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Cyrtodactylus culaochamensis TRI, GRISMER, THAI & WOOD, 2020

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Cù Lao Chàm Bent–toed Gecko
Vietnamese: Thằn lằn chân ngón Cù Lao Chàm 
SynonymCyrtodactylus culaochamensis TRI, GRISMER, THAI & WOOD 2020 
DistributionVietnam (Quang Nam)

Type locality: surface of a large rock along a small stream in Hon LaoIsland, Cu LaoCham Biosphere Reserve, Tân Hiệp Commune, Hoi An City, Quang Nam Province, Central Vietnam (around of 15° 57’N, 108° 30’E) at 50 m above sea level  
TypesHolotype. ITBCZ 2494, adult male collected by Ngo Van Tri (N.V.T) at 20:30 on 15 February 2014.
Paratypes. ITBCZ 2495, 2497–98, collection data as the holotype. Paratype ITBCZ 2496 was collected by Phạm HồTnhgái (P.H.T.) at the same locality but on 17 February 2014. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Cyrtodactylus culaochamensis sp. nov. differs from all other congeners by the following combination of characters: maximum SVL 79.8 mm (n=5); original tail length (TL/SVL:1.14–1.31); dark spots and blotches on head edged in lighter coloration; nuchal loop usually fragmented; five or six irregularly shaped, dark, broad, broken dorsal bands; original tail bearing 10–13 dark-brown alternating rings; 2–5 intersupranasals; 11–13 supralabials; nine or 10 infralabials; seven or eight precloacal pores in males; no precloacal pores in females; no enlarged scales beneath thighs; 19–21 interorbitals; 28–32 scales between eyeball and nostril; 45–50 rows of ventral scales; 20–22 irregular, longitudinal rows of smooth and weakly keeled midbody tubercles; 27–32 paravertebral tubercles between limb insertions; 13–15 subdigital lamellae on first toe; 20–23 subdigital lamellae on fourth toe; and slightly enlarged subcaudal scales.

Coloration in life (Fig. 2). Top of head brown with dark blotches or spots edged in lighter coloration; chestnut iris with crenelated vertical pupil, eye rings yellowish; nuchal loop fragmented; two irregularly shaped, dark bands anterior to forelimb insertions that grade into four broken bands posteriorly that resemble transversely arranged, squarish blotches; small dark blotches scattered on flanks; dorsal surface of limbs brown, bearing irregularly shaped darker bands; all dark markings on body and limbs are edged with light-colored tubercles; original tail bearing 10 dark and light-brown alternating rings. Ventral surface of body pinkish bearing scattered yellowish spots.

Comparisons. Cyrtodactylus culaochamensis sp. nov. differs from the other members in its clade (Fig. 1) as outlined below. From Cyrtodactylus culaochamensis sp. nov. differs from C. badenensis Sang, Orlov, & Darevsky, C. condorensis (Smith), C. leegrismeri Chan & Norhayati, C. eisenmanae Ngo, and C. grismeri Ngo by the absence as opposed to the presence of enlarged femoral scales. It differs from C. irregularis (Smith) by having 20–20 longitudinal rows of body tubercles as opposed to 17. It differs from C. ynagbayensis Ngo & Chanby having a smaller maximum SVL of 79.8 mm versus 109.1 mm. longitudinal rows of body tubercles as opposed to 17. Cyrtodactylus culaochamensis sp. nov. differs from C. dati Ngo by having seven or eight precloacal pores as opposed to five or six and no femoral prores as opposed to six or seven. Cyrtodactylus culaochamensis sp. nov. is most closely related to C. pseudoquadrivirgatus Rösler, Nguyen, Vu, Ngo & Ziegler from which it differs by having all the subcaudals being only slightly enlarged at best (Fig. 4A) versus having two medial rows of distinctly enlarged subcaudals (Rösler et al. 2008; Fig. 2D). These two species differ notably by having an uncorrected pairwise sequence divergence of 7.2%. 
CommentHabitat: All specimens were collected at night on rock outcrops composed of large granitic boulders along a small, permanently flowing stream. Other specimens were observed on tree branches and dry tree roots beneath the canopy, 0.3 m–1.5 m above forest floor during the rainy season. 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is derived from the name of Cu Lao Cham Mountain in Cu Lao Cham Biosphere Reserve. 
  • Nguyen AT, Duong TV, Grismer LL, Poyarkov NA 2021. A new granite cave-dwelling Bent-toed Gecko from Vietnam of the Cyrtodactylus irregularis group (Squamata; Gekkonidae) and a discussion on cave ecomorphology. Vertebrate Zoology, 71: 155-174 - get paper here
  • TRI, NGO VAN; L. LEE GRISMER, PHAM HONG THAI & P.L. WOOD JR 2020. A new endemic insular Bent-toed Gecko (Squamata: Gekkonidae: Cyrtodctylus) from Quang Nam Province, Central Vietnam. Zootaxa 4766 (2): 389–400 - get paper here
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