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Cyrtodactylus equestris OLIVER, RICHARDS, MUMPUNI & RÖSLER, 2016

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common Names 
SynonymCyrtodactylus equestris OLIVER, RICHARDS, MUMPUNI & RÖSLER 2016 
DistributionPapua New Guinea (Sandaun Province)

Type locality: Papua New Guinea, Sandaun Province, Torricelli Mountains, Mt. Sumbau (3°23'S, 142°31'E, between 1000–1200 m elevation)  
TypesHolotype: AMS R135520 adult male with everted left hemipenis and completely re- grown tail, collected by P. German, 10 March 1990, with frozen tissue at the South Australian Museum (ABTC50282). Paratypes (n = 6). Papua New Guinea: AMS R119547 Sandaun Province, Torri- celli Mtns, Wigote (3°25'S, 142°09'E), collected by T. Flannery, 20 July 1985; BPBM 23314–16 Sandaun Province, Torricelli Mountains, between 2.9–3.2 km east of Mt Sapau summit (3°23'27.0636"S, 142°31'47.028"E, 550–700 m a.s.l.), collected by F. Kraus between 23–25 May 2005. Indonesia: MZB lace 5435–6 Papua Province, Foja Mountains, camp above Marina Valen Village (02°22.230'S, 138°12.753'E; 500 m a.s.l.), collected by S. Richards and B. Tjaturadi between 17–22 July 2004. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A large Cyrtodactylus (SVL to 139 mm), with a moderately broad head (HW/SVL 0.19–0.22), enlarged tubercles on the infra-angular region and often ex- tending across the posterior throat, mid-dorsal tubercles in 19 to 25 rows at midpoint of body, subcaudal scales not transversely widened, high number of mid-body ventral scale rows (42–59), femoral pores in two separated rows of 9–19, usually with a further medial precloacal row of 6–13 pores (up to 39 pores in total), venter relatively plain brown with at most scattered darker brown maculations, and dorsum with three dis- tinct to indistinct medium-brown transverse bands on relatively plain light brownish- grey background.

Comparisons. Cyrtodactylus equestris sp. n. can be distinguished from most other Cyrtodactylus by its large size (males to 129 mm, females to 139 mm), including all spe- cies from west of Lydekker’s Line (maximum size <130 mm). It can be differentiated from the other large Papuan taxa as follows. Cyrtodactylus equestris sp. n. differs from Cyrtodactylus loriae and Cyrtodactylus serratus in having enlarged tubercles on the infra-angular region and often extending across the throat (vs. absent), a lower number of pores (up to 39 vs. up to 81) in a discontinuous series (vs. continuous), and in lacking enlarged tubercles extending the length of the tail (vs. C. serratus only). Cyrtodactylus equestris sp. n. differs from members of the C. lousiadensis group (C. epiroticus, C. klugei, C. lousiadensis, C. murua, C. robustus, C. salomonensis and C. tripartitus) in its smaller subcaudal scales, in having tubercles on the infra-angular region and throat, and in its more poorly defined light-brown bands or blotches on the dorsum (vs. strongly defined and unbroken transverse brown banding). Cyrtodactylus equestris sp. n. differs from C. zugi in its smaller size (139 vs. 159 mm SVL), more extensive tuberculation that usually extends across the throat (vs. on infra-angular region only), and dorsal colour pattern on torso consisting of light-brown transverse bands on a plain greyish- brown background (vs. alternating dark brown blotches on a mottled dark-grey and off-white background). Cyrtodactylus equestris sp. n. differs from C. irianjayaensis by its smaller size (139 vs. 163 mm SVL), the presence of enlarged tubercules usually extend- ing across the throat (vs. infra-angular region only) and its higher number of femoral and precloacal pores (24–39 vs. 7–16). Cyrtodactylus equestris sp. n. differs from other populations of Cyrtodactylus here referred to C. novaeguineae (both syntypes and geno- typed material) in its wider head (HW/SVL 0.19–0.23 vs. 0.18–0.19), larger size (SVL 139.0 vs. 129.0) and tripartite femoral and precloacal pore arrangement (vs. continuous or at most one poreless intervening scales). 
CommentDistribution: see map in Oliver et al. 2016: 120. 
EtymologyEquestris latin for knight, in reference to the relative size of this species – large for the genus, but still subordinate to some of its near relatives. 
  • Grismer, L. L., Wood, P. L., Poyarkov, N. A., Le, M. D., Kraus, F., Agarwal, I., ... & Grismer, J. L. 2021. Phylogenetic partitioning of the third-largest vertebrate genus in the world, Cyrtodactylus Gray, 1827 (Reptilia; Squamata; Gekkonidae) and its relevance to taxonomy and conservation. Vertebrate Zoology 71: 101–154 - get paper here
  • Kwet, Axel 2017. Neue Arten: Liste der im Jahr 2016 neu beschriebenen Reptilien. Terraria-Elaphe 2017 (3): 54-70 - get paper here
  • Oliver PM, Richards SJ, Mumpuni, Rösler H 2016. The Knight and the King: two new species of giant bent- toed gecko (Cyrtodactylus, Gekkonidae, Squamata) from northern New Guinea, with comments. ZooKeys 562: 105–130, doi: 10.3897/zookeys.562.6052 - get paper here
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