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Teratoscincus sistanense AKBARPOUR, SHAFIEI, SEHHATISABET & DAMADI, 2017

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Higher TaxaSphaerodactylidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymTeratoscincus sistanense AKBARPOUR, SHAFIEI, SEHHATISABET & DAMADI 2017 
DistributionSE Iran (Sistan and Baluchistan)

Type locality: Zahak Town, 30 ̊53'42"N, 61 ̊40'34"E, 492 m, Zabol County, Sistan and Baluchistan Province, southeastern Iran  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: ZMSBUK 704, Adult male, March 2017, M. Akbarpour leg. – Paratypes. IRAN: 3♂ ad. (ZMSBUK 705, 706, 707) and 1♀ (ZMS- BUK 708), Niatak River, 31 ̊07'52"N, 61 ̊36'37"E, 496 m, Sistan and Baluchistan Prov- ince, July 2009, M. E. Sehhatisabet leg. 3♂ ad. (ZMSBUK 709, 710, 711) Kaftargi Village, 30 ̊51'20"N, 61 ̊40'04"E, 495 m, Zabol County, Sistan and Baluchistan Prov- ince, May 2015, E. Damadi leg. 
DiagnosisAmong the peculiarities of pholidosis of Teratoscincus sistanense sp. n. is the fact that the first upper labial never participates in the margin of the nostril. In T. sistanense sp. n., T. microlepis and T. bedriagai, the ventralmost of the four nasals has a lunate upper margin which usually excludes the rostral as well as the first labial from the border of the nostril. In T. scincus, there are also four nasals, but a narrow, rim-like crescentic nasal scale bordering the nostril is present, usually completely excluding the four ventralmost nasals, as well as the rostral, from the nostril. Within Teratoscincus, the number of scales around midbody and the extension of large cycloid scales beyond the shoulders or not, constitute important factors for distinguishing between species. In T. keyserlingii and T. scincus, large cycloid scales extend from behind the neck forward on to the back of the head and, in T. roborowskii, somewhat intermediate scales extend forward on to the neck region, but it does have large cycloid scales as in T. keyserlingii and T. scincus. In other Teratoscincus species cycloid scales do not extend forward beyond the shoulders. The new species is morphologically closest to T. microlepis and the two can be distinguished from each other by the number of scales around midbody (85–110 in T. microlepis and 145–165 in T. sistanense). Moreover, T. sistanense has a more slender and cylindrical body shape. Based on the number and size of body scales, T. sistanense and T. keyserlingii (SAM: 28-34) have, respectively, the greatest and the smallest number of scales around midbody among species of Teratoscincus. A detailed comparison of the species of Teratoscincus occurring in Iran is presented in Table 2 (see also Fig. 5). 
CommentHabitat: flat terrain with a hot and dry climate. The soil texture of the habitat is sandy, with various degrees of compaction, the sandy areas being interspersed with patches of gravel of variable size and loamy-silty soil. The vegetation is sparse and dominated by Tamarix sp.

Behavior: The species was observed to be active only at night.

Sympatry: Teratoscincus bedriagai, Ophiomorous tridactylus, Eremias persica, Trapelus agilis, Eremias fasciata) and snakes (Echis carinatus and Lytorhynchus ridgewayi. 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is a patronym for Sistan and Baluchistan Province, southeastern Iran. 
References
  • Akbarpour, Morteza; Soheila Shafiei, Mohammad Ebrahim Sehhatisabet and Ehsan Damadi 2017. A new species of frog-eyed gecko, genus Teratoscincus Strauch, 1863 (Squamata: Sphaerodactylidae), from southeastern Iran Zoology in the Middle East 63 (4): 296 - get paper here
  • Nazarov, Roman A.;Mehdi Radjabizadeh,Nikolay A. Poyarkov, Jr.,Natalia B. Ananjeva,Daniel A. Melnikov,Eskandar Rastegar-Pouyani 2017. A New Species of Frog-Eyed Gecko, Genus Teratoscincus Strauch, 1863 (Squamata: Sauria: Sphaerodactylidae), from Central Iran Russ. J. Herpetol. 24 (4): 291-310 - get paper here
 
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