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Higher TaxaSphaerodactylidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common Names 
DistributionVenezuela (Amazonas)

Type locality: sector El Infierno, road Puerto Ayacucho-Gavilan, Estado Amazonas, Venezuela.  
Reproductionoviparous (not imputed, fide Zimin et al. 2022) 
TypesHolotype: MHNLS 18417 (field number CJF4680), an adult male, one of three specimens collected on 15 March 2007 by Gilson Rivas and Tito Barros. Paratypes: 14 specimens from two localities. Specimens from same locality as holotype (paratopotypes): UTA 57495 and 57496, two adult females collected with the holotype; UTA 57494 an adult male, UTA 57497 a juvenile, both collected on 14 March 2007 by Gilson Rivas and Tito Barros; EBRG 4979 and EBRG 4980, two adult males collected by Marco Natera on 2005; MHNLS 17702, 18455-57 ob- tained by Gilson Rivas and Marco Natera on 13 February 2006.Specimens from Serran ́ıadelosPijiguaos,140km southwest of Caicara del Orinoco (600 m elevation), Estado Bol ́ıvar, Venezuela: EBRG 2030 and MBLUZ 931, two adult males, both collected on 31 March 1987; EBRG 2032, an immature male, collected 4 April 1987; EBRG 2076 an adult female, obtained on 27 July 1987. All collected by Ramón Rivero. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: The new species can be distinguished from all congeners by a combination of the following characters: moderate size, elongate supraciliary spine (Fig. 8), medial subcaudal scales not distinctly differentiated from adjacent scales on non-regenerated tail, and males with dark greyish brown to black head with irregular white spots. Gonatodes astralis, together with G. annularis and G. hasemani, are the only species of Gonatodes in which the subcaudal pat- tern lacks medial differentiated scales. This character state seems fixed in both G. astralis and G. hasemani, and occurs only at low frequencies in G. annularis. From G. annularis (character states in parentheses) the new species differs in having an elongate supraciliary spine (absent or reduced) and a brown to copper coloured iris in both males and fe- males (males always with blue iris, females either blue or brown iris). The typical males of G. annularis are similar in colour pattern to males of G. astralis, but the dorsal spots (when present) in the former are bright yellow, whereas in the new species the spots are white. However, in preserva- tive the yellow spots in G. annularis fade to white, which makes this character difficult to evaluate in museum speci- mens unless colour in life has been noted or photographed. The new species and G. hasemani have radically different colour patterns in males. In G. hasemani males usually have a bright yellow or orange hood (absent in some specimens) that commonly has black reticulations. Typical males of G. hasemani have a dorsolateral stripe and/or lateral ocelli (neither trait present in G. astralis). The white centres of these lateral ocelli have scales modified into spines, which is a distinctive trait shared only with G. alexandermendesi. Gonatodes astralis further differs from both G. annularis and G. hasemani in having fewer subdigital lamellae under the fourth toe (17–19 vs. 24–30 in G. annularis and 19–26 in G. hasemani). 
EtymologyNamed after the Latin word astrum, meaning ‘star’, and the Latin adjective-forming suffix -alis meaning ‘pertaining to’. The name alludes to the colour pattern of the males, which shows a black head with white spots, resembling the sky in a clear night. 
  • Barrio-Amorós, C.L. 2010. GONATODES - Los Geckos diurnos de Venezuela. RioVerde 2010; 43-50
  • RIVAS, GILSON A.; CÉSAR R. MOLINA, GABRIEL N. UGUETO, TITO R. BARROS, CÉSAR L. BAR- RIO-AMORÓS & PHILIPPE J. R. KOK 2012. Reptiles of Venezuela: an updated and commented checklist. Zootaxa 3211: 1–64 - get paper here
  • SCHARGEL, WALTER E.; GILSON A.RIVAS,ROBERT MAKOWSKY,J.CELSA SEÑARIS,MARCO A. NATERA, TITO R. BARROS, CÉSAR R. MOLINA & CÉSAR L. BARRIO-AMORÓS 2010. Phylogenetic systematics of the genus Gonatodes (Squamata: Sphaerodactylidae) in the Guayana region, with description of a new species from Venezuela. Systematics and Biodiversity 8 (3): 321–339 - get paper here
  • Zimin, A., Zimin, S. V., Shine, R., Avila, L., Bauer, A., Böhm, M., Brown, R., Barki, G., de Oliveira Caetano, G. H., Castro Herrera, F., Chapple, D. G., Chirio, L., Colli, G. R., Doan, T. M., Glaw, F., Grismer, L. L., Itescu, Y., Kraus, F., LeBreton 2022. A global analysis of viviparity in squamates highlights its prevalence in cold climates. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 00, 1–16 - get paper here
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