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Goniurosaurus varius QI, GRISMER, LYU, ZHANG, LI & WANG, 2020

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Higher TaxaEublepharidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Nanling Leopard Gecko]
Chinese: 南岭睑虎 
SynonymGoniurosaurus varius QI, GRISMER, LYU, ZHANG, LI & WANG 2020 
DistributionChina (N Guangdong: Nanling National Nature Reserve)

Type locality: Nanling National Nature Reserve (ca 560 m a.s.l.), Chengjia Yao Ethnic Township, Yangshan County, Guangdong Province, China.  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype. SYS r002333, adult male (Fig. 7), collected by Liang Zhang on 20 September 2019. Paratypes. One adult male (SYS r002331) and three adult females (SYS r002330, SYS r002362–2363), collected by Zhi-Ren Zhang, Yu Zhang, and Peng Cen on 6 August 2018, from Nanling National Nature Reserve, Chengjia Yao Ethnic Township at eleva- tions between 180 and 560 m. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Goniurosaurus varius sp. nov. can be distinguished from all other congeners by the combination of the following characters: (1) adult body size moderate, measuring 81.5–86.3 mm in SVL; (2) nasal scales surrounding nares 7–9; (4) internasal usually single, rarely two; (5) eyelid fringe scales 50–56; (6) granular scales of the upper eyelids similar in size to those on the top of the head; (7) scales around midbody 101–110; (8) dorsal tubercle rows at midbody 21–24; (9) paravertebral tubercles between limb insertions 27–29; (10) claws sheathed by four scales, dorsal scale small, two lateral scales short and shell-shaped; (11) axillary pockets deep; (12) presence of ten precloacal pores in males, and absent in females; (13) dorsal ground color of head, body, and limbs in adults reddish brown, mottled with varied spots and stripes; (14) nuchal loop usually incomplete, if complete, posteriorly rounded; (15) presence of four thin dorsal body bands with dark spots, bordered with black anteriorly and posteriorly, sometime last two bands indistinct; (16) usually presence of a longitudinal light colored vertebral stripe on the trunk of body; (17) light pink beneath, with dark brown lateral spots; (18) iris orange-red.

Comparisons. Goniurosaurus varius sp. nov. is most similar to G. yingdeensis and G. zhelongi, two closely related species from north Guangdong Province, but it differs from them by following characters: paravertebral tubercles between limb insertions 27–29 (25–26 in G. yingdeensis, 28–33 in G. zhelongi); dorsal tubercle rows at midbody 21–24 (vs. 25–27 in G. yingdeensis, 23–28 in G. zhelongi); trunk of body usually with a longitudinal light colored vertebral stripe (vs. absent in G. yingdeensis and G. zhelongi); nuchal loop and body bands with black spots (vs. without black spots in G. yingdeensis and G. zhelongi); iris orange-red (vs. iris gray, becoming orange near pupil in G. yingdeensis, iris gray-white, tinged with orange in G. zhelongi). Additional comparisons of morphological characteristics with G. yingdeensis and G. zhelongi are provided in Figures 8, 9.

Coloration in life. Dorsal ground color of head, neck, body, and limbs reddish brown, mottled with indistinct faint dark brown-colored markings, scattered with densely light yellow tubercles and a few dark brown and reddish brown tubercles; nuchal loop incomplete, just from posterior corner of eyes to the temporal region, dirty yellow; four narrow body bands between the nuchal loop and the caudal constriction, fourth band inserting into the dorsal thigh, bands dirty yellow, with dark spots, edged in dark-brown anteriorly and posteriorly; a longitudinal light colored vertebral stripe between third and fourth bands; supralabials and infralabials grayish brown; pupils vertical and black; iris orange-red; dorsal surface of limbs deep reddish brown with dirty yellow tubercles and indistinct dark spots; chin, throat, thorax, and ventral surfaces of body pink, tinged brownish, with dark-brown lateral spots; ventral surface of limbs pink, tinged brownish, with dark-brown spots; digits gray; ground color of the regenerated tail dark-brown, one original white band on the bases of tail, followed by irregularly shaped white markings. The body color becomes darker after capture.

Coloration in juvenile. Dorsal ground color of head, neck, body, and limbs dark-orange, mottled with indistinct faint dark-brown-colored markings, scattered with dense light yellow tubercles and a few dark-brown tubercles; nuchal loop from posterior corner of the mouth to the back of head, light yellow; four narrow body bands between the nuchal loop and the caudal constriction, fourth band inserting into the dorsal thigh, band color light yellow with dark spots, edged in dark-brown anteriorly and posteriorly (but not laterally); supralabials and infralabials grayish brown; pupils vertical and black; iris orange-red; dorsal surface of limbs dark orange with orange tubercles and indistinct dark spots; chin, throat, thorax, and ventral surfaces of body pink; ventral surface of limbs pink with dark-brown spots; digits gray; tail black-grey bearing white caudal bands encircling tail. 
Comment 
EtymologyThe specific name varius means varied or diverse in Latin and refers to its variable dorsal color pattern. 
References
  • Qi S, Grismer LL, Lyu Z-T, Zhang L, Li P-P, Wang Y-Y 2020. A definition of the Goniurosaurus yingdeensis group (Squamata, Eublepharidae) with the description of a new species. ZooKeys 986: 127-155 - get paper here
 
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