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Sitana gokakensis DEEPAK, KHANDEKAR, CHAITANYA & KARANTH, 2018

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Higher TaxaAgamidae (Draconinae), Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Gokak fan-throated lizard 
SynonymSitana gokakensis DEEPAK, KHANDEKAR, CHAITANYA & KARANTH 2018: 336 
DistributionIndia (Karnataka: Gokak plateau in Belagavi district)

Type locality: Gokak plateau, Belagavi district, Karnataka, India (16.18618°N, 74.75952°E), 255 m elevation  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: BNHS 2490, adult male (Fig. 7 & 8A in Deepak et al. 2018), collected on 08.08.2013 by V. Deepak and Aparna Lajmi. Paratypes. BNHS 2491, adult female (Fig. 9b; Appendix 7b) collected by V. Deepak and Aparna Lajmi; CES 141136, an adult male (Appendix 7a) collected by V. Deepak and Kunal Arekar on 12.5.15; both same collection data as holotype. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A large sized Sitana with a maximum SVL of 53.1 mm, distinguished from its congeners by the following combination of characters: 1) dewlap feebly serrated without bright orange patches in breeding males ( vs well serrated with bright orange patches in breeding males in S. ponticeriana, S. visiri, S. marudhamneydhal and S. devakai); 2) dewlap extending beyond forearm insertion (vs not extending in S. sivalensis, S. schleichi and S. fusca); 3) four prominent enlarged non spine like scales bordering occipital region (vs enlarged spine like scales in S. spinaecephalus); 4) dewlap large sized extending up to 55% of trunk (vs up to 44 % of trunk in S. laticeps in southern most population which appears to be an outlier for the species; up to 29% of trunk in remaining population (Fig. 10) and vs up to 42% of trunk in Sitana sp1 (Fig. 10); 5) body size (male & females averaged) relatively large (SVL: mean 48.8 +/- 3.6 SE; range 42.4–53.1; n=14) vs (body size relatively small in S. laticeps SVL: mean 47.8 +/- 3.2 SE; range 40.7– 54.6; n=63 and in S. sp1 SVL: mean 46.2 +/- 3.2 SE; range 38.9–54.1; n=31 and S. spinaecephalus SVL: mean 47.3 +/- 3.7 SE; range 39.5– 56.6; n=25). It has to be noted here that the southernmost population of S. laticeps appears to have some relatively large bodied individuals (SVL: mean 50.1 +/- 4.2 SE; range 45.2–54.6; n=6) but need a larger sample size to further confirm.
 
CommentHabitat: open rocky habitat, dominated by thorny and dwarf succulent species.

Sympatry: Ophisops sp and Hemidactylus murrayi 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is an adjectival toponym and refers to the Gokak plateau of Belagavi district in Karnataka, to which this species is endemic. 
References
  • DEEPAK, V.; AKSHAY KHANDEKAR, R. CHAITANYA & PRAVEEN KARANTH 2018. Descriptions of two new endemic and cryptic species of Sitana Cuvier, 1829 from peninsular India. Zootaxa 4434 (2): 327–365 - get paper here
 
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