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Dixonius pawangkhananti PAUWELS, CHOMNGAM & SUMONTHA, 2020

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Cha-am leaf-toed gecko
Thai: Djing-djok din Cha-am
German: Cha-am Blattfingergecko
F: Dixonius de Cha-am 
SynonymDixonius pawangkhananti PAUWELS, CHOMNGAM & SUMONTHA 2020 
DistributionThailand (Phetchaburi)

Type locality: foot of the hill (12°50’04.4”N, 99°56’10.3”E) behind Wat (= Temple) Nikhom Wachiraram, Khao Yai Subdistrict, Cha-am District, Phetchaburi Province, peninsular Thailand  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype. THNHM 25606 (field no. MS 563), adult male caught at night by M. Sumontha, N. Chomngam and P. Pawangkhanant on 8 August 2015.
Paratypes (2). AUP 02001 (field no. MS 564), adult male, and PSUZC R 728 (field no. MS 565), adult female. Same locality, collecting date and collectors as holotype. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Dixonius pawangkhananti sp. nov. can be distinguished from all other congeneric species by the combination of its maximal known SVL of 42.6 mm; 16 longitudinal rows of dorsal tubercles; 30 to 32 paravertebral scales; 16 longitudinal rows of ventrals across the abdomen; six precloacal pores in males, no pores in females; a marked canthal stripe; and a dorsal pattern consisting of bands or blotches (Pauwels et al. 2020).

Coloration in life. Dorsal surface of head gray with several irregular black blotches. On each side of the head a black canthal stripe runs from the nostril through the eye and extends to the neck; it is bordered below and above by a light grey thin stripe. The supralabials are whitish with each a black spot. The dorsal surface of the neck shows two longitudinal blotches followed by one transversal irregular blotch. The dorsum shows a gray background color with five irregular bars between the anterior and posterior limb insertions (Figure 1C). The same gray background color extends to the base of the tail, with one black bar above sacrum and two above the base of the tail; posteriorly to these two supracaudal black bars the following bars are all orangish on a light gray background. In total two black bars and ten orangish bars alternate with the light gray background color from the base of the tail to its tip. Dorsal surfaces of members gray with black spots. Ventral surfaces of head, body, members and tail whitish. In preservative the colors strongly fade and become less contrasted (Figure 1A–B in Pauwels et al. 2020).

Variation. Main morphometric and meristic characters of the type series are provided in Table 1. Morphological and coloration characters of the paratypes agree in most respects with the holotype. The paratype female has an original tail and shows a TailL/SVL ratio of 1.33; i.e., proportionally a bit shorter than in the holotype. Similarly to the holotype, the male paratype has three left precloacal pores separated from three right precloacal pores by a median poreless scale. Precloacal pores are absent in females. Depending on the individuals, the background color of the body is grey to light brown. The dorsal pattern shows a clear sexual dimorphism: while males have a banded pattern, females have a blotched one. The tail of older individuals, both males and females, often shows an orangish color (Figures 1C, 2C, 4A–B). None of the newborn and juvenile individuals seen showed an orangish tail (Figure 5 in Pauwels et al. 2020).

Comparison to other species. Dixonius pawangkhananti sp. nov. is distinguished from the Vietnamese D. aaronbaueri Ngo & Ziegler, 2009 based on its larger SVL (42.6 vs. 38.6 mm), lower Ven number (16 vs. 18 or 19), much higher DTR number (16 vs. 11), sensibly lower PV number (30–32 vs. 45–50) and PV’ number (18–21 vs. 29–32), lower InterOrb number (7 vs. 8–10), and its dorsal pattern (Ba or Bl vs. U). Although they show similarities in their dorsal pattern, Dixonius pawangkhananti sp. nov. clearly differs from Dixonius hangseesom by its much lower Ven number (16 vs. 22–26), higher DTR number (16 vs. 12–14), lower InterOrb number (7 vs. 10) and lower IL number (6 or 7 vs. 8). It can be separated from Dixonius kaweesaki by its much lower Ven number (16 vs. 24), higher DTR number (16 vs. 12 or 13), lower SL number (7 or 8 vs. 10 or 11) and lower SLMOrb number (5 or 6 vs. 7 or 8), lower PrePo number (6 vs. 9–11) and by its dorsal pattern (Ba or Bl vs. St). It differs from the Laotian Dixonius lao Nguyen, Sitthivong, Ngo, Luu, Nguyen, Le & Ziegler, 2020 by its much smaller SVL (42.6 vs. 55.4 mm), much lower Ven number (16 vs. 23 or 24), lower DTR number (16 vs. 20–23), much lower PV number (30–32 vs. 40–43) and lower PV’ number (18–21 vs. 24 or 25), lower InterOrb number (7 vs. 8 or 9), lower SMLOrb number (5 or 6 vs. 7 or 8), lower PrePo number (6 vs. 8), its marked canthal stripe, and its dorsal pattern (Ba or Bl vs. U). It can be separated from Dixonius melanostictus Taylor, 1962 by its smaller SVL (42.6 vs. 50.0 mm), much lower Ven number (16 vs. 22), much higher DTR number (16 vs. 10 or 11), lower SL number (7 or 8 vs. 9) and SLMOrb (5 or 6 vs. 7), lower PrePo number (6 vs. 9), and by its dorsal pattern (Ba or Bl vs. St). It is distinguished from the Vietnamese Dixonius minhlei Ziegler, Botov, Nguyen, Bauer, Brennan, Ngo & Nguyen, 2016 by its lower Ven number (16 vs. 20–23), slightly higher DTR (16 vs. 14 or 15), much lower PV number (30–32 vs. 38–44) and lower PV’ number (18–21 vs. 23–26), lower PrePo number (6 vs. 7 or 8), and by its dorsal pattern (Ba or Bl vs. Sp). It differs from the sympatric Dixonius siamensis by its much smaller SVL (42.6 vs. 57.0 mm), lower Ven number (16 vs. 18–25), higher DTR (16 vs. 10–14), by its marked canthal stripe, and its dorsal pattern (Ba or Bl vs. Sp). It can be separated from the Vietnamese Dixonius taoi Botov, Phung, Nguyen, Bauer, Brennan & Ziegler, 2015 by its lower Ven number (16 vs. 21–23) and by its much higher DTR number (16 vs. 11 or 12). From Dixonius vietnamensis Das, 2004, it differs by its lower PV number (30–32 vs. 36), its lower InterOrb number (7 vs. 8–10) and by its dorsal pattern (Ba or Bl vs. Sp) (Pauwels et al. 2020). 
Comment 
EtymologyThe specific epithet honors the Thai zoologist Parinya Pawangkhanant (Agriculture University of Phayao, Phayao, and Rabbit in the Moon Foundation, Ratchaburi), for his contributions to the herpetology of Thailand, and who is one of the collectors of the type-series. 
References
  • PAUWELS, O. S., CHOMNGAM, N., LARSEN, H., & SUMONTHA, M. 2020. A new limestone-dwelling leaf-toed gecko (Gekkonidae: Dixonius) from coastal hills in Cha-am, peninsular Thailand. Zootaxa 4845 (1): 97-108 - get paper here
 
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