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IUCN Red List - Uroplatus finiavana - Near Threatened, NT

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos) 
Common Names 
DistributionN Madagascar (Montagne d’Ambre massif)

Type locality: Montagne d'Ambre, 700–1000 m elevation. Map legend:
TDWG region - Region according to the TDWG standard, not a precise distribution map.

NOTE: TDWG regions are generated automatically from the text in the distribution field and not in every cases it works well. We are working on it.
TypesHolotype: ZSM 328/2004 (FGZC 625, adult male, hemipenes partly everted) collected on 19–23 February 2004 by F. Glaw, M. Puente, R.D. Randrianiaina & A. Razafimanantsoa.
Paratypes. ZSM 1132/2003 (FG/MV 2002-2387, adult male); ZSM 1133/2003 (FG/MV 2002-2388, adult male); ZSM 1134/2003 (FG/MV 2002-2390, adult female); and ZSM 1135/2003 (FG/MV 2002-3083, adult male), all collected at Montagne d'Ambre, on 17–20 February 2003 by F. Glaw, R. D. Randrianiaina & A. Razafimanant- soa. 
CommentUroplatus finiavana is morphologically similar to the sympatric U. ebenaui but differs in multiple character state expressions, among which are a longer tail and an unpigmentated oral mucosa. It also can be differentiated from U. ebenaui and all other Uroplatus spe- cies based on a high level of divergence in the mitochondrial ND4 gene and the nuclear C-mos gene, and no instances of haplotype sharing exist in these genes among the analysed species. The new species is relatively abundant at Montagne d'Ambre National Park where at lower elevations (ca. 700 m) it occurs together with U. ebenaui, without any signal of genetic admixture.

Diagnosis. Uroplatus finiavana sp. nov. differs from all other taxa of the U. fimbriatus species group (U. fim- briatus, U. giganteus, U. henkeli, U. sikorae and U. sameiti) and U. lineatus by its smaller size (adult SVL 52–65 mm versus at least 85 mm) and lack of lateral membranous fringes on any part of the body and limbs; and from Uroplatus alluaudi, U. guentheri, U. pietschmanni, and U. malahelo by its smaller size (adult SVL 52–65 mm ver- sus 69–81 mm), laterally compressed body with a vertebral keel, and more triangular head.
The new species is most similar to the other species of the Uroplatus ebenaui group (U. ebenaui, U. phantasticus and U. malama). Uroplatus finiavana differs from U. malama by its smaller body size (SVL 52–65 mm versus 71–77 mm); shorter (TaL/SVL 0.42–0.65 versus 0.61–0.72) and narrower tail (TaW/SVL 0.05–0.14 versus 0.18–0.24), an unpigmented oral mucosa (versus blackish oral mucosa), and the presence of spines on the body, head, limbs and tail base (versus their absence). Uroplatus finiavana differs from U. ebenaui by its slightly larger body size (SVL 52–65 mm, mean 58.2 mm versus 45–63 mm, mean 54.3 mm), longer tail (TaL/SVL 0.42–0.65 versus 0.22–0.40), longer forelimb (ForL/SVL mean 0.42 versus 0.38), posteriorly curved interorbital ridge (versus almost straight), the median posterior exten- sion of the ridge (1.6–3.0 mm versus 0.0–1.1 mm), more extended neck triangle (neck-triangle length 7.3–14.2 mm versus 1.7–3.4 mm), and by its non-pigmented oral mucosa (versus blackish oral mucosa). Uroplatus finiavana differs from U. phantasticus in its slightly smaller body size (SVL 52–65 mm, mean 58.2 mm versus 52–76 mm, mean 60.3 mm), shorter (TaL/SVL 0.42–0.65 versus 0.62–0.76) and narrower tail (TaW/ SVL 0.05–0.14 versus 0.16–0.20), and its unpigmented oral mucosa (versus blackish oral mucosa). In addition, U. finiavana differs from all other species of the Uroplatus ebenaui group (see Figures 6 and 7) and from all other species of Uroplatus (Greenbaum et al. 2007; Raxworthy et al. 2008) by its substantial degree of genetic differentiation. 
EtymologyThe specific name is derived from the Malagasy word "finiavana" meaning initiative. We refer to the fact that we took the initiative to name the species following years of this taxon having been recognized as likely being distinct. The name is used as a noun in apposition. 
  • Gehring, P.S. 2013. Seelenräuber mit Haftlamellen - Madagassische Plattschwanzgeckos der Gattung Uroplatus. Draco 13 (52): 4-17 - get paper here
  • Gehring, P.S. & Schönecker, P. 2013. Auf der Suche nach Plattschwanzgeckos in Madagaskar. Draco 13 (52): 18-33 - get paper here
  • Kwet, Axel 2012. Liste der im Jahr 2011 neu beschriebenen Reptilien. Terraria-Elaphe 2012 (3): 46-57 - get paper here
  • 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; EDWARD E. LOUIS JR., ANGELICA CROTTINI, ROGER-DANIEL RANDRIANIAINA, FRANK GLAW & MIGUEL VENCES 2011. A new leaf tailed gecko species from northern Madagascar with a preliminary assessment of molecular and morphological variability in the Uroplatus ebenaui group. Zootaxa 3022: 39–57 - 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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