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Gekko jinjiangensis HOU, SHI, WANG, SHU, ZHENG, QI, LIU, JIANG & XIE, 2021

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesChinese: Jin Jiang Bi Hu (金江壁虎) 
SynonymGekko jinjiangensis HOU, SHI, WANG, SHU, ZHENG, QI, LIU, JIANG & XIE 2021
Gekko japonicus – YANG & RAO 2008 
DistributionChina (Sichuan, Yunnan)

Type locality: Benzilan Town, Deqin County, Yunnan Prov., China (28.23463° N, 99.30227° E), 2045 m elevation.  
TypesHolotype: CIB 5334220115, adult male, from BaiSheng Village, Benzilan Town, (28.23463° N, 99.30227° E, 2045 m a. s. l.), Deqin County, Yunnan Prov., China, collected by Shengchao SHI, Jianyi FENG, Lei FU on 25 August 2019.
Paratypes: Twelve adults (n=12), were collected from Yunnan and Sichuan Provinces. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Gekko jinjiangensis sp. nov. can be distinguished from its congeners by a combination of following characters: size small (SVL 50.2–61.6 mm, n = 13); nares in contact with rostral; interorbital scales between anterior corners of the eyes 20–24; ventral scales between mental and cloacal slit 146–169; midbody scale rows 111–149; ventral scale rows 31–47; subdigital lamellae on first toe 8–11, on fourth toe 11–15; no webbing in the fingers and toes; with tubercles on upper surface of fore and hind limbs; precloacal pores 4–5 in males and absent in the females; postcloacal unilateral tubercles 1-2; dorsal surface of body with 8–9 large greyish brown markings between nape and sacrum. (Hou et al. 2021).
Comparisons; G. japonicus is the species with the highest morphological similarity to the new species, but the phylogenetic relationships and genetic distance make it easy to distinguish between the two species (uncorrected p-distance 17.1%-18.2%). Morphologically, the new species differs from G. japonicus by having fewer interorbital scales (20–24 versus 32–35); no toes webbing (versus relative obvious); the tubercle scales on thigh distinct (versus generally without) (Tian et al., 1986; Stejneger, 1901).G. scabridus is the species with the closest phylogenetic relationship and genetic distance to the new species. The two species are easily distinguished by their morphological features. The new species differs from G. scabridus by having fewer interorbitals (20–24 versus 30), fewer dorsal tubercles rows at midbody (12–16 versus 17–21), more lamellae under fourth toe (11–15 versus 7–9) (Figure 7), fewer precloacal pores in males (4 or 5 versus 10–15) (Figure 8), no toes webbing (versus relative obvious), large markings on the back (versus dark brown and mesh spots). (Hou et al. 2021).
Color in life: In life, dorsal surfaces of head, neck and body light grey, scattered with 8 large light and dark brown wide irregular ‘W’-shaped patches from neck to the swollen section of tail; dorsal surfaces of limbs, flesh red. Dorsal part of limbs mottled with small, light blotches irregularly scattered; dorsal tail greyish, with single dark bands, regenerated portion yellow-brown without band; ventral skin creamy-yellow, ventral tail and regenerated tail creamy-white. Iris sliver with minute, dark brown reticulations, pupil solid black with a sliver edge. (Hou et al. 2021).
EtymologyThe specific epithet jinjiangensis refers to the type locality of the species, were collected in the middle reaches of the Jinsha River across the West of Sichuan and Yunnan Province, China. 
  • Hou Y. M., Shi S. C., Wang G., Shu G. C., Zheng P. Y., Qi Y., Liu G. H., Jiang J. P., Xie F. 2021. A New Species of the Gekko japonicus Group (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Southwest China Asian Herpetological Research 12 (1): 36–48 - get paper here
  • RÖSLER, HERBERT; AARON M. BAUER, MATTHEW P. HEINICKE, ELI GREENBAUM, TODD JACKMAN, TRUONG QUANG NGUYEN & THOMAS ZIEGLER 2011. Phylogeny, taxonomy, and zoogeography of the genus Gekko Laurenti, 1768 with the revalidation of G. reevesii Gray, 1831 (Sauria: Gekkonidae). Zootaxa 2989: 1–50 - get paper here
  • Wood, P. L., Guo, X., Travers, S. L., Su, Y. C., Olson, K. V., Bauer, A. M., Grismer, L. L., Siler, C. D., Moyle, R. G., Andersen, M. J. and Brown, R. M. 2020. Parachute geckos free fall into synonymy: Gekko phylogeny, and a new subgeneric classification, inferred from thousands of ultraconserved elements. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 146: 106731 - get paper here
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