Hemiphyllodactylus ngwelwini GRISMER, WOOD, QUAH, THURA, OAKS & LIN, 2020
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|Higher Taxa||Gekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)|
|Common Names||E: Ngwe Lwin’s Slender Gecko|
|Synonym||Hemiphyllodactylus ngwelwini GRISMER, WOOD, QUAH, THURA, OAKS & LIN 2020|
Type locality: Thayeumin Cave, State, Myanmar (20.72288°N 96.58994°E WGS; 1057 m in elevation
|Types||Holotype. LSUHC 14473, Adult male, collected on 2 August 2019 at 1955 hrs by L. Lee Grismer, Perry L. Wood Jr., Myint Kyaw Thura, and Aung Lin.|
Paratypes. Females and juvenile LSUHC 14474–76 bear the same collection data as the holotype. Females LSUHC 14328–29 and male 14330 were collected from Pwe Hla Village, Shan State (20.84125°N 96.69030°E WGS; 1416 m in elevation) by L. Lee Grismer, Perry L. Wood, Jr, Evan S. H. Quah, Myint Kyaw Thura, Jamie R. Oaks, and Aung Lin on 14 November 2018 and female LSUHC 14489 bears the same collecting locality but was collected by L. Lee Grismer, Perry L. Wood Jr., Myint Kyaw Thura, and Aung Lin on 3 August 2019. Female LSUHC 14326 and male 14327 from the Myintmahati Cave, Shan State (20.59082°N 96.61198°E WGS; 1326 m in elevation) were collected by L. Lee Grismer, Perry L. Wood, Jr, Evan S. H. Quah, Myint Kyaw Thura, Jamie R. Oaks, and Aung Lin on 15 November 2018.
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis. Hemiphyllodactylus ngwelwini sp. nov. can be separated from all other species of Hemiphyllodac- tylus by possessing the unique combination of having a maximum SVL of 40.2 mm; 9–13 chin scales; enlarged postmentals; five circumnasal scales; 1–3 intersupranasals (=postrostrals); 8–11 supralabials; 8–10 infralabials; 11–14 longitudinally arranged dorsal scales at midbody contained within one eye diameter and seven or eight ven- tral scales; four subdigital lamellae on the first finger and toe; 15–22 continuous, pore-bearing, femoroprecloacal scales in males; no plate-like subcaudal scales; adult females variably yellow; a dark postorbital stripe extending to at least base of neck; dorsolateral light-colored spots usually present on trunk; no dark, dorsolateral or ventrolateral stripe on trunk; dark zig-zag of paravertebral markings on trunk variable; light-colored postsacral marking vari- ably bearing anteriorly projecting arms; and caecum and gonads unpigmented. These characters are scored across all Burmese species in Tables 3 and 6 and from all other species of Hemiphyllodactylus from southern China and western Thailand (clades 3 and 4 in Grismer et al. 2017:Table 3).|
Comparisons. The molecular analyses indicate that Hemiphyllodactylus ngwelwini sp. nov. is a genetically dis- tinct member of the north lineage composed of three, putatively, interbreeding populations being that the intrapopu- lational uncorrected pairwise sequence divergence across 29 km is only 1.0% and that individuals from the three populations are polyphyletic with respect to one another (Fig. 1, Table 8). Hemiphyllodactylus ngwelwini sp. nov. is the sister species to a clade composed of H. ywanganensis and the sister species H. uga, and H. linnwayensis (Fig. 1) from which it bears an uncorrected pairwise sequence divergence of 8.4% from H. linnwayensis, 9.0% from H. uga, and 8.5% from H. ywanganensis (Table 8). H. ngwelwini sp. nov. differs significantly from H. linnwayensis, H. montawaensis, and H. tonywhitteni in mean values of CS (10.8 vs 5.0, p = 7.42-06; 10.8 vs 6.3, p = 4.93-05; and 10.8 vs. 6.6, p = 5.14-05; respectively; Table 3); differs significantly from H. tonywhitteni in mean values of DS (12.7 vs 14.8, p = 0.014; Table 3); and from H. montawaensis it differs significantly in adjusted mean values of HL (1.985 vs 2.852, p = 0.021; Fig. 2, Table 3). Hemiphyllodactylus ngwelwini sp. nov. differs from H. uga and H. ywanganensis (n = 2) by having four subdigital lamelae on the first finger as opposed to two or three in H. uga and three in H. ywanganensis and four subdigital lamelae on the first toe as opposed to two or three in the latter two species. How- ever, the sample sizes of the latter two species (n =4 and n = 2, respectively) are so small that these values are likely to change with the addition of more samples. Owing to the high intraspecific variability of color pattern characters in H. ngwelwini sp. nov. (Figs. 4, 5), no interspecific differences between it and other members of the north lineage were found.
|Etymology||The specific epithet recognizes and honors Mr. Ngwe Lwin, northern Program Manager of Fauna and Flora International in Myanmar. Mr. Ngwe Lwin has been supportive and invaluably instrumental in facilitating the field work of the authors in Myanmar since October of 2017.|
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