Hemidactylus mahonyi ADHIKARI, ACHYUTHAN, KUMAR, KHOT, SHREERAM & GANESH, 2022
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Hemidactylus mahonyi?
|Higher Taxa||Gekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)|
|Synonym||Hemidactylus mahonyi ADHIKARI, ACHYUTHAN, KUMAR, KHOT, SHREERAM & GANESH 2022|
Hemidactylus treutleri — LAJMI et al. 2016 (part)
Hemidactylus treutleri — LAJMI et al. 2019 (part)
|Distribution||India (Karnataka, Bellary District), elevation of ca. 440‒500 m asl|
Type locality: Sandur Hills (in Joga Village; 15.229°N, 76.538°E; 440 m asl), Sandur Taluk, Bellary District, Karnataka State, India
|Types||Holotype: BNHS 2598, adult male, collected by Omkar Adhikari, Ranjit Manakadan, and Vithoba Hegde on 21 March 2019 from Sandur Hills (in Joga Village; 15.229°N, 76.538°E; 440 m asl), Sandur Taluk, Bellary District, Karnataka State, India.|
Paratypes: BNHS 2597, adult male and BNHS 2601, sub-adult male, same collection information as the holotype.
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis: A medium-sized (SVL 51.3–56.1 mm, n=2) species of Hemidactylus inhabiting the Sandur Hills. Dorsal pholidosis composed of sub-circular, flattened granular scales interspersed with enlarged, strongly keeled tubercles that are heterogeneous in size and shape, smallest on the neck gradually increasing in size posteriorly and laterally where they are up to 3–4 times the size of surrounding granular scales, fairly regularly arranged in 13–14 longitudinal rows at mid-body; 24–27 tubercles in paravertebral rows. VS 29–35 scale rows. Digits with enlarged scansors, lamellae in straight transverse series, all divided except the apical and a few basal that are undivided; lamellae beneath digit I: 5–6 (both manus and pes), digit IV: 8–9 (manus) and 8–10 (pes). Males with 7–9 precloacal-femoral pores on each thigh separated by six pore-less pre-cloacal scales. Dorsum yellow to brown ocher in color with numerous scattered dark and light blotches. Two or three post-cloacal spurs; tail dorso-laterally depressed; scales on dorsal aspect of tail heterogeneous, slightly larger than granular scales on dorsum, intermixed with a series of 6–8 enlarged, strongly keeled, pointed tubercles on each whorl (Adhikari et al. 2021).|
Comparisons: Hemidactylus mahonyi sp. nov. can be easily distinguished from members of the murrayi group based on the following non-overlapping characters (note: comparison with the new species H. srikanthani sp. nov. will follow that species’ description): male with 7–9 PCFP and six SBFP (versus 12–13 PCFP and single SBFP in H. brookii; 12–13 PCFP and single SBFP in H. cf. gleadowi; 10–11 PCFP and two or three SBFP in H. cf. kushmorensis; 10–14 PCFP and one to three SBFP in H. malcolmsmithi; 11–17 PCFP and one to three SBFP in H. parvimaculatus; 10–12 PCFP and nine or ten SBFP in H. rishivalleyensis; 15 PCFP and four SBFP in H. sankariensis; 11–15 PCFP and three SBFP in H. sahgali; 17 or 18 PCFP and five SBFP in H. siva; 15 or 16 PCFP and single SBFP in H. xericolus; 15–17 PCFP and one or two SBFP in H. flavicaudus; 16–17 PCFP and seven SBFP in H. srikanthani sp. nov. and 7 or 8 PCFP. 13–14 DTR in Hemidactylus mahonyi sp. nov. (versus 17–18 in H. gleadowi, 19–20 in H. kushmorensis, 16–20 in H. murrayi, 6–8 in H. xericolous, 15 in H. chikhaldaraensis, 15–16 in H. chipkali, 15–20 in H. malcolmsmithi, 15–17 in H. sankariensis, 15 or 16 in H. rishivalleyensis, 16 in H. siva, 15–16 in H. treutleri, 17 or 18 in H. varadgirii, 15 or 16 in H. sahgali, 16 or 17 in H. whitakeri. 19–20 in H. triedrus. Sub-digital lamellae beneath digit I of manus 5–6 in H. mahonyi sp. nov. (versus 7 in H. srikanthani sp. nov.); lamellae beneath digit I of pes 8–10 H. mahonyi sp. nov. (11 lamellae in H. chikhaldaraensis, and 6 in H. sankariensis). Sub-digital lamellae beneath digit IV of manus 8–9 H. mahonyi sp. nov. (11 in H. chikhaldaraensis); lamellae beneath digit IV of pes 8 in H. mahonyi sp. nov. (versus 11 in H. chikhaldaraensis, and 9 or 10 in H. rishivalleyensis). The moderate size (up to 56.1 mm SVL, n=2) of Hemidactylus mahonyi sp. nov. easily distinguishes it from other large sized peninsular Indian congeners: 108 mm in H. acanthopholis; 111 mm in H. graniticolus; 95 mm in H. kangerensis; 80 mm in H. kolliensis; 78 mm in H. sahgali; 95 mm in H. sirumalaiensis; 105 mm in H. siva and H. sushilduttai; 126 mm in H. tamhiniensis; 107 mm in H. easai; 76 mm in H. triedrus; 112 mm in H. vanam; 124.4 in H. paaragowli. Additionally, in having a dorsal scalation that is intermixed with large, trihedral, keeled tubercles, H. mahonyi sp. nov. instantly differs from the following species that lack it: H. frenatus, H. leschenaultii, H. giganteus, H. yajurvedi, H. hemchandrai, H. scabriceps, H. reticulatus, H. gracilis, H. sataraensis, H. albofasciatus, H. xericolus and H. flavicaudus. (Adhikari et al. 2021).
Color in life: Overall dorsal body coloration yellow to brown ocher; head, limbs and tail yellow to brown ochre; dorsum of head, body, limbs and tail with dark brown and off-white blotches; anterior snout region including interorbital region more yellowish with light to dark colored scales; labials yellowish to pale brown mottled with finer brownish or blackish spots; entire ventral surface of the body and tail is off-white or soft beige colored; lateral edge of the belly, gular region and tail, ventral surface of the forearms speckled with very fine blackish spots; ventral surface of the hind limb speckled with few and finer blackish spots (Adhikari et al. 2021).
|Etymology||Patronym named in genitive singular case, honouring Dr. Stephen Mahony, an Irish herpetologist and a decade-long friend and colleague of the last author, for his significant research contributions on Tropical Asian herpetofauna and, in particular, on the H. brookii group|