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Dibamus floweri QUAH, ANUAR, GRISMER & GRASSBY-LEWIS, 2017

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Higher TaxaDibamidae, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Flower’s blind lizard 
SynonymDibamus floweri QUAH, ANUAR, GRISMER & GRASSBY-LEWIS 2017 
DistributionPeninsular Malaysia (Pahang)

Type locality: Fraser’s Hill, Pahang, Peninsular Malaysia at approximately 2100 hrs at (3°42′53.0″N 101°44′58.6″E), approximately 1,500 m above sea level.  
TypesHolotype: LSUHC 12481, male collected by Rupert Grassby-Lewis on 26 July 2015. Paratype. The female paratype ZRC 2.7240 was collected by Evan Quah and Alex Figueroa on 7 February 2017 along the Gap road below Fraser’s Hill at approximately 1000 hrs at (3°41.912′N, 101°43.920′E), 1,207 m above sea level. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Dibamus foweri, new species, differentiated from all other congeners by this combination of characters: maximum SVL of 112 mm; tail length 11.4–15.2% of SVL; labial, nasal sutures absent; rostral suture present but incomplete; single postocular; four scales bordering posterior edge of first infralabial; no enlarged, medial, sublabial scale; 21 midbody scale rows; 23 transverse scale rows just posterior to head; 21 transverse scale rows just anterior to vent; 175–194 ventral scales; 23–46 subcaudal scales; relative size of frontal to frontanasal 1.1–1.5; relative size of interparietal to surrounding scales 1.3–1.8; and light coloured bands on the body. These characters are scored across all nominal species of Dibamus in Table 2 (in Quah et al. 2017).

Comparisons. The absence of a labial and nasal suture in Dibamus foweri, new species, distinguishes it from D. alfredi Taylor, 1962; D. bogadeki Darevsky, 1992; D. booliati Das & Yaakob, 2003; D. dalaiensis Neang, Holden, Eastoe, Seng, Ith & Grismer, 2011; D. deharvengi Ineich, 1999; D. dezwaani Das & Lim, 2005; D. ingeri Das & Lim, 2003; D. kondaoensis Honda, Ota, Hikida & Darevsky, 2001; D. nicobaricum (Steindachner, 1867); D. novaeguineae Duméril & Bibron, 1839; D. somsaki Honda, Nabhitabhata, Ota, & Hikida, 1997; D. tebal Das & Lim, 2009; D. tiomanensis Diaz, Leong, Grismer & Yaakob, 2004; and D. vorisi Das & Lim, 2003. The presence of an incomplete rostral suture further distinguishes it from D. celebensis Schlegel, 1858; D. leucurus (Bleeker, 1860); D. seramensis Greer, 1985; D. smithi Greer, 1985; and D. taylori Greer, 1985. The presence of four scales on the posterior edge of the infralabial distinguishes it from D. bourreti Angel, 1935 (four vs. two); D. greeri Darevsky, 1992 (four vs. one and three); and D. montanus Smith, 1921 (four vs. two). Other differences between the new species and other congeners are presented in Table 2.Among the Peninsular Malaysian species, D. foweri, new species, is further differentiated from both D. booliati and D. tiomanensis by the presence of an incomplete rostral suture as opposed to its absence in the other two species. It is also differentiated from D. tiomanensis by the lower number of midbody scale rows (21 vs. 25–26), lower number of subcaudal scales in both males (46 vs. 50) and females (23 vs. 45–48), and the presence of bands of the body versus their absence in D. tiomanensis (Diaz et al., 2004). From D. booliati, D. foweri, new species differs by the higher number of midbody scale rows (21 vs. 20), lower number of subcaudals in females (23 vs. 24–39) and the presence of the body band being on the posterior region of the body versus the band being in the neck region (Das & Yaakob, 2003). In addition, D. tiomanensis is restricted to the islands of Tioman and Tulai off the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia while D. booliati is a lowland species collected at 121 m a.s.l. in elevation near a limestone cliff at Batu Gua Madu, Kelantan. By comparison, D. floweri, new species, is a montane species that has so far only been recorded above 1,200 m a.s.l. in elevation at Fraser’s Hill, Pahang. See also Table 2 in Quah et al. 2017). 
EtymologyNamed after Major Stanley Smyth Flower, who was one of the pioneers for herpetological discoveries in the Malay Peninsula. He made many notable discoveries over the course of his explorations in the region and his natural history observations well over a century ago were very detailed and contributed tremendously to improving our understanding of the ecology and behaviour of many species to this day. 
  • GRISMER, L. LEE; & EVAN S. H. QUAH 2019. An updated and annotated checklist of the lizards of Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, and their adjacent archipelagos. Zootaxa 4545 (2): 230–248 - get paper here
  • KOPPETSCH, THORE; WOLFGANG BÖHME, ANDRÉ KOCH 2019. A new species of Dibamus Duméril & Bibron, 1839 (Squamata: Dibamidae) from Pulau Manado Tua, Northern Sulawesi, Indonesia. Zootaxa 4555 (3): 331–345 - get paper here
  • Quah, Evan S. H.; Shahrul Anuar M. S., L. Lee Grismer & Rupert Grassby-Lewis 2017. A new species of Dibamus Duméril & Bibron 1839 (Squamata: Dibamidae) from a hill station in Peninsular Malaysia. RAFFLES BULLETIN OF ZOOLOGY 65: 681–690 - get paper here
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