgecko) based on a molecular phylogenetic study and skull morphology (see also Kluge 1993). Bauer et al. (2013) studied on skull anatomy of M. helenae (CAS 120795) collected by S. A. Minton in Gach-Saran, Khuzestan Province. Based on the collection locality and the fact that the postmental is distinct (Fig. 6B in Minton et al. 1970, as well as other specimens from Khuzestan reported by Minton et al. 1970) this specimen (and other specimens in the Minton et al. 1970 report) represents M. h. helenae. Bauer et al. (2013) stated that an anterolateral process of the frontal is present in this species (see Fig. 3b, Bauer et al. 2013). My examinations corroborate the result of Bauer et al. (2013) for M. h. helenae and M. h. fasciatus. An antrolateral process is absent in M. laki sp. n.; in contrast M. laki sp. n. has a suture (Fig. 6b); furthermore the nasal in M. helenae is not divided, but in M. laki sp. n. it is completely divided by longitudinal suture (not visible due to light reflection on Fig. 6b).
Microgecko laki sp. n. differs from M. helenae (both subspecies) by having bilobed hemipenis (Fig. 11a) (vs. nonlobed hemipenis or straight). This is true for for specimens from adjacent localities of M. laki sp. n. including: (a) type locality of M. h. fasciatus in Sepidkuh Montain (Khorramabad, Lorestan); and (b) M. h. helenae at Pol-e-Dokhtar and Romeshkan in Lorestan Province. Another difference with respect to M. helenae (both subspecies) is that the dark bar on the tail is white bordered posteriorly with/without or minimum scale pigmentation (vs. not white with pigmented scales).
M. laki sp. n. differs from M. varaviensis Gholamifard, Rastegar-Pouyani & Rastegar-Pouyani, 2019 in the following characters: dark bands on tail are bordered with white (vs. yellow) posteriorly, supranasals in contact (vs. separated by two scales), without light dorsolateral series of white spots (vs. two light dorsolateral series of white spots), dorsal crossbars present or absent (vs. no crossbars). For more differences see discussion. Microgecko laki sp. n. is easily differentiated from M. depressus by large internasals (vs. small, not differentiated from adjacent scales). It is easily differentiated from M. latifi, M. persicus and M. chabaharensis by having a single postmental (vs. 0, 2, and 3 respectively). See also Tables 1 & 2 in Torki 2020. 
Etymology“laki” refers to the type locality Kohdasht County. People of this region named it Lak. 
  • Torki, F. 2020. A new species of dwarf gecko of the genus Microgecko (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Iran. Sauria 42: 41-54
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