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Hemiphyllodactylus minimus MOHAPATRA, KHANDEKAR, DUTTA, MAHAPATRA & AGARWAL, 2020

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Ganjam slender gecko 
SynonymHemiphyllodactylus minimus MOHAPATRA, KHANDEKAR, DUTTA, MAHAPATRA & AGARWAL 2020 
DistributionIndia (Odisha)

Type locality: Jhadeswar Shiva Temple, Humma, Ganjam District, Odisha, India (19.451242° N, 85.053831° E; 90 m asl.)  
TypesHolotype. ZSI-CZRC-7112, adult male, collected on 18/06/2014 by Pratyush P. Mohapatra.
Paratypes. ZSI-CZRC-7113, NCBS-BH667, BNHS 2523, adult males, ZSI-CZRC-7114, BNHS 2520, BNHS 2521, NCBS-BH665, NCBS-BH665, BNHS 2522, BNHS 2524, adult females, BNHS 2522 collected on 13/05/2015 by Pratyush P. Mohapatra and S.K. Dutta; BNHS 2523 & BNHS 2524 collected on 28/02/2017 by Pratyush P. Mo- hapatra & Cuckoo Mahapatra; same locality data as holotype. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Hemiphyllodactylus minimus sp. nov. can be diagnosed from congeners by the unique combination of snout-vent length up to 31.2 mm (n=11); nine or ten chin scales; postmentals not enlarged; 9–11 supralabials and infralabials; 15–18 dorsal scales and eight or nine ventral scales at mid-body contained within one longitudinal eye diameter; four subdigital lamellae on the first finger and four or five on first toe; lamellar formula of manus 2222; lamellar formula of pes 2332 and 2333; males with nine or ten precloacal pores separated by 4–6 poreless scales from a series of six or seven femoral pores on each thigh (n=4); no plate-like enlarged subcaudals; dorsum with two pairs of longitudinal stripes extending up to mid-body, the outer pair originating from behind the eye and inner pair from the nape; dorsal pattern with irregular dark lines and white spots; post sacral spot with anteriorly projecting light coloured bands; belly light speckled with dark spots (Mohapatra et al. 2020).

Comparison with peninsular Indian congeners. Hemiphyllodactylus minimus sp. nov. can be distinguished from all other Indian congeners on the basis of the following differing or non-overlapping characters: males with nine or ten precloacal and six or seven femoral pores (versus males with eight or nine precloacal and two or three femoral pores in H. arakuensis, six or seven precloacal and 6–8 femoral pores in H. aurantiacus, and 11 precloacal and femoral pores in H. peninsularis); males with 4–6 poreless scales between precloacal and femoral pores (versus 11–14 in H. arakuensis, 9–11 in H. aurantiacus, 10–12 in H. jnana, and 7–9 in H. nilgiriensis); 15–18 mid-body dorsal scales in one eye diameter (versus 13–16 in H. arakuensis and H. aurantiacus, and 20 in H. peninsularis); eight or nine mid-body ventral scales in one eye diameter (versus 9–13 in H. aurantiacus, 11–15 in H. jnana, 10–13 in H. kolliensis, 12–15 in H. nilgiriensis and 14 in H. peninsularis); lamellar formula of toes 2332 or 2333 (versus 2333 or 3333 in H. arakuensis, 2233, 2333/3333 in H. aurantiacus and 2222 in H. jnana, H. kolliensis, H. nilgiriensis and H. peninsularis) (Mohapatra et al. 2020).

Variation in colouration. (based on unvouchered specimens). The species shows substantial ground colour and pattern variation, broadly summarized as a dark and light phase (Figure 6). The extent of the postsacral marking is also variable; the original tail is orange or light orange or drab and orange ventrally, with 8–10 pairs of indistinct black crossbars posterior to postsacral marking (Mohapatra et al. 2020). 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is the Latin word for smallest as this is the smallest known species of the genus Hemiphyllodactylus. 
  • MOHAPATRA, PRATYUSH P.; AKSHAY KHANDEKAR, SUSHIL K. DUTTA, CUCKOO MAHAPATRA, ISHAN AGARWAL 2020. A novel, diminutive Hemiphyllodactylus Bleeker, 1860 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from a sacred grove in Odisha, eastern India. Zootaxa 4852 (4): 485–499 - get paper here
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