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Gonatodes chucuri MENESES-PELAYO & RAMÍREZ, 2020

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Higher TaxaSphaerodactylidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Chucuri gecko
S: gecko del Chucurí 
SynonymGonatodes chucuri MENESES-PELAYO & RAMÍREZ 2020 
DistributionColombia (Santander), 500-1200 m elevation

Type locality: Finca El Diviso, vereda La Colorada, municipality of San Vicente de Chucurí, department of Santander, Colombia (6°49’29.72”N, 73°28’34.57”W, ca. 1330 m elevation).  
TypesHolotype. UIS-R-3146 (Fig. 2), an adult male collected by Elson Meneses-Pelayo on November 06, 2014.
Paratypes. Fifteen specimens collected by the first author (all from department of Santander, Colombia): One adult female (UIS-R-3005), 01 October 2014; one adult male (UIS-R-3057), 16 January 2015; one adult male and two adult females (UIS-R-3077-79, respectively), 28 February 2015; two adult females (UIS-R-3169-70), 13 July 2015, from the same locality of the holotype. Finca la Palmita, vereda Venceremos, municipality of Zapatoca (6°55’40.49”N, 73°21’10.94”W, ca. 890 m): two adult females (UIS-R-3535, UIS-R-3537), 05 June 2016; one adult male (UIS-R-3616), 09 September 2016; three adult females UIS-R-3715-17, 14 November 2016. Cerro de la Paz, vereda Altamira, municipality of Betulia (7°2’16.53”N, 73°24’41.42”W, ca. 790 m): one adult female (UIS-R-3381), 07 April 2016. Sector la Aguamieluda, vereda la Putana, municipality of Betulia (7°1’26.79”N, 73°26’54.86”W, ca. 745 m): one adult female (UIS-R-3447), 28 May 2016. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Gonatodes chucuri is distinguished from all congeners by the following combination of characters: (1) moderate body size, males from 35.8 to 43.05 mm and females from 27.74 to 40.17 mm SVL; (2) elongated supraciliary spine absent, but with 2 or 3 small conical supraciliary scales; (3) absence of a cluster of distinctly enlarged conical scales on the sides; (4) 92 to 103 scales around midbody; (5) 38 to 45 ventral scales counted in a longitudinal row; (6) males with escutcheon area on belly and undersurface of thighs; (7) two lateral rows of scales on distal parts of fingers and toes; (8) ventral surface of tail with a pattern of scales consisting in a medial row of enlarged subcaudals in which there are larger scales in contact with three scales laterally, separated from each other by a single smaller scale which contacts two scales laterally (subcaudal pattern type C of Rivero-Blanco & Schargel (2012); (9) males and females with cryptic coloration pattern dorsally, and yellow to ocher ventrally, without sexual dichromatism.
Gonatodes chucuri and G. lichenosus from Sierra de Perijá, Venezuela (Rojas-Runjaic et al. 2010) are the only mainland species of Gonatodes in which there is not sexual dichromatism. However, G. chucuri differs from this species (characters of G. lichenosus in parentheses) in not having clusters of enlarged conical to spinelike scales along the body (spinelike scales present), in commonly having a subcaudal pattern 1’1” with no changes along the tail (subcaudal pattern 1’2” basally, that changes to 1’1” distally), as well as by the presence of 13–17 (4-5) lamellae under fourth finger (14–16 (4-5)) and 15–20 (5-7) under fourth toe (18–19 (7)). Gonatodes chucuri presents a subcaudal pattern type C (1’1”), which it is also found in G. alexandermendesi Cole & Kok, G. eladioi do Nascimento, Avila-Pires & da Cunha, G. infernalis Rivas & Schargel, G. superciliaris Barrio-Amorós & Brewer-Carias, G. naufragus, and G. timidus Kok. However, the new species differs from G. alexandermendesi and G. superciliaris in lacking an elongated supraciliary spine (a single elongated spine is present). Gonatodes chucuri differs from G. eladioi in reaching SVL of 43.05 mm (< 40 mm in G. eladioi) and by the absence of a light vertebral band in males (present). Gonatodes chucuri is smaller than G. infernalis (SVL > 55 mm), and usually has two lateral scales on fingers and toes (usually four). Gonatodes chucuri is larger than G. naufragus (SVL < 27.2 mm) and smaller than G. timidus (adult reaching nearly 51.6 in SVL). The new species is found sympatrically with the widespread G. albogularis in several localities below 1000 m, but is distinguished by not having sexual dichromatism (sexual dichromatism present, with males showing bright and conspicuous colors, and females showing cryptic color patterns) and by presenting a subcaudal pattern 1’1” or 1’2” basally, that changes to 1’1” distally (a subcaudal pattern 1’1’1”). 
CommentHabitat: Specimens were collected in both primary and secondary forests, cultivated areas of cocoa and coffee with native vegetation, as well in an ancient house having stone and mud walls (Fig. 7A, B, D). Almost all specimens were found active during the day below the bark of the trees of Moraceae and Fabaceae, between 0.2 and 5.5 m above the ground.

Activity: Observations made during the collections suggest that G. chucuri is a diurnal species, but that most of the time it stays hidden under bark. 
EtymologyThe specific epithet, chucuri, is used as a noun in apposition and refers to the Chucurí river basin in the municipality of San Vicente de Chucurí, where the type locality of Gonatodes chucuri is located. 
  • MENESES-PELAYO, ELSON; JUAN P. RAMÍREZ 2020. A new species of the genus Gonatodes (Squamata: Sauria: Sphaerodactylidae) from the western flank of the Cordillera Oriental in Colombia, with description of its hemipenial morphology. Zootaxa 4729 (2): 207–227 - get paper here
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