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Nactus papua ZUG, 2020

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Papuan Slender-toed Gecko 
SynonymNactus papua ZUG 2020: 67 
DistributionS Papua New Guinea (from Kerema west to the Kikori River)

Type locality: Papua New Guinea, Gulf Province, Uraru [6°53′37′′S 144°52′30′′E].  
TypesHolotype. CAS 118023, adult male, collected by Fred Parker on 1 October 1967 (Figure 33).
Paratypes. Adult male, CAS 118032, with same data as holotype, and adult females, MCZ 101622, 101626, USNM 192414–415, with same data as the holotype except 2 October 1967. 
DiagnosisDefinition. A bisexual taxon of geckos (Gek- koninae) with moderate to large adults (♀♀ 49–64 mm, ♂♂ 55–64 mm SVL) with keeled subcaudals, usually moderate postmental scales (0–18, median 13), occasional postmental- infralabial contact (PmLab 0–4, 0), moderate number of dor- sal tubercle rows (11–17) and moderate number of tubercles (23–41, usually ≥32) in parasagittal row (TubRow), tubercle presence variable on dorsal surface of thigh and crus (usually on both thigh and crus or rarely absent on both), and variable pres- ence of precloacal pores 0–12. Diagnostic summary in Table 8.

Variation. Females and males display slight met- ric differences (adult ♀♀ 57.8, 49.1–64.4 mm; adult ♂♂ 59.2, 54.9–64.0 mm SVL), although sharing similar proportions (total adult sample): TrunkL/SVL 42.6%, 39%–48%; HeadL/ SVL 26.9%, 25%–30%; HeadW/SVL 18.1%, 16%–21%; HeadW/HeadL 67.6%, 60%–78%; EyeD/SVL 6.7%, 6%–8%; EyeD/HeadL 25.1%, 22%–31%; NarEye/HeadL 30.8%, 27%–35%; Interorb/HeadL 26.0%, 21%–31%; SnW/HeadL 14.2%, 12%–17%.
Typical head scale pattern of small, granular scales except for those bordering nares and mouth. Snout with large rostral scale bearing middorsal cleft posteriorly; supranasals moderate sized, usually in contact on midline or separated by small granu- lar scale (internasal); large supralabials (3, 2–4) and infralabi- als (3, 2–4) in front of anterior edge of orbit, first supra- and infralabial largest of respective series. Chin with large trapezoi- dal mental and usually moderate postmentals (Postm = 10, 0–18) and occasional genial scale between postmental and first supral- abial (0, 0–4 PmLab); dorsally, trunk with 14, 11–17 (DorsTub) enlarged tubercles transversely on dorsum and with 33, 23–41 tubercles (TubRow) longitudinally along trunk; 9, 8–10 tubercle rows transversely between hindlimbs (TubHip). Enlarged tuber- cles on crus and femur variable (TubHindl = 0 or 2, i.e., usually on both thigh and crus and rarely absent on both). Tail with small uniform scales dorsally and laterally, ventrally variable with uniform, small keeled scales (Subcaud = 0). Usually, pair of cloacal spurs (2, 1–3 CloacS) on each side. Ventral scales from chin to vent small, granular, somewhat larger on chest and abdo- men. Precloacal pores, present in most males 0–12 and in about half of females 0–11. Forefoot with narrow digits, their lengths usually 3≈4>2≈5>1; 17, 15–21 lamellae beneath fourth digit (4FingLm), 6, 4–9 scale rows on palm; hindfoot with narrow digits, their lengths 4>3>5>2>1 or 3≈4>2≈5>1; 22, 19–25 lamel- lae beneath fourth toe (4ToeLm).
Coloration in life not reported. In alcohol, color and pattern match the general description of the holotype. The dorsal trunk pattern of transverse bars varies from faded to distinct; in some the dark bars are distinctly edged posteriorly in cream and range from 5 to 6 bars between shoulders to sacrum; bars often sepa- rated, narrowly to broadly, on dorsal midline. Forelimbs usually mottled in dark brown, medium brown, and cream; hindlimbs (thigh) strikingly mottled in dark brown and cream dorsally and posteriorly; tail brightly and irregularly banded in dark brown to cream dorsally and laterally and less distinctly ventrally; venter uniform medium brown. 
CommentDistribution: see map in Zug 2020: 67 (Fig. 32). 
EtymologyThe specific name derives from the occurrence of this species in the Papuan area of Papua New Guinea adjacent to the Gulf of Papua (samples 60, 61). 
  • Zug, George R. 2020. Diversity in Pacific Slender-Toed Geckos, Nactus pelagicus Complex (Reptilia: Squamata), of New Guinea and Adjacent Islands. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology, (651): x + 92 pages - get paper here
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