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Cyrtodactylus nepalensis (SCHLEICH & KÄSTLE, 1998)

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Nepalese rock gecko 
SynonymGonydactylus nepalensis SCHLEICH & KÄSTLE 1998
Cyrtopodion nepalensis — RÖSLER 2000: 75
Siwaligekko nepalensis — KHAN 2003
Cyrtodactylus nepalensis — MAHONY et al. 2009 
DistributionW Nepal

Type locality: Sakaye, a small village with a new police station, close to Dipayal. N 29° 18' 37.6, E 80° 43' 10,6, elevation 745 m.  
TypesHolotype: ZSM 854/2012 (originally SHHS 1998/33, VW D 94/14 (Fuhlrott-Museum Wuppertal), VW-D 94114, male (transferred to ZSM in 2012). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A rather large and slender angular-toed gecko (fig. 2-7) with a rather blunt snout, the distance from snout to eye being longer than the distance from eye to ear opening. The nostrils lie in a depression behind the rostral and are directed laterally. A longitudinal furrow on the forehead begins behind the nostrils and ends between the eyes. There is no ventrolateral fold discernible in the preserved and injected specimen, but it was distinct in the living animal. Sparse round and flat tubercles are irregularly distributed over the dorsal surface from the posterior head to the tail base. The back bears a bold pattern of dark wavy transverse cross bars. The upper head shows an irregular pattern of diffuse dark marks. Tail distinctly longer than snout-vent length and marked with transverse bands (from Schleich & Kästle 1998, including the following comparison and key).

Comparison with the other angular-toed geckos of the region:
While a number of new species have been described from Pakistan, Jammu and Kashmir during the last decades (Duda & Sahi, 1978; Khan, 1991, 1993; Khan & Tasnim, 1990), only two species were recorded since the last century from the Kumaon region:
C. lawderanus (Stoliczka, 1871): W-Himalaya, close to the western Nepalese border.
C. fasciolatus (Blyth, 1860): W-Himalaya, close to the western Nepalese border.
Their separation from C. nepalensis n.sp. is not difficult (key after Boulenger, Smith, Tikader & Sharma):
Gonydactylus himalayanus which is recorded for Western Nepal on a distribution map in Szczerbak & Golubev (1986, p. 200) can be omitted here, as this species is restricted to the Jammu and Kashmir region and the map entry is erroneous.

1 Intact tail shorter than snout - vent length; tubercles on body and
limbs rather small and not very contrasting with granules; no enlarged
subfemoral scales: Gonydactylus lawderanus.
1’ Intact tail distinctly longer than snoutvent-length; a row of enlarged
subfemoral scales: ....2
2 Dorsal tubercles triangular; mental followed posteriorly by 2 pairs of
medially contacting large postmentals: G. fasciolatus
2’ Dorsal tubercles rounded, rarely truncate posteriorly; mental followed posteriorly by 1 pair of medially contacting large postmentals: G.nepalensis

Summary of discriminating characters:
G. fasciolatus: ear diameter about half of eye diameter
G. nepalensis: much smaller

G. fasciolatus: dorsal tubercles (sub)trihedral
G. nepalensis: round or truncate behind

G. fasciolatus: tubercles on tail base arranged in regular
transverse rows
G. nepalensis: irregularly arranged

G. fasciolatus: ventrals across midbody 28-34
G. nepalensis: 24 (lowest count)

G. fasciolatus: an uninterrupted band from the eyes across the occiput
G. nepalensis: no continuous dark band between the eyes

G. fasciolatus: 2 pairs of large postmentals
G. nepalensis: 1 pair of large postmentals

G. fasciolatus: a highland form known from Almorah and
the vicinity of Simla (Subathu), 1500 - 2100 m
G. nepalensis: in tropical Terai lowland 745 m 
CommentAbundance: only known from its original description (Meiri et al. 2017). 
EtymologyNamed after the country of origin. 
  • Kästle , W., Rai, K. & Schleich, H.H. 2013. FIELD GUIDE to Amphibians and Reptiles of Nepal. ARCO-Nepal e.V., 625 pp. - get paper here
  • Khan, M.S. 2003. Questions of generic designation of angular-toed geckos of Pakistan with descriptions of three new genera (Reptilia: Gekkonidae). J. nat. hist. Wildl. 2 (2): 1-9
  • Mahony, S., M. Ahmed, M. K. Hossain, M. M. Kabir & M. K. Hasan 2009. Cyrtodactylus ayeyarwadyensis Bauer, 2003 (Reptilia: Gekkonidae) in Bangladesh with habitat details of new collection localities and a discussion of morphological variation. Salamandra 45 (4): 245–260 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Rösler, H. 2000. Kommentierte Liste der rezent, subrezent und fossil bekannten Geckotaxa (Reptilia: Gekkonomorpha). Gekkota 2: 28-153
  • Schleich, H. H. & W. KÄSTLE. 1998. Description of Gonydactylus nepalensis spec. nov. from the Inner Terai of far west Nepal (Reptilia: Sauria: Gekkonidae). In: Contributions to the herpetology of south-Asia (Nepal, India). pp: 269-280. H. H. Schleich & W. Kästle (Eds). Fuhlrott-Museum, Wuppertal.
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