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Gekko khunkhamensis SITTHIVONG, LO, NGUYEN, NGO, KHOTPATHOOM, LE, ZIEGLER & LUU, 2021

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Khunkham Gecko
G: Khunkham Gecko
Laotian: Kap Ke Khunkham
F: Gecko de Kunkham 
SynonymGekko khunkhamensis SITTHIVONG, LO, NGUYEN, NGO, KHOTPATHOOM, LE, ZIEGLER & LUU 2021 
DistributionLaos (Khammouane)

Type locality: on a karst cliff, near the entrance of a cave (18°11’ N, 104°30’ E, at an elevation of 172 m a.s.l.), Nahin Village, Khunkham District, Khammouane Province, central Laos  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype. VNUF R.2021.23 (Field no. SL.KM.23), adult male, (18°11’ N, 104°30’ E, at an elevation of 172 m a.s.l.), Nahin Village, Khunkham District, Khammouane Province, central Laos, collected by S. Sitthivong and Lo O.V. on 29 October 2019. Paratypes. NUOL R.2021.22 (Field no. SL.KM.22), adult female; VNUF R.2021.02 (Field no. SL.KM.02), adult female, the same data as the holotype. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Gekko khunkhamensis sp. nov. is a member of the Gekko (Japonigekko) japonicus group and differs from all congeners by a combination of the following characters: a medium-sized gecko species (SVL 69.7–75.2 mm); nares in contact with rostral; internasals absent; postmentals enlarged; interorbital scales between anterior corners of the eyes 31 or 32; dorsal tubercles absent; ventrals between mental and cloacal slit 181–185; midbody
scales 127–138; ventral scales 42–45; subdigital lamellae on first toe 13 or 14, on fourth toe 14 or 15; tubercles on upper surface of fore and hind limbs absent; precloacal pores absent in the male and females; postcloacal tubercles two; tubercles absent on dorsal surface of tail base; subcaudals distinctly enlarged; dorsal surface of body with five
dark grey bands, which become irregular posteriorly.

Comparisons: Based on examination of specimens and data obtained from the literature (Boulenger 1907; Ota et al. 1995; Rösler et al. 2005, 2010, 2011; Yang et al. 2012, Nguyen et al. 2013; Luu et al. 2014, 2015; Ngo et al. 2015; Yang 2015; Luu et al. 2017) we compared the new species from Laos with the remaining members of the Gekko japonicus group (rösler et al. 2011; Luu et al. 2015, 2017) in Table 3. Below we compared the new species with the closely related species of the G. japonicus group as follows:
Gekko khunkhamensis sp. nov. is morphologically most similar to G. tawaensis Okada, 1956. However, the new species can be distinguished from G. tawaensis by having fewer supralabials and infralabials (9 or 10 and 9 or 10 versus 15 and 13, respectively), internasals absent (versus present), postmentals enlarged (versus not enlarged), more subdigital lamellae under first and fourth toes (13 or 14 and 14 or 15 versus 10 and 12, respectively), more postcloacal tubercles (2 versus 1), and marking on upper head present (versus absent).
Gekko khunkhamensis sp. nov. does not have dorsal tubercles and thus differs from the following species which have tubercles on the back: G. adleri Nguyen, Wang, Yang, Lehmann, Le, Ziegler & Bonkowski, 2013, G. auriverrucosus Zhou & Liu in Zhou et al., 1982, G. canhi Rösler, Nguyen, Doan, Ho, Nguyen & Ziegler, 2010, G. chinensis Gray, 1842, G. japonicus (Schlegel, 1836), G. hokouensis Pope, 1928, G. kwangsiensis Yang, 2015, G.
liboensis Zhou & Li in Zhou et al., 1982, G. palmatus Boulenger, 1907, G. scabridus Liu & Zhou in Zhou et al., 1982, G. shibatai Toda, Sengoku, Hikida & Ota, 2008, G. similignum Smith, 1923, G. swinhonis Günther, 1864, G. vertebralis Toda, Sengoku, Hikida & Ota, 2008, and G. wenxianensis Zhou & Wang, 2008. 
Comment 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality of the new species, Khunkham District of Khammouane Province. 
References
  • SITTHIVONG, SALY; OANH VAN LO, TRUONG QUANG NGUYEN, HANH THI NGO, THANANH KHOTPATHOOM, MINH DUC LE,THOMAS ZIEGLER, & VINH QUANG LUU 2021. A new species of the Gekko japonicus group (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Khammouane Province, central Laos. Zootaxa 5082 (6): 553–571 - get paper here
 
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