Nactus soniae ARNOLD & BOUR, 2008
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Nactus soniae?
|Higher Taxa||Gekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)|
|Synonym||Nactus soniae ARNOLD & BOUR 2008|
Nactus soniae — PAPENFUSS et al. 2010
Type locality: Grotte au Sable, St-Gilles, La Réunion
|Types||Holotype: BMNH R16534, frontal bone; Paratypes: Grotte au Sable, St-Gilles, La Réunion; 1 frontal, 1 maxilla, 1 dentary; BMNH R16535-16537.|
|Comment||Conservation: Probably extinct; this species has been described based on subfossil remains and DNA data.|
Diagnosis. A small Nactus, estimated from available bones to be about 45mm from snout to vent. Frontal not elongate, with only weakly developed anterior lateral submaxillary flanges. Maxilla with dorsal lamina inset medially, so outer surface of tooth-bearing body of bone is rounded; its posterior section comparatively short. Tooth counts low with 29 teeth in maxilla and 24 in dentary of available material. Also has distinctive mitochondrial DNA sequence (12S rRNA and cytochrome b).
Differs from other Nactus in conformation of maxilla and from other Mascarene species in the following additional features: N. serpensinsula and N. durrelli of Mauritius—smaller size and lower tooth counts; N. coindemerensis of Mauritius—larger size; two undescribed subfossil species from Rodrigues (E. N. Arnold, J. J. Austin and C. G. Jones, unpublished observations)—lower tooth counts, only weakly developed anterior lat- eral submaxillary flanges on frontal bone, also lacking the elongation of the frontal found in one of the Rod- rigues species. Distinguished from sympatric Phelsuma geckos (Fig. 1) by much narrower frontal bone with a longer tubular section, a higher dorsal lamina on the maxilla and coarser dentition.
|Etymology||Named after Sonia Ribes-Beaudemoulin, present curator of the Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle, Saint-Denis, La Réunion. She organised a dozen expeditions to collect important subfossil remains of verte- brates, especially tortoises, birds and bats from the marshes of l’Ermitage near St-Gilles.|
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