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Cyrtodactylus aaronbaueri »

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common Names 
DistributionIndia (Mizoram)

Type locality: Aizawl city in the Aizawl District of the state of Mizoram, India.  
TypesHolotype: MZMU2015, Adult male, from Durtlang, North (23.797266°N, 92.728791°E; elevation 1285 m asl.), Aizawl District, Mizoram state, northeast India, collected on 17 October 2020 by Lalengzuala Tochhawng and Lal Biakzuala.
Paratypes: Three adult males (MZMU2012, MZMU2021, MZMU2032), from Mizoram University Campus (23.737361°N, 92.667412°E; elevation 840 m asl.), Aizawl District, Mizoram state, northeast India, collected on 2November 2020 by Lal Muansanga and Ht Decemson; adult female (MZMU2067) and adult male (MZMU2020), from Tamdil National Wetland (23.738656°N, 92.951839°E; elevation 760 m asl.), Saitual district, Mizoram state, northeast India, collected on 20 November 2020 by Ht Decemson, H.T. Lalremsanga, Lal Muansanga and Lal Biakzuala; adult male (MZMU2014), from Zawngtahlipui stream, Sihphir (23.821281°N, 92.750986°E; elevation 840 m asl.), Aizawl district, Mizoram state, northeast India, collected on 12 September 2020 by Ht Decemson and Lalhunthara Chawngthu; two adult females (MZMU2018, MZMU2056), same collection details as holotype. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Cyrtodactylus aaronbaueri sp. nov. is a moderate-sized gecko (adult SVL 54.2–69.5 mm); 8–11 supralabials; 8–12 infralabials; dorsal tubercles are rounded, conical to weakly keeled and are in 22–28 longitudinal rows; 36–39 paravertebral tubercles; 35–40 mid-ventral scale rows; 7–8 precloacal pores in males; 14–19 subdigital lamellae under toe IV; no single row of transversely enlarged subcaudal scales; 9–11 dark brown blotches on the dorsum of the body often forming a reticulating pattern; original tail with 11–12 alternating dark and light bands. (Purkayastha et al. 2021).

Comparisons: Cyrtodactylus aaronbaueri sp. nov. is a species of the mountain clade within the south of Brahmaputra clade (see Agarwal et al. 2018). Based on ND2 gene sequence, Cyrtodactylus aaronbaueri sp. nov. showed a p-distance of just 0.016-0.018 to a sample from near Aizawl, Mizoram (KM255197, Agarwal et. al. 2014) and together is a sister taxa to C. montanus (p-distance: 0.100-0.105). Morphologically, Cyrtodactylus aaronbaueri sp. nov. can be differentiated from the following species by having a smaller maximum adult size, SVL 69.5, N=9 (versus C. kazirangaensis 80.0 mm, N=3; C. arunachalensis 81.7 mm, N=5;C. ayeyarwadyensis 78.0 mm, N=9; C. khasiensis 81.1 mm, N=7; C. martinstolli 82.0 mm, N=18; C. tamaiensis 90.0 mm, N=1; C. cayuensis 79.78 mm, N=18; C. urbanus 74.0 mm , N=7; C. jaintiaensis 96.2 mm, N=3; C. montanus 78.2 mm, N=5; C. markuscombaii 72.0 mm, N=2); from C. himalayicus by having a larger maximum adult size, SVL 69.5 mm, N=9 (versus 64.5 mm, N=2); from the following species by the presence of non-overlapping PcP number, 7–8, N=9 (versus 10–28 PcP/ PcFP, N=25, in C. ayeyarwadyensis; 10–11 PcP, N=3, in C. kazirangaensis; 10–12 PcP, N=7, in C. khasiensis; 14 PcP, N=2 , in C. septentrionalis; 10 PcP, N=2 , in C. himalayicus; 5+16 PcP, N=1, in C. mandalayensis; 8 PcP, N=18, in C. martinstolli; 40 PcFP, N=1, in C. tamaiensis; 9–12 PcP, N=7, in C. urbanus; 26–39 PcFP, N=8, in C. guwahatiensis; 8–10 PcP, N=5, in C. montanus; 29–37 PcFP, N=11 , in C. tripuraensis; 6–10 PcFP, N=5 in C. arunachalensis); from the following species by having a higher number of mid-ventral scale rows, 35–40, N=9 (versus 30–34, N=8, in C. guwahatiensis; 30–34, N=7 in C. urbanus; 34–35, N=2, in C. nagalandensis; 28–34, N=18, in C. cayuensis); from the following species by having a larger number of dorsal tubercle rows, 22–28, N=9 (versus 19–21 rows, N=11 , in C. tripuraensis; 21 rows, N=1, in C. tamaiensis; 19–20 rows, N=3, in C. jaintiaensis; 16–18 rows, N=2, in C. nagalandensis; 19–21 rows, N=2 ,in C. himalayicus; 14–15 rows, N=2, in C. markuscombaii; 18 rows, N=1, in C. mandalayensis); from C. septentrionalis by having a higher number of dark blotches on the dorsum, 9–11, N=9 (versus 6–9, N=2 ); from the following species by the absence of enlarged plate like subcaudals, N=9 (versus presence of enlarged subcaudals in C. khasiensis, N=7; C. martinstolli , N=18 and C. cayuensis, N=18 ).

Color in life: Dorsum of the head, body and limbs are dark brown; head is primarily dark brown in colour intermixed with a few whitish spots towards the posterior end of the head; a small but distinct white streak is present on the posterior side of both the orbits; nape has a few cream coloured spots on dark brown coloured blotches; dorsum of the trunk exhibits a total of ca. 11 paired dark brown blotches forming a crisscross pattern; middorsal stripe absent. The tail is complete and is having nine distinct dark-brown bands separated by transverse greyish bands. The thigh, hind limbs and forelimbs are primarily dark brown with indistinct cream coloured blotches. Ventral region is off white in colour (Purkayastha et al. 2021).

For abbreviations see Darko et al. 2022. 
EtymologyThe specific epithet aaronbaueri is an eponym honouring Dr. Aaron Bauer for his unparalleled contribution to the field of gekkotan taxonomy. The name is masculine and formed in the genitive case. 
  • Darko, Y.A.; Voss, O. & Uetz, P. 2022. A dictionary of abbreviations used in reptile descriptions. Zootaxa 5219 (5): 421–432 - get paper here
  • PURKAYASTHA, J., LALREMSANGA, H. T., BOHRA, S. C., BIAKZUALA, L., DECEMSON, H., MUANSANGA, L., VABEIRYUREILAI,M., Chauhan,S & RATHEE, Y. S. 2021. Four new Bent-toed geckos (Cyrtodactylus Gray: Squamata: Gekkonidae) from northeast India. Zootaxa 4980 (3): 451-489 - get paper here
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