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Gekko melli (VOGT, 1922)

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Mell’s gecko
Chinese: 梅氏壁虎 
SynonymGecko melli VOGT 1922
Gekko melli — RÖSLER et al. 2004
Gekko melli — RÖSLER & TIEDEMANN 2007
Gekko melli — YANG et al. 2012
Gekko (Japonigekko) melli — WOOD et al. 2019
Gekko (Japonicgekko) melli — LYU et al. 2021: 247 (in error)
Gekko (Japonigekko) melli — WOOD et al. 2020 
DistributionS China (NE Guangdong, S Jiangxi, Fujian)

Type locality: none given in original description. Restricted to northeastern Kuangtung (= Guangdong) by a lectotype designation, but the exact type locality is still unknown (Bauer & Günther 1991; Rösler & Tiedemann 2007).

Elevation 130–640 m.  
TypesHolotype: ZMB 27659a, adult male; Paralectotype. ZMB 27659 B, juvenile 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Based on the types and the additional specimens, we here present the diagnostic characters of G. melli. Gekko melli can be distinguished from all other species of Gekko by the following combination of characters: a medium-sized species of the genus Gekko (SVL 59.7–84.6 mm); supralabials 10–13; infralabials 9–12; nares contacting the rostral; internasal single; nasals 3; interorbitals 34–40; dorsal tubercles absent; dorsal scale rows at mid-body 147–160; ventral scales between the ventrolateral folds at midbody 43–49; scansors under the first toe 10–12, under the fourth toe 11–14; fingers and toes webbed; precloacal pores 9–11; postcloacal tubercles one; dorsal scale of the middle of the third caudal whorl in 9 rows; subcaudals enlarged.
Of the currently recognized 48 species of the genus Gekko, only five species share with G. melli a lack of dorsal tubercles: G. athymus Brown & Alcala, G. scientiadventura Rösler, Ziegler, Vu, Herrmann & Böhme, G. subpalmatus, G. tawaensis Okada and G. truongi Phung & Ziegler. For the comparison of G. melli with other five species without dorsal tubercles see Table 3. Comparative data were obtained from the literature (Zhao et al. 1999; Rösler et al. 2005; Rösler & Tiedemann 2007; Rösler et al. 2011; Phung & Ziegler 2011) [YANG et al. 2012].

Revised diagnosis. (1) medium-sized gecko species, SVL 64.5–80.3 in adults; (2) tubercles on dorsal body, limbs and tail absent; (3) eye moderate, ED/HL ratio 0.21–0.24; (4) rostral moderate, RW/HW ratio 0.20–0.22, RW/RH ratio 1.83–2.13; (5) mental elongate transversely, MW/HW ratio 0.14–0.18, MW/ML ratio 1.11–1.56; (6) nares bordered with rostral, internasals 1–2; (7) interorbital scales between anterior corners of the eyes 34–40; (8) midbody scale rows 148–160; (9) ventral scale rows at midbody 44–46; (10) scales between mental and cloacal slit 171–192; (11) subdigital lamellae on first fingers 9–11, on fourth fingers 9–14, on first toes 10–12, on fourth toes 11–14; (12) fingers and toes with distinct webbing; (13) 9–11 precloacal pores in a continuous row in males; (14) a single postcloacal tubercle on both sides; (14) dorsum greyish white to dark brown, with iregular large dark patches between nape and sacrum; (15) top of head with an small incomplete W-shaped marking, and posteriorly followed by a large inverted W-shaped marking on dorsal neck. (Fig. 6B) (from Lyu et al. 2021). 
CommentVariation: the color pattern of this species is quite variable (YANG et al. 2005).

Synonymy: Gekko melli has been previously synonymized with G. subpalmatus but revalidated by RÖSLER et al. 2005 and RÖSLER & TIEDEMANN 2007. These authors also synonymized G. subpalmatus with G. chinensis. 
EtymologyNamed after the collector Rudolf Emil Mell (1878–1970), who was the director of the German-Chinese Middle School at Canton [= Guangzhou City] and collected many animal specimens in Guangdong. 
  • Gemel, R.; G. Gassner & S. Schweiger 2019. Katalog der Typen der Herpetologischen Sammlung des Naturhistorischen Museums Wien – 2018. Ann. Naturhist. Mus. Wien, B 121: 33–248
  • LUU, VINH QUANG; THOMAS CALAME, TRUONG QUANG NGUYEN, MINH DUC LE& THOMAS ZIEGLER 2015. Morphological and molecular review of the Gekko diversity of Laos with descriptions of three new species. Zootaxa 3986 (3): 279–306 - get paper here
  • LUU, VINH QUANG; THOMAS CALAME, TRUONG QUANG NGUYEN, MINH DUC LE, MICHAEL BONKOWSKI & THOMAS ZIEGLER 2014. A new species of the Gekko japonicus group (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from central Laos. Zootaxa 3895 (1): 073–088 - get paper here
  • LUU, VINH QUANG; TRUONG QUANG NGUYEN, MINH DUC LE, MICHAEL BONKOWSKI, THOMAS ZIEGLER 2017. A new karst dwelling species of the Gekko japonicus group (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from central Laos. Zootaxa 4263 (1): 179-193 - get paper here
  • LYU, Z. T., LIN, C. Y., REN, J. L., JIANG, K., ZHANG, Y. P., QI, S., & WANG, J. 2021. Review of the Gekko (Japonigekko) subpalmatus complex (Squamata, Sauria, Gekkonidae), with description of a new species from China. Zootaxa 4951(2): 236-258 - get paper here
  • NGUYEN, TRUONG QUANG; YING-YONG WANG, JIAN-HUAN YANG, TANJA LEHMANN, MINH DUC LE, THOMAS ZIEGLER, MICHAEL BONKOWSKI 2013. A new species of the Gekko japonicus group (Squamata: Sauria: Gekkonidae) from the border region between China and Vietnam. Zootaxa 3652 (5): 501–518 - get paper here
  • Rösler, H.; Ziegler, T., Vu, N.T.; Herrmann, H.-W. & Böhme, W. 2004. A new lizard of the genus Gekko Laurenti, 1768 (Squamata: Sauria: Gekkonidae) from the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Quang Binh Province, Vietnam. Bonner Zoologische Beiträge 53 (1/2): 135-148 - get paper here
  • Rösler, Herbert & Franz Tiedemann 2007. Gekko melli Vogt, 1922 and its types (Reptilia, Sauria, Gekkonidae). Mitteilungen aus dem Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin 83 (S1): 105-108 - get paper here
  • Vogt, Theodor 1922. Zur Reptilien- und Amphibienfauna Südchinas. Archiv für Naturgeschichte 88A (10): 135-146 - get paper here
  • Wang, C. G. M. Z. X., Jia, S. Y. K. T. L., & Hu, C. Z. J. 2022. An updated species checklist of amphibians and reptiles in Fujian Province, China. Biodiversity Science, 22090 - get paper here
  • Wang, Kai; Jinlong Ren, Hongman Chen, Zhitong Lyu, Xianguang Guo Ke Jiang, Jinmin Chen, Jiatang Li, Peng Guo, Yingyong Wang, Jing Che 2020. The updated checklists of amphibians and reptiles of China. Biodiversity Science 28 (2): 189-218 - get paper here
  • Wood Jr, Perry L.; Xianguang Guo, Scott L. Travers, Yong-Chao Su, Karen V. Olson, Aaron M. Bauer, L. Lee Grismer, Cameron D. Siler, Robert G. Moyle, Michael J. Andersen, Rafe M. Brown 2019. Parachute geckos free fall into synonymy: Gekko phylogeny, and a new subgeneric classification, inferred from thousands of ultraconserved elements. bioRxiv 717520 [preprint] - 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 [corrigendum: MPE 164: 107255] - get paper here
  • YANG, JIAN-HUAN; YING-YONG WANG, TIAN-DU ZHANG, YAN-JUN SUN & SHI-SHI LIN 2012. Genetic and morphological evidence on the species validity of Gekko melli Vogt, 1922, with notes on its diagnosis and range extension (Squamata: Gekkonidae). Zootaxa 3505: 67–74 - get paper here
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