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Hemidactylus pseudoromeshkanicus TORKI, 2019

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common Names 
SynonymHemidactylus pseudoromeshkanicus TORKI 2019 
DistributionIran (Khuzestan)

Type locality: western slope of central Zagros Mountains, Kole-Saat region Andimeshk, Khuzestan Province, western Iran, (32°52’N, 48°43’E, altitude 607 m elevation)  
TypesHolotype: ZFMK 98578, adult male, collected on 14 June 2010 by Farhang Torki. Paratype: ZFMK 97757, adult female, same data as for holotype. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A medium sized Hemidactylus, snout-vent length at least 74 mm; tubercles distributed all over the dorsum (except for arms); back with enlarged trihedral keeled tubercles; granules (rather than scales) cover head and extend to neck, and rarely to forelimbs; without femoral pores; precloacal pores present; tubercular heterogeneity present on dorsum (proximal and distal parts), limbs, neck, head, and dorsolateral; six tubercles in all whorls of tail; two postmentals; more lamellae under fingers; subcaudal scale enlarged; ventral scales not imbricate, and the ends of ventral scales are simple (cycloid at mid- part; weakly denticulate at distal and proximal parts of ventral); enlarged scansors beneath fingers, scansors are mostly divided, terminal scansor is single; intermixed color pattern on dorsal body; sexual dichromatism (in both dorsal and ventral body) occurs between male (holotype) and female (paratype).

Comparison with Hemidactylus romeshkanicus: two postmentals (instead of three developed in H. romeshkanicus, Fig. 11); H. pseudoromeshkanicus sp.n. has more lamellae under 4th digit of pes (13 instead of nine), 1st digit (11 instead of eight), and 4th digit (15 instead of 12) than H. romeshkanicus (which is slightly true for other fingers); whorl tubercles on tail (number, size, and arrangement) as follows: number of tubercles in each whorl in H. pseudoromeshkanicus sp.n. from 1st to 4th is unique (6-6-6-6), in contrast in H. romeshkanicus decreasing number of tubercles from 1st to 4th whorl (7-6-5- 4), scales between each whorl in H. pseudoromeshkanicus sp.n. more than H. romeshkanicus (5–7 instead of four); supralabials in H. pseudoromeshkanicus sp.n. significantly less than H. romeshkanicus (11 instead of 15); tubercle rugosity (in general) on dorsum of body of H. romeshkanicus is stronger than H. pseudoromeshkanicus sp.n. (one significant example: three views of trihedral tubercles show rugosity, that rarely occurs for H. pseudoromeshkanicus sp.n.), tubercular heterogeneity (small and large trihedral, pointed) occurs on proximal and distal part of dorsum of H. pseudoromeshkanicus sp.n., in contrast to H. romeshkanicus. Nasals separated by one small scale in H. pseudoromeshkanicus sp.n., in contrast, one large scale separates nasals in H. romeshkanicus.

Comparisons with other Hemidactylus: In general, H. pseudoromeshkanicus sp.n. is significantly different from H. robustus, H. persicus, H. sassanidianus sp.n., and H. achaemenidicus sp.n. by having mostly enlarged trihedral tubercles on dorsal body. Differs from H. robustus in body size (than less 50 vs. at least 74 mm) and tail with more precloacal pores (12 vs. 6–8), tail tuberculation (keeled and raised instead pointed), and different dorsal color patterns (irregular bands vs. spotted). Differs from H. persicus by larger body size and stronger tubercle rugosity on entire dorsal body and limbs, head shape and size, and dorsal tubercle rows (Table 2). Differs from H. flaviviridis by having enlarged tubercles on dorsum, and without femoral pores. For more comparisons see Table 2. Differs from H. sassanidianus sp.n. and H. achaemenidicus sp.n. by having more precloacal pores (12 vs. 6–8, 6–8, respectively), larger body size, tail with more dorsal tubercle rows, dorsal tubercle shape and size (more rugosity and larger in size for H. pseudoromeshkanicus sp.n.), and more lamellae under fingers (Table 2).
Brief comparisons show differences of H. pseudoromeshkanicus sp.n. from other Hemidactylus spp. outside of Iran. Differs from H. dawudazraqi, H. hajarensis, H. homoeolepis, H. jumailiae, H. shihraensis, H. alfarraji, H. asirensis, and H. foudaii by precloacal pores (12 vs. 6–8, 4–6, 3–6, 6–9, 6, 4, 6, 8–10, respectively). Differs from H. kurdicus by postmentals (2 vs. 1) and precloacal pores (12 vs. 10) [Safaei-Mahroo et al. 2017]. Differs from H. montanus by more lamellae beneath 4th digit of pes (15 vs. 9–12). Differs from H. endophis by large body size (74–75 vs. 59), strongly keeled dorsal tubercles (vs. relatively weakly keeled), and without femoral pores (vs. 14 pores). Differs from H. lemurinus by presence of well- developed dorsal tubercles (vs. none). Differs from H. luqueorum, H. festivus, H. paucituberculatus, H. lavadeserticus, H. masirahensis, and H. inexpectatus by more precloacal pores (12 vs. 5–6, 6, 6, 6, 4, and 4, respectively). Differs from H. turcicus by larger body size and tail, more lamellae beneath 4th digit of pes (13 vs. 8–11), more precloacal pores (12 vs. 6–10), stronger tubercular rugosity, and different body color patterns. Differs from H. mindiae, H. granosus, H. mandebensis, H. awashensis, H. adensis, H. minutus, H. ulii, H. saba, H. jumailiae, and H. yerburii, by having larger body size. Differs from H. alkiyumii by having more rows of tubercles (16–17 vs. 11–14), more lamellae under the 4th digit of pes (15 vs. 10–12), and more precloacal pores (12 vs. 6–10). Body size in H. pseudoromeshkanicus sp.n. is smaller than in H. aaronbaueri, dorsal tubercles in H. pseudoromeshkanicus sp.n. are much larger than in H. aaronbaueri; also, color pattern is different from H. aaronbaueri. By having enlarged, trihedral, and regular dorsal tubercles H. pseudoromeshkanicus sp.n. is easily distinguished from several species of Hemidactylus including: H. aaronbaueri, H. bowringii, H. brookii, H. flaviviridis, H. garnotii, H. karenorum, H. leschenaultii, H. maculatus, H. persicus, H. prashad, H. subtriedrus, and H. triedrus. Digits are relatively slender in H. scabriceps, but in H. pseudoromeshkanicus sp.n. they are broadly dilated. H. sinaitus (from Sudan to Northern Somalia, and Arabia) has smaller and more widely separated dorsal tubercles, but H. pseudoromeshkanicus sp.n. has mostly trihedral tubercles. 
CommentSympatry: Asaccus nasrullahi, Cyrtopodion scabrum, and Pseudocerastes fieldi.
EtymologyThe name “pseudoromeshkanicus” is an allusion to its similarity to H. romeshkanicus. The color pattern of this new species appears similar to H. romeshkanicus, but morphological characters do not match this species, therefore the prefix “pseudo” is used for the new species. 
  • Torki F. 2019. Three new species of Hemidactylus Oken, 1817 (Squamata, Gekkonidae) from Iran. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 13(2) [General Section]: 239–258 - get paper here
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