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Ptyodactylus ruusaljibalicus SIMÓ-RIUDALBAS, METALLINOU, POUS, ELS, JAYASINGHE, PÉNTEK-ZAKAR, WILMS, AL-SAADI & CARRANZA, 2017

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Higher TaxaPhyllodactylidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Ruus al Jibal fan-footed gecko 
SynonymPtyodactylus ruusaljibalicus SIMÓ-RIUDALBAS, METALLINOU, POUS, ELS, JAYASINGHE, PÉNTEK-ZAKAR, WILMS, AL-SAADI & CARRANZA 2017
Ptyodactylus hasselquistii — ARNOLD & GALLAGHER 1977: 65 (part.)
Ptyodactylus hasselquistii — ARNOLD 1977: 106 (part.)
Ptyodactylus hasselquistii — ARNOLD 1986: 421 (part.)
Ptyodactylus hasselquistii — VAN DER KOOIJ 2000: 117 (part.)
Ptyodactylus hasselquistii — SINDACO & JEREMCENKO 2008: 123 (part.)
Ptyodactylus hasselquistii — GARDNER 2013: 186 (part.) 
DistributionUAE (Ruus al Jibal region, from the Musandam Peninsula to the Dibba region)

Type locality: Musandam (Oman), 26.04214 N 56.36966 E WGS84  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: NHMUK 2013.347, adult male, collected by S. Carranza, M. Metallinou, Ali Alghafri, Sultan Khalifa and Hamed Al Furkani on the 22nd of April 2013 between 12:30–13:30, tissue code CN3951 (MorphoBank M339669–M339684).
Paratypes. NHMUK2013.348, adult male, from Musandam (Oman), 26.22711N 56.21312E WGS84, collected by S. Carranza, M. Metallinou, Ali Alghafri, Sultan Khalifa and Hamed Al Furkani on the 21st of April 2013 between 22:10–22:40, tissue code CN5959 (MorphoBank M339685–M339691); IBECN892, adult male from Musandam (Oman), 26.15057N 56.16159E WGS84, collected by S. Carranza, M. Metallinou, Ali Alghafri, Sultan Khalifa and Hamed Al Furkani on the 21st of April 2013 between 23:15–23:45, tissue code CN892 (MorphoBank M339662– M339668); ONHM3743, adult female, from Musandam (Oman), 25.97805N 56.20497E WGS84, collected by S. Carranza, M. Metallinou, J. Smid and R. Vasconcelos on the 24th of October 2013 between 19:42–21:00, tissue code CN8178 (MorphoBank M339698–M339717). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A large size species of the genus Ptyodactylus characterized by the following com- bination of characters: (1) large size with a maximum recorded SVL of 90.01 mm for males and 85.94 mm for females (only one female known); (2) head narrow with elongated snout; (3) 12–13 infralabials and 12–14 supralabials; (4) dorsum with 9–11 irregular longitudinal rows of round, enlarged and slightly keeled tubercles; (5) absence of enlarged tubercles on the dorsal side of the extremities; (6) four prominent cloacal tubercles at the tail base (two on each side); (7) 9–11 subdigital scales on the 4th finger and 10–11 under the 4th toe; (8) 18–22 terminal lamellae under the 4th finger and 20–22 under the 4th toe; (9) in life, uniform light grey dor- sum, some specimens with dark brown transverse bands that extended onto the tail. Underside of body and tail ivory-white.
Ptyodactylus ruusaljibalicus sp. nov. is morphologically very similar to P. orlovi, its phyloge- netic sister taxon (Fig 1B and 1C), and the only species of the genus geographically close to it (Fig 1A). However, the data presented here suggest that P. ruusaljibalicus sp. nov. may be dif- ferentiated from P. orlovi by a lower number of longitudinal rows of enlarged tubercles (9–11 versus 11–14; P<0.001) that are usually less keeled; cloacal tubercles more prominent, visible dorsally, four in total (two on each side) versus 1–6 (less prominent and mostly unevenly dis- tributed); usually lighter dorsal colour and less evident pattern of dark bands and spots on back. On the other hand, it can be clearly differentiated at the genetic level by p-distances of 10.4±1.5% in the 12S and 18.8±1.8% in the cytb together with the absence of allele sharing between the two species in the nuclear markers c-mos, RAG2, ACM4 and MC1R (Fig 2). Ptyo- dactylus ruusaljibalicus sp. nov. can be differentiated morphologically from the only species not included in the phylogenetic analyses, P. homolepis, by its smaller size (max SVL 90.01 mm versus 105 mm); by the presence of enlarged and slightly keeled dorsal tubercles on the back (absence of enlarged tubercles in P. homolepis); and by rostral and first supralabials entering the nostril (nostrils entirely surrounded by swollen nasals which separate them entirely from the rostral and supralabials in P. homolepis). 
Comment 
EtymologyThe specific name “ruusaljibalicus” is an adjective that refers to Ruus al Jibal, that means “Heads of the Mountains”, where all the specimens that belong to this species have been found to date and from where the species is probably endemic. 
References
  • Arnold E N 1986. A key and annotated checklist to the lizards and amphisbaenians of Arabia. Fauna of Saudi Arabia 8: 385-435
  • Arnold, E. N. 1977. Little-known geckoes (Reptilia: Gekkonidae) from Arabia with descriptions of two new species from the Sultanate of Oman. The Scientific Results of the Oman Flora and Fauna Survey, 1975. Journal of Oman Studies, Special Report, (1):81—110 [1975]
  • Arnold, E.N., & Gallagher, M.D. 1977. Reptiles and amphibians from the mountains of northern Oman. In: The scientific results of the Oman flora and fauna survey 1975. J. of Oman Stud. Spec. Rept. (no. 1): 59-80.
  • Carranza S, Xipell M, Tarroso P, Gardner A, Arnold EN, Robinson MD, et al. 2018. Diversity, distribution and conservation of the terrestrial reptiles of Oman (Sauropsida, Squamata). PLoS One 13 (2): e0190389 - get paper here
  • Gardner, A.S. 2013. The amphibians and reptiles of Oman and the UAE. Edition Chimaira, 480 pp.
  • Simó-Riudalbas M, Metallinou M, de Pous P, Els J, Jayasinghe S, Péntek-Zakar E, et al. 2017. Cryptic diversity in Ptyodactylus (Reptilia: Gekkonidae) from the northern Hajar Mountains of Oman and the United Arab Emirates uncovered by an integrative taxonomic approach. PLoS One 12 (8): e0180397 - get paper here
  • Sindaco, R. & Jeremcenko, V.K. 2008. The reptiles of the Western Palearctic. Edizioni Belvedere, Latina (Italy), 579 pp. - get paper here
  • van der Kooij, Jeroen 2001. The herpetofauna of the Sultanate of Oman: Part 2: the geckoes. Podarcis 1 (4): 105-120
 
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