Hemiphyllodactylus pardalis GRISMER, YUSHCHENKO, PAWANGKHANANT, NAIDUANGCHAN, NAZAROV, ORLOVA, SUWANNAPOOM & POYARKOV, 2020
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|Higher Taxa||Gekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)|
|Common Names||E: Spotted Slender Gecko|
|Synonym||Hemiphyllodactylus pardalis GRISMER, YUSHCHENKO, PAWANGKHANANT, NAIDUANGCHAN, NAZAROV, ORLOVA, SUWANNAPOOM & POYARKOV 2020|
|Distribution||W Thailand (Ratchaburi)|
Type locality: low-elevation bamboo mixed seasonally dry evergreen forest of the Huai Pha Pok area, Suan Phueng District, Ratchaburi Province, western Thailand (13.58544° N, 99.21316° E WGS; elevation 280 m a.s.l.)
|Types||Holotype: ZMMU R-16390, Adult female, field Nos NAP-09689/SP-122) collected on 12 June 2019, at 2100 hrs by Platon V. Yushchenko (Figs. 1, 3, 4A).|
Paratype. Adult female (AUP 00766; photo LSUDPC 11146) collected from lowland primary forest near in Phanom District, Surat Thani Province, southern Thailand (8.90778° N, 98.53306° E; elevation 70 m a.s.l.) on 27 May 2018, at 2250 hrs by Parinya Pawangkhanant (Fig. 1, Fig. 4D).
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis. Hemiphyllodactylus pardalis sp. nov. can be distinguished from all other species of Hemiphyllodactylus by well-separated and well-defined black spots on the head and body and possessing the unique combination of having a maximum SVL of 48.0 mm with a notably elongate and gracile body habitus (AG/SVL ratio 0.65–0.67); 11 chin scales; enlarged postmentals; five circumnasal scales; three intersupranasals (= postrostrals); 11 supralabials; nine infralabials; 21 longitudinally arranged dorsal scales at midbody contained within one eye diameter and 10 ventral scales; 3-3-3-3 digital formula on hands and 4-4-4-4 formula on the feet; three subdigital lamellae on the first finger and four subdigital lamellae on the first toe; no pore-bearing, femoroprecloacal scales; 14 pore-bearing precloacal scales in males (as inferred from the large pitted homologous scales in females) that extend part way onto the proximal femoral region; one cloacal spur on each side; no plate-like subcaudal scales; a dark postorbital stripe extending to at least base of neck; dorsolateral light-colored spots on trunk; no dark dorsolateral stripe on trunk; dark ventrolateral stripe on trunk variable but generally present in the anterior part of the body and neck region; no dark transverse bands, blotches, or paravertebral markings on trunk; well-separated, faint white spots on trunk; no light-colored postsacral marking bearing anteriorly projecting arms; and caecum and gonads pigmented. These characters are scored across all species in the Indochina clade and all Thai species of Hemiphyllodactylus (Table 4), as well as from all other species of Hemiphyllodactylus from Myanmar and adjacent parts of Indochina in Grismer et al. (2017a, 2018a, 2020), Sukprasert et al. (2018), and Eliades et al. (2019).|
Coloration in life. The color pattern resembles that of the holotype in preservative. Background color of dorsal surfaces of head, body, limbs and tail yellowish-brown, lateral sides of head and body yellow, ventral surfaces of body whitish, gular area yellowish, translucent medially, getting brighter at mouth margins; dark spots on dorsum and tail, preocular and postocular stripes dark-brown, light-spots on flanks lemon-white, palpebral and cloacal regions bright-yellow, eye pupil vertical with serrated edges, iris bright coppery-orange with golden speckles and fine black reticulations throughout (Fig. 4A in Grismer et al. 2020).
Comparisons. The molecular analyses indicate that Hemiphyllodactylus pardalis sp. nov. is a genetically divergent member of the Indochina clade (Table 2) and the sister species to the remaining species of the clade (Fig. 2). Hemiphyllodactylus pardalis sp. nov. is differentiated from all Hemiphyllodactylus by having a dorsal pattern consisting of well-separated and well-defined black spots on the head and body as well as faint, but welldefined white spots on the body (Figs. 3, 4) and a relatively longer axillia-groin length (0.65–0.67 vs. 0.37–0.57, collectively [Table 4; Grismer et al. 2013, 2014, 2018a, 2020; Agarwal et al. 2019]).
In the absence of additional male specimens, H. pardalis sp. nov. can be differentiated from all other species in the Indochina clade and Thailand except H. flaviventris Sukprasert, Sutthiwises, Lauhachinda & Taksintum, by lacking enlarged femoral scales that are homologous with the enlarged pore-bearing femoral scales in males. It differs further from all other species in the Indochina clade except H. dushanensis Zhou & Lui, H. flaviventris, H. huishuiensis Yan, Lin, Guo, Li & Zhou, and H. zugi Nguyen, Lehmann, Le Duc, Duong, Bonkowski & Ziegler in having 11 as opposed to 5–9 chin scales, collectively (Zhou et al. 1981). It differs from all other species in the Indochina clade except H. dushanensis, H. flaviventris, H. hongkongensis Sung, Lee, Ng, Zhang & Yang, H. huishuiensis, and H. khlonglanensis Sukprasert, Sutthiwises, Lauhachinda & Taksintum, in having 21 as opposed to 12–18 chin scales, collectively and from H. serpispecus Eliades, Phimmachak, Sivogxay, Siler & Stuart which has 26. Other potentially diagnostic meristic characters across other species in the Indochina clade are listed in Table 4 in Grismer et al. 2020.
|Etymology||The specific epithet “pardalis” is an adjective in nominative singular, derived from the Latin “pardus”, meaning leopard, and is given in reference to the spotted, leopard-like, dorsal pattern characteristic of the new species.|
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