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Hemidactylus sahgali MIRZA, GOWANDE, PATIL, AMBEKAR & PATEL, 2018

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Sahgal’s termite hill gecko 
SynonymHemidactylus sahgali MIRZA, GOWANDE, PATIL, AMBEKAR & PATEL 2018: 19
Hemidactylus triedrus — BOULENGER 1885: 133 (in part)
Hemidactylus triedrus — SMITH 1935: 88 (in part)
Hemidactylus triedrus — MINTON 1966: 85
Hemidactylus triedrus — BAUER et al. 2010
DistributionIndia (Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh), Pakistan (Sindh)

Type locality: Khambha village, Visavadar, Junagadh district, Gujarat, India (21.283596N, 70.640201E, elevation 154 m  
TypesHolotype: NCBS AU708, male, collected by Pranav Vaghashiya on May 29, 2017. Paratypes: BNHS 2496, male, Bilimora near Chikili, Navsari district, Gujarat (20.774864N, 72.980325E, elevation 15 m) collected by Harshil Patel, Kaushal Patel & Vaibhav Naik on June 3, 2017; female BNHS 2497 Ambapani Village, Tapi district, Gujarat (20.715000N, 73.433046E, elevation 208 m) collected by Harshil Patel & Vaibhav Naik on October 23, 2016; female BNHS 2498 Kangvai Village, Navsari district, Gujarat (20.870295N, 73.173764E, elevation 40 m) collected by Harshil Patel & Parimal Patel on September 8, 2015; BNHS 2499, Bilimora, Navsari district, Gujarat (20.774864N, 72.980325E, elevation 15 m) collected by Harshil Patel, & Vaibhav Naik on May 14, 2017; female NCBS AU709, Saswad, Pune district, Maharashtra (18.360547N, 74.016699E, elevation 848 m), collected by Varun Vaze, Gaurang Gowande & Rishikesh Patil on June 2017. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A medium sized fairly stout gecko, adults ranging 56–78 mm in SVL. Dorsum in a shade of light brown with paired, broad black edged white bands at regular intervals. Dorsal scalation on trunk, granular, intermixed with enlarged, keeled 15–16 trihedral tubercle rows arranged in fairly regular longitudinal series. Seven to eight lamellae under digit I of pes and manus, 8–10 under digit four of manus and pes. An angular series of 11–15 precloacal femoral pores separated at a mid-pelvic by a diastema of one to three non-pored scales.

Hemidactylus sahgali sp. nov. differs from most congeners in bearing the following
set of differing and non-overlapping characters: dorsum with large, keeled trihedral tubercles in 16–18 fairly regular longitudinal rows (vs. few smooth or rounded tubercles in H. aquilonius, H. flaviviridis, H. frenatus, H. garnotii, H. leschenaultii, H. giganteus, H. gujaratensis, H. platyurus, H. anamallensis, H. aaronbaueri, H. yajurvedi, H. hemchandrai); dorsal pattern with fairly distinct bands and dorsal tubercles trihedral (vs. dorsal pattern with spots and dorsal tubercles sub-trihedral in H. prashadi); SVL 56–78 mm (vs. SVL <50 mm in H. sataraensis, H. gracilis, H. reticulatus, H. albofasciatus, H. scabriceps; SVL >80 mm H. maculatus, H. graniticolus, H. kangerensis, H. sushilduttai, H. vanam, H. acanthopholis, and H. hunae; dorsum in a shade of brown with distinct, regularly spaced transverse bands on dorsum (vs. overall in a shade of brown to grey with dark spots, lacking distinct bands on dorsum in H. persicus, H. robustus, H. turcicus, H. treutleri, H. chipkali, H. gleadowi, H. parvimaculatus, H. kushmorensis, H. murrayi, H. malcolmsmithi). The new species is most similar to H. triedrus in general appearance, however, differs in bearing 15–16 rows of keeled, trihedral tubercle in fairly longitudinal rows (vs. 19–20 keeled, trihedral tubercles in H. triedrus, 16–17 sub-trihedral tubercles in H. whitakeri sp. nov.), broad bands on dorsum complete (vs. bands thin, paired and usually broken in?), 11–15 precloacal femoral pores separated by a diastema of one to three non-pored scales (vs. seven to nine precloacal femoral pores separated by a diastema of one to three non-pored scales in H. triedrus and H. whitakeri sp. nov.).
Postorbitofrontal slender in anteriorly, gradually widens posterior to the Fronto-Parietal suture as seen in H. whitakeri sp. nov. (vs. Postorbitofrontal uniform in its wide throughout in H. triedrus), Frontal much wider posteriorly as in H. whitakeri sp. nov. (vs. frontal narrow in H. triedrus); quadrate slender and arched (vs. quadrate bone moderately robust and thick in H. triedrus and H. whitakeri sp. nov.), surangular robust in its width lacking a distinct constriction at the suture between—articular surface and retroarticular process (vs. slender in H. triedrus and H. whitakeri sp. nov.). 
CommentDistribution: see Figure 14 in Mirza et al. 2018: 28. 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is a patronym honoring Bittu Sahgal, Editor and founder of Sanctuary Asia magazine for his contribution toward conservation of wildlife. 
  • Bauer, Aaron M.; Todd R. Jackman, Eli Greenbaum, Varad B. Giri, Anslem de Silva 2010. South Asia supports a major endemic radiation of Hemidactylus geckos. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 57 (1): 343-352 - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1885. Catalogue of the lizards in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) I. Geckonidae, Eublepharidae, Uroplatidae, Pygopodidae, Agamidae. London: 450 pp. - get paper here
  • Ingle, Mukesh; Ulka Yadav, Ashok K. Bhilala, Manohar Pawar 2019. Urban Herpetofauna: A Case Study in Ujjain City of Central India. International Journal of Scientific Research in Biological Sciences 6 (5): 76-84 - get paper here
  • Kwet, A. 2019. Liste der im Jahr 2018 neu beschriebenen Reptilien. Elaphe 2019 (3): 52-72
  • Minton, S. A. Jr. 1966. A contribution to the herpetology of West Pakistan. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist., 134: 29-184. - get paper here
  • Mirza ZA, Gowande GG, Patil R, Ambekar M, Patel H. 2018. First appearance deceives many: disentangling the Hemidactylus triedrus species complex using an integrated approach. PeerJ 6:e5341 - get paper here
  • Patel H, Vyas R, Dudhatra B, Naik V, Chavda A, Chauhan D, et al . 2019. Preliminary report on Herpetofauna of Mount Girnar, Gujarat, India. JAD 2019; 1 (2) - get paper here
  • Patel, Harshil; and Raju Vyas 2019. Reptiles of Gujarat, India: Updated Checklist, Distribution, and Conservation Status. Herpetology Notes 12: 765-777 - get paper here
  • Smith, M.A. 1935. The fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Reptiles and Amphibia, Vol. II. Sauria. Taylor and Francis, London, 440 pp.
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