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Paroedura fasciata GLAW, KÖHLER & VENCES, 2018

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymParoedura fasciata GLAW, KÖHLER & VENCES 2018
Paroedura sp. — METCALF et al. 2007
Paroedura sp. “Nosy Hara” — GLAW & VENCES 2007
Paroedura sp. “Nosy Hara” — GLAW et al. 2014
Paroedura cf. karstophila Nosy Hara — NAGY et al. 2012 
DistributionN Madagascar (Antsiranana)

Type locality: northeast coast of the island Nosy Hara (12°13'58.23" S, 49°1'6.25" E, nearly at sea level), Antsiranana Province, northern Madagascar  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: ZSM 2191/2007 (field number FGZC 1286; Fig. 4A), adult male, collected on 6 March 2007 by H. Enting, F. Glaw and J. Köhler.
Paratypes. ZSM 2190/2007 (FGZC 1285), subadult male? (not dissected), and ZSM 2201/2007 (FGZC 1307), adult male, with same data as holotype; ZSM 2189/2007 (FGZC 1284), adult male, and UADBA uncatalogued (FGZC 1324), male, collected along the stream valley in the southwest of the island Nosy Hara (12°14'56.00" S, 49° 0'27.64" E, ca. 30 m a.s.l.), Antsiranana Province, northern Madagascar, on 7 March 2007 by H. Enting, F. Glaw and J. Köhler; ZSM 768/2014, juvenile, hatched in captivity (parents from the island Nosy Hara). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. The new species can be distinguished from the 18 other currently recognized Paroedura species (and the four available junior synonyms in the genus, Diplodactylus porogaster Boulenger, 1896; Diplodactylus robustus Boulenger, 1896; Paroedura guibeae Dixon & Kroll, 1974; Phyllodactylus madagascariensis Mocquard, 1894) as follows: from P. androyensis, P. bastardi, P. ibityensis, P. lohatsara, P. maingoka, P. picta, and P. vahiny by having the nostril in contact with the rostral scale; from P. gracilis by absence of a raised vertebral ridge on the dorsum and by shorter forelimbs which are not extending forward beyond tip of snout; from P. masobe by much smaller size (SVL up to 49 mm versus 107 mm), much smaller eyes and absence of a dorsal row of paired spines on the tail; from the two Comoran species P. sanctijohannis and P. stellata by smaller size (SVL up to 49 mm versus 68 mm and 62 mm, respectively) and absence of whorls with distinct spiny tubercles of the original tail; from the syntopically distributed P. stumpffi by smaller size (SVL up to 49 mm versus 70 mm) and absence of whorls with distinct spiny tubercles of the original tail; from P. tanjaka by much smaller size (SVL up to 49 mm versus 102 mm) and absence of whorls with distinct spiny tubercles of the original tail; from P. vazimba by absence of whorls with distinct spines of the original tail; from P. oviceps from its type locality, the island Nosy Be, by smaller size (SVL up to 49 mm versus 69 mm) and rather regularly arranged tubercle rows on the back (versus rather irregular rows of dorsal tubercles); from P. karstophila by the absence of whorls with distinct spiny tubercles of the original tail (and by a smoother regenerated tail; see Nussbaum & Raxworthy 2000) and by colouration; from its close relative P. homalorhina (Jackman et al. 2008) by shorter limbs (finger pad tips reach the anterior margin of eye versus snout tip when forelimbs are adpressed along the body), smaller size (SVL up to 49 mm versus 65 mm), distinct and generally regularly arranged tubercle rows on the back (versus less distinct and less regular rows), and a less slender general appearance. For a distinction from the other two new species described herein, see their respective diagnoses below.
Paroedura fasciata is most similar to its close relative P. hordiesi, known only from Montagne des Français and perhaps the Ampombofofo region (Megson et al. 2009, Glaw et al. 2014) and can be distinguished from this species by smaller size (maximum SVL 49 versus 58 mm), narrower and much more distinct four light dorsal crossbands between forelimbs and hindlimbs which are distinctly narrower than the brown crossbands between them (versus light and brown crossbands mostly indistinct and of similar width in P. hordiesi). Furthermore the light crossbands of P. fasciata are of more regular shape and bordered by a distinct, but irregular blackish margin (see Fig. 3) whereas the crossbands of P. hordiesi are usually not or only indistinctly bordered by a dark margin. Finally the dorsal tubercles of P. fasciata are slighly more prominent and more evenly spaced than in P. hordiesi, especially in the neck region (Fig. 5).
In addition, Paroedura fasciata can be easily distinguished from all other Paroedura species by adult colouration in life (Fig. 3; colour photographs in Metcalf et al. 2007 and Glaw & Vences 2007) and from P. androyensis, P. bastardi, P. gracilis, P. homalorhina, P. hordiesi, P. ibityensis, P. lohatsara, P. maingoka, P. masobe, P. picta, P. sanctijohannis, P. stellata, P. stumpffi, P. tanjaka, and P. vazimba by juvenile colouration (Nussbaum & Raxworthy 2000; Glaw & Vences 2007; Schönecker 2008; Hawlitschek & Glaw 2013; Glaw et al. 2014; FG, pers. obs.). The juvenile colouration of the remaining species (P. karstophila, P. oviceps, P. vahiny) is still unknown.
Genetically, P. fasciata differs from all species in the genus (except P. vahiny for which DNA sequences are not available) by high differences in the DNA sequence of the mitochondrial cox1 gene, i.e., uncorrected pairwise distances of 14.8% to P. spelaea (described below), 16.3 and 16.5% to the closely related P. homalorhina and P. hordiesi, respectively, and > 19% to other species (Table 1; see also Glaw et al. 2014). 
Comment 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is an adjective derived from the Latin noun ‘fascia’ meaning ‘band’ or ‘bandage’. It refers to the distinct light dorsal crossbands which are characteristic in the species’ colouration. 
References
  • GLAW, FRANK; JÖRN KÖHLER & MIGUEL VENCES 2018. Three new species of nocturnal geckos of the Paroedura oviceps clade from xeric environments of Madagascar (Squamata: Gekkonidae). Zootaxa 4433 (2): 305–324 - get paper here
 
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