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Cyrtodactylus minor OLIVER & RICHARDS, 2012

IUCN Red List - Cyrtodactylus minor - Data Deficient, DD

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common Names 
SynonymCyrtodactylus minor OLIVER & RICHARDS 2012 
DistributionPapua New Guinea (Morobe)

Type locality: Tarona Camp, 0.5 km south of Yuwong Village (5°51.348’S, 146°43.996’E; ~220 m elevation), in the YUS Tree Kangaroo Conservation Project area, Huon Peninsula, Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea  
TypesHolotype: SAMA R65954, adult male, collected by S. Richards on 12 January 2003, field number SJR 3118. Paratype: SAMA R65953, adult female from same locality and collector, 11 January 2003, field number SJR 3117. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis and Comparisons.—Cyrtodactylus minor can be distin- guished easily from all other Melanesian and Wallacean Cyrtodactylus by the following unique combination of character states: small size (SVL of two adult specimens 61.6 and 71.3 mm); relatively slender body with robust head (HW/SVL 0.21); subcaudal scales not transversely enlarged, only slightly wider than dorsal caudals; adult males with a broad and shallow chevron of ~11 precloacal pores widely separated from small series (~7) of femoral pores approximately midway along femur; posteriormost enlarged ventral scales separated from the cloacal opening by less than 10 rows of much smaller scales; relatively low number of dorsal tubercle rows (16); and dorsal coloration consisting of indistinct medium-brown transverse blotches or lines on a light-brown background.
Only adults of Cyrtodactylus papuensis (Cyrtodactylus marmor- atus is not part of the Melanesian fauna; see Ro ̈sler et al. 2007) are of similar small size (SVL <70 mm) to C. minor; this species can be distinguished by the presence of a small number (6–9) of precloacal pores arranged in a narrow chevron-shaped pit in males (vs. larger number [11] in a broad and shallow chevron), absence of enlarged scales immediately anterior to the cloacal opening, and dorsal pattern of torso and head consisting of highly contrasting very dark-brown transverse blotches on a light-grey background. The holotype of Cyrtodactylus capreo- loides is also of similar size to C. minor but is likely not fully grown (Oliver, pers. obs.); in addition to larger adult size (SVL up to 84 mm), Cyrtodactylus capreoloides can be distinguished by its narrower head (0.17–0.20 vs. 0.21), higher number of precloacal (13 vs. 11) and femoral pores (16–17 vs. 7), and enlarged precloacal scales separated from the cloaca by more than 10 rows of much smaller scales (Ro ̈sler et al., 2007; Oliver, pers. obs.).
All other Cyrtodactylus known from northeastern New Guinea are much larger (adult SVL >90 mm), and based on their adult morphology, juveniles (and adults) of these species can presumably be further distinguished from C. minor as follows: Cyrtodactylus sermowaiensis lacks enlarged femoral scales (both sexes) and femoral pores (males), lacks a patch of expanded scales immediately anterior to the cloaca, and has a much more contrasting dorsal pattern of dark blotches or transverse bands on a pale grey background; Cyrtodactylus novaeguineae has enlarged tubercles around the ventral surface of throat and ventral to the lateral fold, and a dorsal coloration consisting of distinct dark-brown triangular marking on the nape and few broad dark-brown and highly contrasting cross-bands or blotches on a greyish-brown background; Cyrtodactylus epiroti- cus has a single row of transversely enlarged subcaudals, has a much higher number of femoral and precloacal pores in a continuous series (N = 60–82), a much higher number of dorsal tubercle rows (26–35 rows), and a dorsal coloration consisting of 4 or 5 broad brown transverse bands of even width on a light- tan background (Kraus, 2008); and Cyrtodactylus loriae has several distinct and continuous series of enlarged femoral and precloacal scale rows, a much higher number of precloacal and femoral pores (30–81) in a continuous series, and a dorsal pattern consisting of 4 or 5 dark bands or paired blotches that contrast strongly with the background (Ro ̈sler et al., 2007). 
CommentAbundance: only known from its original description (Meiri et al. 2017). 
EtymologyMinor, Latin ’’smaller,’’ in reference to the relatively diminutive size of the new species. 
  • Meiri, Shai; Aaron M. Bauer, Allen Allison, Fernando Castro-Herrera, Laurent Chirio, Guarino Colli, Indraneil Das, Tiffany M. Doan, Frank Glaw, Lee L. Grismer, Marinus Hoogmoed, Fred Kraus, Matthew LeBreton, Danny Meirte, Zoltán T. Nagy, Cristiano d 2017. Extinct, obscure or imaginary: the lizard species with the smallest ranges. Diversity and Distributions - get paper here
  • Oliver, Paul M. and Stephen J. Richards 2012. A New Species of Small Bent-Toed Gecko (Cyrtodactylus: Gekkonidae) from the Huon Peninsula, Papua New Guinea. Journal of Herpetology 46 (4): 488-493. - get paper here
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