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Cyrtodactylus karsticolus PURKAYASTHA, LALREMSANGA, BOHRA, BIAKZUALA, DECEMSON, MUANSANGA, VABEIRYUREILAI & RATHEE, 2021

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymCyrtodactylus karsticola PURKAYASTHA, LALREMSANGA, BOHRA, BIAKZUALA, DECEMSON, MUANSANGA, VABEIRYUREILAI & RATHEE 2021 
DistributionIndia (Meghalaya)

Type locality: Siju village in the South Garo Hills District of the state of Meghalaya, India  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: Adult male ([MZMU2155]; Figs. 3), from nearby a dirt road connecting National Highway 217 with the west bank of the Simsang River (25.355763°N, 90.690746°E; elevation 100 m a.s.l.), outskirts of Siju village, South Garo Hills District, Meghalaya state, northeast India, collected on 21 November 2020 by Yashpal Singh Rathee, Jayaditya Purkayastha, Sanath C. Bohra and Suraj Chauhan.
Paratypes: Two adult males (MZMU2154, MZMU2156), one adult female (MZMU2153) same collection details as holotype

 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Cyrtodactylus karsticola sp. nov. is a moderate-sized gecko (adult SVL 63.7–70.7 mm); 10–11 supralabials; 9–10 infralabials; dorsal tubercles are rounded, bluntly conical and feebly keeled throughout, and are in 21–24 longitudinal rows; 34–39 paravertebral tubercles between the level of the axilla and the level of the groin;35–39 mid-ventral scale rows; 34–38 precloacofemoral pores in males; scales posteriorly bordering the pore-bearing scale series are up to twice the size of pore-bearing scales; 13 pit bearing scales in precloacal series in females; 15–18 subdigital lamellae under IV toe; no single row of transversely enlarged subcaudal scales; dorsal markings are dark brown, irregular and distinct, somewhat parallel to each other and bordered by light body bands; tail with alternating dark and light bands. (Purkayastha et al. 2021).

Comparisons: Cyrtodactylus karsticola sp. nov. is a member of khasiensis group in the Indo-Burman clade (Fig. 2), differing from other members of the clade by an uncorrected p-distance of 6.5–22.6% for the ND2 gene (Table 2). Cyrtodactylus karsticola sp. nov. differs from the following species by having a smaller maximum adult size, SVL 70.7 mm, N=4 (versus C. kazirangaensis 80.0 mm, N=3; C. ayeyarwadyensis 78.0 mm, N=25; C. arunachalensis 81.7 mm, N=5; C. jaintiaensis 96.2 mm, N=3; C. montanus 78.2 mm ,N= 5; C. khasiensis 81.1 mm, N=7; C. martinstolli 82.0 mm, N= 18; C. tamaiensis 90.0 mm, N=1; C. cayuensis 79.7 mm, N=18; C. urbanus 74.0 mm, N=7); from the following species by having a larger maximum adult size, SVL 70.7 mm, N=4 (versus 64.5 mm, N=2 in C. himalayicus; 65.2 mm, N=2 , in C. septentrionalis); from the following species by having a non-overlapping PcFP number, 34 –38 (versus 10–28 PcP/PcFP, N=25, in C. ayeyarwadyensis; 8–10 PcP, N=5, in C. montanus; 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+1PcP, N=1, in C. mandalayensis; 7 PcP, N=1, in C. markuscombaii; 0–8 PcP, N=18, in C.martinstolli; 40 PcFP, N=1, in C. tamaiensis; 6–9 PcP, N=18, in C. cayuensis; 9–12 PcP, N=7 , in C. urbanus; 6–10 PcP, N=5 in C. arunachalensis); from C. arunachalensis by having a lower number of dorsal tubercle rows, DTR 21–24, N=4 (versus 24–26, N=5); from C. jaintiaensis by having a higher number of paravertebral tubercles, PVT 34–39, N= 4 (versus 30–34, N= 3); from the following species by having 13 pitted precloacal scales in females , N=4 (vs. 19–29 pitted scales, N=11 in C .tripuraensis; six depressions, N=2, in C. nagalandensis); from the followingspecies by having a higher number of MVSR 35–39, N=4 (versus 30–35, N=8 in C. guwahatiensis; 34–35, N=2 in C. nagalendensis; 30–34, N=7, in C. urbanus); from C. kazirangaensis by having slightly lower number of supralabials, 10–11, N=4 (vs. 11–12, N=3); from the following species by having a higher number of DTR 21–24, N=4 (versus 18, N=1, in C. mandalayensis; 14–15, N=2 in C. markuscombaii; 19–21, N=11 in C. tripuraensis ); from the following species by the absence of enlarged plate like subcaudals, N=4 (versus present in C. khasiensis, N=7; C. martinstolli, N=18 and C. cayuensis, N=18); from C. himalayicus by scales posteriorly bordering the pore-bearing scale series are up to ca. 2x enlarged relative to pore-bearing scales N=4 (versus ca. 3x larger than pore-bearing scales, N=2, in C. himalayicus). (Purkayastha et al. 2021).

Color in life: Dorsum of the head, body and limbs are dark brown; head is primarily dark brown in colour with a few yellowish patches towards the posterior end of the head; a small but distinct white streak is present on the posterior end of both orbits; nape has a few cream coloured spots on brown ground coloured blotches. The dorsal markings consist of a pair of elongated dark brown blotches anteriorly, which break up posteriorly into six parallel pairs of smaller blotches. The tail was mostly complete with regenerate tip, having 11 distinct transverse greyish-brown bands separated by dark brown bands. The hind limbs and forelimbs are primarily brown with indistinct cream coloured blotches or crossbars. Ventral region is off white in colour. (Purkayastha et al. 2021).

 
Comment 
EtymologyThe specific epithet karsticola, is derived from the German noun “Karst” referring to a limestone landscape, and Latin suffix -cola meaning inhabitant of/dwelling in, with reference to the limestone cave habitat ofthe species. 
References
  • 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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