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Hemiphyllodactylus tonywhitteni GRISMER, WOOD, THURA, ZIN, QUAH, MURDOCH, GRISMER, LI, KYAW & LWIN, 2017

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Phapant dwarf gecko 
SynonymHemiphyllodactylus tonywhitteni GRISMER, WOOD, THURA, ZIN, QUAH, MURDOCH, GRISMER, LI, KYAW & LWIN 2017: 11 
DistributionMyanmar (Shan)

Type locality: Phapant Cave, 25.2 km north-east of Taunggyi, Taunggyi District, Shan State, Myanmar (21°11.472N, 96°33.214E; elevation 1270 m)  
Reproductionoviparous. Two gravid females (NJNUh00321, NJNUh00323) each contained two eggs. 
TypesHolotype: LSUHC 13026, Adult male, collected on 18 October 2016 at 1600 hours by Evan S. H. Quah, Perry L. Wood, Jr., Matthew L. Murdoch, Thaw Zin, Myint Kyaw Thura, Htet Kyaw, Marta S. Grismer, and L. Lee Grismer. Paratypes: LSUHC 13027 and 13030, Adult females and juvenile female (LSUHC 13028) and juvenile male (LSUHC 13029) bear the same data as the holotype. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Hemiphyllodactylus tonywhitteni sp. nov. can be separated from all other species of Hemiphyllodactylus by possessing the unique combination of having a maximum SVL of 38.8 mm; 5–8 chin scales; enlarged postmentals; 3–5 circumnasal scales; 2–4 scales between supranasals (=postrostrals); eight or nine supralabials; eight infralabials; 13–16 longitudinally arranged dorsal scales at midbody contained within one eye diameter and 7–9 ventral scales; varied digital formulae (Table 3); three subdigital lamellae on the first finger; three or four subdigital lamellae on the first toe; 20–26 continuous pore-bearing femoroprecloacal scales; no plate-like subcaudal scales; dark postorbital stripe not extend- ing onto trunk; pairs of paravertebral light spots on trunk; dorsal body pattern not unicolour; postsacral marking bearing light-coloured anteriorly projecting arms; and caecum and gonads unpigmented. These characters are scored across all species of Hemiphyllodactylus from clades 3 and 4 (Table 3 in Grismer et al. 2017). 
CommentHabitat: Phapant Cave is a complex of three caves situated around a small depression along a narrow river. The karstic ridge and outcroppings surround a small monastery which incorporates the caves for worship. The hilly area connecting the caves is composed of highly eroded limestone walls bearing many cracks and pores. Large limestone boulders that have broken away from the cliff face line the base of the shallow escarpment (Figure 7). We believe Hemiphyllodactylus tonywhitteni sp. nov. is a karst-adapted species. A specimen of H. tonywhitteni sp. nov. was found just inside a small opening of one of the caves nearly 4 m above the cave entrance. More specimens were found on the boulders at the base of the cliff and one on one of the cement buildings of the monastery. Syntopic with H. tonywhitteni sp. nov. on both the karst outcroppings and the cement building was an undescribed species of Hemidactylus. Hemidactylus sp. nov. was also found on wooden structures and vegetation where H. tonywhitteni sp. nov. was absent. 
EtymologyThis specific epithet ‘tonywhitteni’ honours Dr Tony Whitten of Fauna & Flora International who has championed a broad range of conservation efforts in Indonesia and the Asia Pacific for well over a quarter of a century. His tireless efforts to conserve and help manage karst ecosystems have been a great inspiration to the senior author (LLG) herein. 
  • Grismer, L. Lee; Perry L. Wood Jr, Myint Kyaw Thura, Thaw Zin, Evan S. H. Quah, Matthew L. Murdoch, Marta S. Grismer , Aung Li, Htet Kyaw & Ngwe Lwin 2017. Phylogenetic taxonomy of Hemiphyllodactylus Bleeker, 1860 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) with descriptions of three new species from Myanmar. Journal of Natural History 52: 881-915 - get paper here
  • GRISMER, L. LEE; PERRY L. WOOD, JR., GEORGE R. ZUG, MYINT KYAW THURA, MARTA S. GRISMER, MATTHEW L. MURDOCH, EVAN S. H. QUAH & AUNG LIN 2018. Two more new species of Hemiphyllodactylus Bleeker (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from the Shan Hills of eastern Myanmar (Burma). Zootaxa 4483 (2): 295–316 - get paper here
  • NGUYEN, TRUONG QUANG; QUYEN HANH DO, HANH THI NGO, ANH VAN PHAM,<br />CUONG THE PHAM, MINH DUC LE, & THOMAS ZIEGLER 2020. Two new species of Hemiphyllodactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Hoa Binh Province, Vietnam. Zootaxa 4801 (3): 513–536 - get paper here
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