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Dravidogecko tholpalli CHAITANYA, GIRI, DEEPAK, DATTA-ROY, MURTHY & KARANTH, 2019

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Kodaikanal Dravidogecko 
SynonymDravidogecko tholpalli CHAITANYA, GIRI, DEEPAK, DATTA-ROY, MURTHY & KARANTH 2019: 30
Hoplodactylus anamallensis — BOULENGER 1885
Hoplodactylus anamallensis — BOETTGER 1893 [non Gecko anamallensis GÜNTHER 1875]
Hemidactylus anamallensis — BAUER & RUSSELL 1995
Hemidactylus anamallensis — GANESH 2010 [non Gecko anamallensis GÜNTHER 1875] 
DistributionIndia (Tamil Nadu)

Type locality: Kodaikanal town (10.2334 °N, 77.4910 °E; ca. 2110 m asl.), Dindigul District, Tamil Nadu.  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: ZSI-WGRC 3082 (Kozhikode, given as ZSIK or BNHS 2351), an adult male, collected by R. Venkitesan and RC on 17th December, 2016.
Paratypes. Details of collection same as the holotype. BNHS 2352, BNHS 2353, ZSIK 2982, ZSIK 2984, ZSIK 2985, ZSIK 2986—adult males; BNHS 2354, BNHS 2355 and ZSIK 2983—adult females. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis . Snout-vent length up to 52.2 mm (n=10); internasals separated by one smaller scale; two pairs of well-developed postmentals, inner pair longer than the outer; ventral scales counted at midbody, 25–31; precloacofemoral pores, 38–40 (n=7); subdigital lamellae under digit IV of manus, 7 or 8 and under digit IV of pes, 9–11; supralabials 8–11 and infralabials, 8–10 on each side.
Dravidogecko tholpalli sp. nov. can be distinguished from other congeners based on the following characters: number of precloacofemoral pores (PcFP 38–40 versus 45 or 46 in D. anamallensis, 52–56 in D. septentrionalis sp. nov., 36–38 in D. meghamalaiensis sp. nov., 42 or 43 in D. douglasadamsi sp. nov. & 48 in D. smithi sp. nov.); one smaller scale separating the internasals (versus two in D. septentrionalis sp. nov.); first pair of postmentals much longer than the second (2PML/1PML 0.41–0.67 versus only slightly longer, 0.82–0.96 in D. meghamalaiensis sp. nov.). 
CommentHabitat: The type-series of Dravidogecko tholpalli sp. nov. was collected in Kodaikanal town from abandoned buildings and stone walls near forested areas. Kodaikanal falls under a special case of the Madurai-Pollachi rainfall regime with 0–4 dry months and slightly more (~92) rainy days annually (Pascal 1982).

Sympatry: Cnemaspis sp., Kaestlea cf. palnica, Salea anamallayana 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is a compound noun formed by the combination of two Tamil words from the Sangam era (3rd century BC—3rd century AD) that alludes to the ancient divergence and colonization of these geckos in peninsular India. The stem word, ‘thol’ (pronounced /ɵɔl/) is an archaic Tamil word for ‘ancient’ and ‘palli’ (pronounced /pǝllɪ/) an ancient word still in common parlance, is the Tamil for ‘gecko’. 
References
  • Bauer, AARON M. & ANTHONY PATRICK RUSSELL 1995. The systematic relationships of Dravidogecko anamallensis (Günther 1875). Asiatic Herpetological Research 6: 30-35. - get paper here
  • Boettger, Oskar 1893. Katalog der Reptilien-Sammlung im Museum der Senckenbergischen Naturforschenden Gesellschaft in Frankfurt am Main. I. Teil (Rhynchocephalen, Schildkröten, Krokodile, Eidechsen, Chamäleons). [type catalogue] Gebrüder Knauer, Frankfurt a. M., x + 140 pp. - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1885. Catalogue of the lizards in the British Museum (Natural History). Vol. 2, Second edition. London, xiii+497 pp. - get paper here
  • CHAITANYA, R.; VARAD B. GIRI, V. DEEPAK, ANIRUDDHA DATTA-ROY, B.H.C.K MURTHY, PRAVEEN KARANTH 2019. Diversification in the mountains: a generic reappraisal of the Western Ghats endemic gecko genus Dravidogecko Smith, 1933 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) with descriptions of six new species. Zootaxa 4688 (1): 001–056; erratum in Zootaxa 4743 (4): 600 - get paper here
  • Ganesh S. R., Asokan J. R. 2010. Catalogue of Indian herpetological specimens in the collection of the Government Museum Chennai, India. Hamadryad 35 (1): 46 – 63
 
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