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Uroplatus fiera RATSOAVINA, RANJANAHARISOA, GLAW, RASELIMANANA, MIRALLES & VENCES, 2015

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymUroplatus fiera RATSOAVINA, RANJANAHARISOA, GLAW, RASELIMANANA, MIRALLES & VENCES 2015
Uroplatus ebenaui — RATSOAVINA et al. 2012
Uroplatus ebenaui — RATSOAVINA et al. 2013 
DistributionNE C Madagascar (Fierenana and Ambatovy regions)

Type locality: Marohonkona forest of the Fierenana region, 18°27' 40.1" S, 48° 27' 15.1" E, 1041 m elevation  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype. ZSM 213/2014 (field number FRC 619), adult male with everted hemipenes, collected on the night of 2 May 2013, by F. M. Ratsoavina, F. A. Ranjanaharisoa, and A. P. Raselimanana.
Paratypes. ZSM 212/2014 (FRC 618), adult male, with same collecting data as the holotype; ZSM 1126/2003 (FGMV 2002.3097), adult male, collected by local collectors in the Fierenana region (no precise locality) in February 2003; ZSM 211/2002 (MV 2001-1403), male, collected by local collectors in the Fierenana region (no precise locality) in December 2001; UADBA-R 70849 (FRC 650), adult male, and UADBA-R 70850 (FRC 651), adult female, collected by F. A. Ranjanaharisoa in 2012 at a site in the forest corridor between Fierenana and Ambatovy, 18° 47' 48.7'' S, 48° 22' 16.2'' E, 962 m above sea level. 
CommentDiagnosis. Uroplatus fiera sp. nov. is included in the Uroplatus ebenaui group of small-sized leaf-tailed geckos due to its triangular head with supraocular spines, laterally compressed body, and short tail. It differs from all members of the U. fimbriatus group (U. fimbriatus, U. giganteus, U. henkeli, U. sikorae and U. sameiti) and U. lineatus by its much smaller size (adult SVL 55.9–67.2 mm versus at least 85 mm), lack of lateral integumentary fringing on any part of the body, and lateral compression of the body (versus depressed body shape with lateral integumentary fringes), and a relatively much shorter tail. The evident triangular head, rather smooth skin and short tail distinguish U. fiera from U. alluaudi, U. guentheri, U. pietschmanni, and U. malahelo.
Within the U. ebenaui group, the new species differs from U. malama, U. phantasticus and U. finiavana by a shorter (adult TAL/SVL 0.28–0.34 versus 0.72 in U. malama, 0.62–0.76 in U. phantasticus, 0.42 in U. finiavana) and narrower tail (TAW/SVL 0.06–0.07 versus 0.24 in U. malama, 0.16–0.20 in U. phantasticus, and 0.14–0.16 in U. finiavana). It is further distinguished from U. malama,U. phantasticus and U. ebenaui by its unpigmented oral mucosa (versus blackish pigmented oral mucosa). Furthermore, U. fiera sp. nov. differs from U. ebenaui by having a greater number of lamellae under the third toe (7–8 versus 5–6), and apparently by larger body size (SVL 56–78 mm versus 50–63 mm). Additionally, U. fiera sp. nov. differs from all the other nominal species in the U. ebenaui group by its strong genetic divergence (p-distances of 16S rDNA>8.5%). 
EtymologyThe species name fiera is used as noun in apposition to the generic name. It was chosen because it alludes, on one hand, to an euphonious abbreviation of the species' type locality Fierenana, and on the other hand it corresponds to the Spanish noun fiera = beast, thus making allusion to the devil-like appearance of this species and other small Uroplatus in frontal view. 
References
  • Ratsoavina, F. M., N. R. Raminosoa, E. E. Louis Jr., A. P. Raselimanana, F. Glaw & M. Vences 2013. An overview of Madagascar’s leaf tailed geckos (genus Uroplatus): species boundaries, candidate species and review of geographical distribution based on molecular data. Salamandra 49 (3): 115-148 - get paper here
  • RATSOAVINA, FANOMEZANA MIHAJA; FIADANANTSOA ANDRIANJA RANJANAHARISOA, FRANK GLAW, ACHILLE P. RASELIMANANA, AURÉLIEN MIRALLES, MIGUEL VENCES 2015. A new leaf-tailed gecko of the Uroplatus ebenaui group (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Madagascar's central eastern rainforests Zootaxa 4006 (1): 143–160 - get paper here
  • Ratsoavina, Fanomezana Mihaja; Miguel Vences & Edward E. Louis Jr. 2012. Phylogeny and phylogeography of the Malagasy leaf-tailed geckos in the Uroplatus ebenaui group. African Journal of Herpetology 61 (2): 143-158 - get paper here
 
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