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Afroedura donveae BRANCH, SCHMITZ, LOBÓN-ROVIRA, BAPTISTA, ANTÓNIO & CONRADIE, 2021

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Iona Flat Gecko 
SynonymAfroedura donveae BRANCH, SCHMITZ, LOBÓN-ROVIRA, BAPTISTA, ANTÓNIO & CONRADIE 2021: 72
Afroedura bogerti – HAACKE 2008:6
Afroedura bogerti – HUNTLEY 2009:84
Afroedura bogerti – Rösler 2000:57
Afroedura bogerti – BARTS & HAACKE 2010:39
Afroedura bogerti – JACOBSEN et al. 2014:456 & 468 (part)
Afroedura bogerti – BRANCH et al. 2017b:157 (part)
Afroedura bogerti – MARQUES et al. 2018: 177 (part)
Afroedura bogerti – BRANCH et al. 2019a: 287 (part)
Afroedura cf. bogerti – AGARWAL et al. 2017:649
Afroedura bogerti (clade 1) – BRANCH et al. 2017a:146. 
DistributionAngola (SW Namibe province)

Type locality: Omauha Lodge, 15 km south of Tambor (-16.20061, 12.40183, 341 m a.s.l.), Namibe Province, Angola  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype. PEM R17937, adult female, collected by William R. Branch, Werner Conradie, Krystal Tolley and John Measey on 18 January 2009.
Paratype. PEM R17936, collected from Omauha Lodge, 15 km South Tambor (-16.20061, 12.40183, 341 m a.s.l), Namibe Province, Angola, by William R. Branch, Werner Conradie, Krystal Tolley and John Measey on 18 January 2009. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A member of the greater ‘transvaalica’ group as it possesses two pairs of enlarged scansors per digit and a strongly verticillate and flattened tail (Jacobsen et al. 2014). Part of the A. bogerti-group which differs from other members of the ‘transvaalica’ group by having less than 78 mid-body scale rows (vs. 97–102 in A. gorongosa, 113–120 in A. loveridgei, 102–119 in A. transvaalica); by the rostral bordering the nostril (nostril excluded from rostral in A. loveridgei); by the anterior nasals always in contact (separated by 1–3 granules in A. gorongosa; always in broad contact in A. loveridgei; usually in broad contact in A. transvaalica ~ 3–18%); and in having 11–14 scales between the anterior borders of the eyes (19–22 in A. gorongosa; 15–19 in A. loveridgei; 15–20 in A. transvaalica) (comparative data fide Branch et al. 2017a).
Afroedura donveae sp. nov. differs from other members of the A. bogerti-group by a combination of the following characters (see Tables 3, 4): 64–78 (mean 72.8) mid-body scale rows (69–77 [mean 73.5] in A. bogerti, 76–88 [mean 79.3] in A. wulfhaackei sp. nov., 73–86 [mean 80.3] in A. vazpintorum sp. nov., 73–78 [mean 74.8] in A. praedicta sp. nov.); by the anterior nasals always in contact (similar to A. vazpintorum and A. praedicta sp. nov.; in contact in ~ 33% of A. bogerti; in contact in ~ 68% of A. wulfhaackei sp. nov.); in each verticil having 5–6 (mean 5.5) ventral and 6–7 (mean 6.6) dorsal rows of scales (5–6 [mean 5.0] and 6–7 [mean 6.1] to A. vazpintorum sp. nov.; 4 and 5 in A. bogerti and A. praedicta sp. nov., 4–5 [mean 4.0] and 5–6 [mean 5.1] in A. wulfhaackei sp. nov.); ventral surfaces immaculate (similar to A. vazpintorum sp. nov.; greyish with black spots in A. bogerti, A. wulfhaackei sp. nov. and A. praedicta sp. nov.); larger average adult size 57.6 mm SVL (versus 50.0 mm in A. bogerti, 51.7 mm in A. wulfhaackei sp. nov., 51.3 mm in A. vazpintorum sp. nov.; 49.9 mm A. praedicta sp. nov.). Afroedura donveae sp. nov. differs more specifically from its sister lowland species A. vazpintorum sp. nov. in being larger (57.6 mm versus 51.3 mm average SVL) and having lower mid-body scale counts (64–78 [mean 72.8] versus 73–86 [mean 80.3]), higher numbers of precloacal pores (11–12 [mean 11.5] versus 9–11 [mean 10.2]), bolder colouration and distinct tail banding (versus duller colouration and less distinct tail banding) (Branch et al. 2021).

Colouration. In life (holotype PEM R17937, Fig. 5D): Yellowish above, brighter anteriorly, with nine irregularly-shaped darker brown to black crossbars from the occiput to the sacrum, each separated by thinner (3–4 scales deep), light yellow crossbars; head with dark brownblack blotches on the crown with intervening pale yellow colouration; dark brown bar from nostril across the upper margins of the ear opening, connecting with dark brown lateral bar on the neck; a thin pale yellow canthal stripe extends on both sides from the nasal region to anterior margins of eye, continuing posteriorly from the eye on to the nape; upper and lower labials light grey with diffuse brown edges; lateral sides of the body with a mix of dark grey and yellow blotches; limbs yellowish above with scattered darker grey markings; tail (original) with irregular dark brown bars, separated by yellow bars anteriorly, posteriorly with black and white bars; iris dark black with irregular golden spots, a black, narrow, elliptical, crenulate-edged pupil with black reticulation; ventrum uniform beige with scattered brown specks on lateral edges only; ventrally, limbs with scattered brown spots. In preservative (holotype PEM R17937, Fig. 9): dorsum with nine irregularly spaced dark brown crossbars from the occiput to the sacrum with beige intervening blotches; dorsally, arms and legs darkly barred; tail with nine dark brown bars, bolder towards the tip; dorsally, head with mottled dark brown scales; a light beige canthal stripe from nostril to anterior corner of eyes, continuing from the posterior part of the eye to above the ear opening; dark brown bar running from the nasals above the ear opening to the neck; light beige stripe (one-scale-wide) from above the supralabials to the ear opening (two-scales-wide); supralabials ventrally dark brown-edged; infralabials with scattered dark brown markings dorsally; ventrum is mostly immaculate, with dark brown spots ventrally on the arms and legs; ventrally, tail with nine dark brown bars, bolder posteriorly. Variation. Similar colouration and patterning as to the holotype. Dorsal crossbars are often fused to form 2–3 dark brown, X-shaped crossbars. Original tails with 6–7 broad, dark brown to black bars, separated by light beige to white bars; some specimens with fine onescale-wide black bar separating the lighter bars. Regenerated tails with fine dark brown mottling. Juveniles with more sharply-defined patterns (Branch et al. 2021). 
CommentDistribution: see map in Branch et al. 2021: 57 (Fig. 1). 
EtymologyThis gecko is named after Donvé Branch, WRB’s wife, with the following personal quote: “This, the most beautiful of all the Angolan flat geckos, is named for my wife, Donvé Branch (‘Dove’) who bore the long periods I was away on fieldwork, and to whose nest I returned, and surrounded me with love until the end”. The name is constructed in the feminine singular genitive. 
References
  • Branch WR, Schmitz A, Lobón-Rovira J, Baptista NL, António T, Conradie W 2021. Rock island melody: A revision of the Afroedura bogerti Loveridge, 1944 group, with descriptions of four new endemic species from Angola. Zoosystematics and Evolution 97(1): 55-82 - get paper here
 
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