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Hemidactylus eniangii WAGNER, LEACHÉ & FUJITA, 2014

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common Names 
SynonymHemidactylus eniangii WAGNER, LEACHÉ & FUJITA 2014: 5
Hemidactylus eniangii LEACHÉ & FUJITA 2010 (nom. nud.) 
DistributionNigeria, N Cameroon

Type locality: Nigeria, Cross River State, Cross River National Park, Oban Hills Sector, Southern Portion, Erokut Park entry gate, 05.3639° N, 08.43341° E, 143 m elevation.  
TypesHolotype: MVZ 253215 (Fig. 3), adult male, collected by Adam D. Leaché, Anne M. Leaché, and Edem A. Eniang on 6 April 2006. Paratypes. MVZ 253213, 253214, same data as the holotype. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A medium sized species of Hemidactylus, with a maximum SVL of 60 mm, a maximum total length of about 140 mm, and a broad head (vs. slender in H. coa- lescens sp. n.). Characteristic is the dorsal scalation of ir- regular arranged smooth and convex tubercle scales, each encircled by a ring of small granular scales, and having two enlarged internasal scales (vs. three in all other species). In coloration, it is distinct from H. fasciatus by having a dark upper lip (vs. a pale one), and in having the band on the side of the head narrower than the crossband on the neck (vs. as broad as the crossband); from H. co- alescens sp. n. by having the last body crossband in con- tact with the hindlimbs (vs. not in contact), having the first body crossband starting on the hind part of the head skull (vs. restricted to the neck), and by having a narrow band (vs. a stripe as extension of the neck crossband on the side of the head); and from H. kyaboboensis sp. n. by having distinct body crossbands (vs. indistinct bands) and stripes, and by having the extension band on the side of the head narrower than the crossband on the neck (vs. as broad as the crossband).
CommentHabitat. This is a nocturnal species. Mertens (1938) men- tioned the gecko as very common in rainforests of lower elevations (400–550m) at Mount Cameroon, but also found one specimen in a small hut outside the forest (Wagner et al. 2014).

Relationships. This species includes all populations that cluster with those presented by Leaché & Fujita (2010) from the northern portion of the Congolian rainforest (eastern Nigeria and northern Cameroon) with strong support in the Bayesian species delimitation model. The SNP loci used by Leaché et al. (2014) provide strong support placing this taxon sister to H. coalescens sp. n. and H. biokoensis sp. n. This topology contradicts the Leaché and Fujita (2010) study, which suggests a close relationship between H. eniangii sp. n. and H. biokoensis sp. n. (Wagner et al. 2014).

Species delimitation: Douglas & Bouckaert 2022 applied a new species delimitation approach to this and other species but apparently did not infer any changes to current species definitions. 
EtymologyThis species is named in honor of the Nigerian conservation biologist and herpetologist Dr. Edem A. Eniang for his studies on the Nigerian herpetofauna. 
  • Bauer, Aaron M.; James F. Parham, Rafe M. Brown, Bryan L. Stuart, Lee Grismer, Theodore J. Papenfuss, Wolfgang Böhme, Jay M. Savage, Salvador Carranza, Jesse L. Grismer,, Philipp Wagner, Andreas Schmitz0, Natalia B. Ananjeva and Robert F. Inger 2010. Availability of new Bayesian-delimited gecko names and the importance of character-based species descriptions. Proc. R. Soc. B - doi:10.1098/rspb.2010.1330 - get paper here
  • Douglas, Jordan and Remco Bouckaert 2022. Quantitatively defining species boundaries with more efficiency and more biological realism. bioRxiv, February 16, 2022 - get paper here
  • Rösler, Herbert 2017. Gecko-Chorologie (Squamata: Gekkota). Gekkota (4): 1-160
  • Rösler, Herbert 2015. Bemerkungen über einige Geckos der Zoologischen Staatssammlung München. Gekkota, Suppl. (2): 3-54
  • Wagner, P., Leaché, A. & Fujita, M.K. 2014. Description of four new West African forest geckos of the Hemidactylus fasciatus Gray, 1842 complex, revealed by coalescent species delimitation. Bonn zoological Bulletin 63 (1): 1–14 - get paper here
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