Afroedura praedicta BRANCH, SCHMITZ, LOBÓN-ROVIRA, BAPTISTA, ANTÓNIO & CONRADIE, 2021
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Afroedura praedicta?
|Higher Taxa||Gekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)|
|Common Names||E: Serra da Neve Flat Gecko|
|Synonym||Afroedura praedicta BRANCH, SCHMITZ, LOBÓN-ROVIRA, BAPTISTA, ANTÓNIO & CONRADIE 2021: 69|
|Distribution||Angola (N Namibe Province)|
Type locality: Serra da Neve (-13.77354, 13.24825, 1944 m a.s.l.), Namibe Province, Angola
|Types||Holotype. NB 854, adult male, collected by Pedro Vaz Pinto, Ninda L. Baptista and Telmo António on 30 November 2017.|
Paratypes. ZMB 91607 (NB 853), NB 855, adult males, collected from Serra da Neve (-13.77354, 13.24825, 1944 m a.s.l.), Namibe Province, Angola, by Pedro Vaz Pinto, Ninda L. Baptista and Telmo António on 30 November 2017. ZMB 91608 (NB 1053), NB 1054, adult females, collected from Serra da Neve (-13.77354, 13.24825, 1944 m a.s.l.), Namibe Province, Angola, by Pedro Vaz Pinto, Ninda L. Baptista and Telmo António on 30 November 2017. NB 1055, juvenile, collected from Serra da Neve (-13.77354, 13.24825, 1944 m a.s.l.), Namibe Province, Angola, by Pedro Vaz Pinto, Ninda L. Baptista and Telmo António on 30 November 2017.
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis. 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 being 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 12–15 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 praedicta sp. nov. differs from other members of the A. bogerti-group by a combination of the following characters (see Tables 3 and 4): 73–78 (mean 74.4 mid-body scale rows (69–77 [mean 73.5] in A. bogerti, 76–88 [mean 79.3] in A. wulfhaackei sp. nov., 64–78 [mean 72.8] in A. donveae sp. nov., 73–86 [mean 80.3] in A. vazpintorum sp. nov.); by the anterior nasals always being in contact (similar to A. donveae sp. nov. and A. vazpintorum sp. nov.; ~ 33% of the time in contact in A. bogerti; ~ 68% of the time in contact in A. wulfhaackei sp. nov.); each verticil having 4 ventral and 5 dorsal rows of scales (similar to the 4 and 5 in A. bogerti, 4–5 [mean 4.0] and 5–6 [mean 5.1] in A. wulfhaackei sp. nov.; but lower than the 5–6 (mean 5.5) ventral and 6–7 (mean 6.6) in A. donveae sp. nov. and 5–6 (mean 5.0) and 6–7 (mean 6.1) in A. vazpintorum sp. nov.); ventral surfaces grey with black specks on scales (similar to A. bogerti and A. wulfhaackei sp. nov.; immaculate in A. donveae sp. nov. and A. vazpintorum sp. nov.). Afroedura praedicta sp. nov. also differs from its sister highland species A. bogerti sp. nov. and A. wulfhaackei sp. nov. in that the nasals are always in direct contact (versus mostly separated) (Branch et al. 2021).
Colouration. In life (holotype NB 854, Fig. 5C). Dark grey above with random yellow-olive scattered scales, with six irregularly-spaced, darker grey to black W-shaped crossbars, first one broken up into three blotches, each crossbar anteriorly bordered by a row of light white to yellow scales; head mostly grey with scattered darker grey and yellow scales, dark black bar from nostril to posterior of eye, continuing anteriorly of the eye to ear opening; no thin pale white canthal stripe; upper and lower labials dark grey with diffuse lighter grey edges; lateral sides of the body with a mix of dark grey and yellow blotches; limbs darker grey above with scattered yellow scales; tail (regenerated) with dark black blotches and irregular white to light grey mottling; iris dark brown to golden with a narrow black elliptic pupil with crenulated edge and black reticulation; ventre uniform greyish with scattered black specks; ventral surface of limbs with scattered black specks, more prominent than on the ventrum. In preservative (holotype NB 854, Fig. 8): dorsum with five distinct, irregularly-spaced, dark grey W-shaped crossbars anteriorly, with beige intervening blotches, the posteriorly crossbar on the nape are broken up dark grey blotches; dorsally, the arms and legs are beige with irregular darker grey blotches; tail (regenerated part) with light grey to white mottling on darker grey to black background; dorsally, the head has mottled dark brown scales, dark grey bar running from the nasals through eye to anterior of the ear opening; supralabials dark brownedged ventrally; infralabials scattered with dark brown markings dorsally; ventrum uniform greyish with scattered black specks; ventrally, limbs with scattered black specks, more prominent than on the ventrum. Variation: Similar colouration and patterning as the holotype (preserved) and paratype (life). Dorsal dark W-shaped crossbars number 5–6. Regenerated tails with fine dark brown to black mottling. Juveniles with more sharply-defined pattern and darker colouration (Branch et al. 2021).
|Comment||Distribution: see map in Branch et al. 2021: 57 (Fig. 1).|
|Etymology||The specific epithet reflects the earlier pre- diction by WRB of the potential existence of an isolated population of Afroedura at Serra da Neve. We use the specific epithet “praedicta”, the Latin participle meaning predicted or anticipated, formed in the feminine genitive to match the gender of Afroedura.|