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Goggia matzikamaensis HEINICKE, TURK & BAUER, 2017

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common Names 
SynonymGoggia matzikamaensis HEINICKE, TURK & BAUER 2017
Phyllodactylus rupicolus — BRANCH, BAUER & GOOD 1995 (part)
Goggia rupicola — BAUER, GOOD & BRANCH 1997 (part) 
DistributionRepublic of South Africa (Western Cape)

Type locality: South Africa, Western Cape, along R358 east of Bitterfontein (30° 48' 55.2" S, 18° 23' 45.2" E).  
TypesHolotype: MCZ R-192186: adult male. Collected by M. P. Heinicke, A. M. Bauer, T. Gamble, D. Zarkower, J. Marais, A. Kuhn, E. Frietas, R. Skinner, 31 July 2013. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A small-bodied Goggia, snout-vent length 27.03 mm. Body form is flattened, with a somewhat flattened head and rounded snout. The rostral scale bears a median cleft, and snout scales are relatively large, with 9 rows of scales between the rostral and the anterior margin of the orbits. Scales above the orbits are small, oval. Dorsal scalation is homogenous, consisting of uniform flattened subimbricate scales, grading to clearly imbricate on the venter. Midbody scale rows number 84. Digits bear a single pair of subdigital scansors (“leaf toes”) enclosing a small claw. Male has four precloacal pores. Color pattern consists of a brown background overlain with pale spots with orange centers and dark brown anterior margins that fuse to form a series of scallops; these spots are arranged in eight rows from the nape of the neck to the pelvis.
The combination of leaf toes, atuberculate dorsal scalation, and cleft rostral distinguishes this species from all non-Goggia geckos in southern Africa. Goggia matzikamaensis sp. nov. can be distinguished from G. microlepidota based on its much smaller body size (SVL 27 mm in G. matzikamaensis sp. nov. vs. 65 mm in G. microlepidota). Goggia matzikamaensis sp. nov. can be distinguished from G. hexapora, G. incognita sp. nov., and G. lineata in having only four, instead of five or six precloacal pores in males; G. incognita sp. nov. and G. lineata additionally usually have fewer than 80 midbody scale rows. All small-bodied species of Goggia with the exception of G. rupicola can be distinguished from G. matzikamaensis sp. nov. based on color pattern: in G. braacki, G. essexi, G. hewitti, and G. hexapora, the pale spots and dark pattern elements typically form a clear reticulated pattern with approximately 10–11 rows of pale spots between the nape and pelvis, and the spots are white rather than orange (Fig. 1E); in G. gemmula, the pale spots are large and yellow and are not arranged in any discernible pattern. In addition to color pattern, G. gemmula has a more elongate body than G. matzikamaensis sp. nov. Goggia braacki and G. hewitti differ from G. matzikamaensis sp. nov. in being larger-bodied (SVL to 35 mm in G. braacki, 37 mm in G. hewitti) and in having round or hexagonal scales above the orbits. The most morphologically similar species to G. matzikamaensis sp. nov. are G. essexi and G. rupocola, but neither has small oval scales above the orbits. Goggia essexi has round scales above the orbits, while G. rupicola has large, regular, hexagonal scales above the orbits.
CommentHabitat: The type specimen was found sheltering in a rock crack, and based on the species’ flattened body and close evolutionary relationship to G. rupicola it is probably a rock specialist.

Sympatry: Chondrodactylus bibronii. 
EtymologyThe specific epithet means “from Matzikama”, and refers to the type locality, which is within Matzikama Local Municipality, the northernmost municipality in Western Cape Province. The epithet is used as an adjective. 
  • Bauer A M. Good D A. Branch W R. 1997. The taxonomy of the Southern African leaf-toed geckos (Squamata: Gekkonidae), with a review of Old World "Phyllodactylus" and the description of five new genera. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. 49 (14): 447-497. - get paper here
  • Branch, W. R., A. M. BAUER & D. A. GOOD 1995. Species limits in the Phyllodactylus lineatus complex (Reptilia: Gekkonidae), with the elevation of two taxa to specific status and the description of two new species. J. Herp. Assoc. Africa 44 (2): 33-54. - get paper here
  • HEINICKE, MATTHEW P.; DILARA TURK, AARON M. BAUER 2017. Molecular phylogeny reveals strong biogeographic signal and two new species in a Cape Biodiversity Hotspot endemic mini-radiation, the pygmy geckos (Gekkonidae: Goggia). Zootaxa 4312 (3): 449–470 - get paper here
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