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Hemiphyllodactylus yanshanensis AGUNG, CHORNELIA, GRISMER, GRISMER, QUAH, LU, TOMLINSON & HUGHES, 2022

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common Names 
SynonymHemiphyllodactylus yanshanensis AGUNG, CHORNELIA, GRISMER, GRISMER, QUAH, LU, TOMLINSON & HUGHES 2022 
DistributionChina (Yunnan)

Type locality: forested karst hills in Yanshan County, Yunnan Province, China (N23.61680°, E104.41669°; 1536 m a.s.l.).  
TypesHolotype: KIZ 062090, Adult male, collected on 1 July 2019 by Ade P. Agung, Jian-Mei Lu, and Zong-Bao Yang.
Paratypes: Nine adult females (KIZ 062091–KIZ 062096, KIZ 062100–KIZ 062102) and three adult males (KIZ 062097–KIZ 062099) bear the same data as the holotype. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: “Hemiphyllodactylus yanshanensis sp. nov. can be distinguished from all congeners by a unique combination of the following characters: maximum SVL 46.28 mm; chin scales 8–11; enlarged postmentals; circumnasal scales 5–6; internasal scales 1–3; supralabial scales 9–12; infralabial scales 9–12; ventral scales 7–13; dorsal scales 11–22; subdigital lamellae on fingers II–V (4 or 5)-(5–7)-(5–7)-(4 or 5); subdigital lamellae on toes II–V (4 or 5)-(5 or 6)-(5–7)-(5 or 6); subdigital lamellae wider than long on first finger (4 or 5); subdigital lamellae wider than long on first toe (5 or 6); pale brown color base on body with various transverse blotched patterns on dorsum; dark postorbital stripe extending at least to base of neck; dorsolateral stripe on trunk present; ventrolateral stripe on trunk absent; postsacral marking bearing anteriorly projecting arms.” (Agung et al. 2022).

Comparisons: “Morphological comparisons: A full list of trait comparisons is provided in Supplementary Table S5. Here, we describe morphological variations in Hemiphyllodactylus yanshanensis sp. nov. and differences from H. huishuiensis and H. nahangensis for traits that differed between species. In terms of body ratios, Hemiphyllodactylus yanshanensis sp. nov. differs from H. huishuiensis and H. nahangensis by shorter head (HL/SVL), wider head (HW/HL), greater SnEye distance (SnEye/HL), greater NarEye distance (NarEye/HL), larger eyes (ED/HL), and wider snout (SnW/HL) (Table 11).
In terms of scalation, the new species differs from H. huishuiensis and H. nahangensis by more circumnasal scales (5 or 6 vs. 3 and 2 or 3, respectively) and more subdigital lamellae wider than long on first finger and toe (SL1F=4 or 5 vs. 3; SL1T=5 or 6 vs. 3). Furthermore, the new species also differs from H. nahangensis by fewer internasal scales (IS=1–3 vs. 4–6) and fewer femoroprecloacal pores or pitted scales in females (10–16 vs. 22–24). In coloration, the new species differs from H. huishuiensis by presence of light- colored dorsolateral spots on trunk (vs. absent). It also differs from H. nahangensis by presence of dark postorbital stripe and dark transverse dorsal blotches (vs. absent).” (Agung et al. 2022).

Coloration in life (Figure 8): “All Hemiphyllodactylus species can change the intensity and boldness of their coloration and patterns. The description below was taken when the holotype was photographed in the morning after capture. Base color of dorsal side of head, body, and limbs pale-brown and densely mottled with darker markings; top of head overlain with indistinct blotches; indistinct pre- and postorbital stripes extending from external nares, through eye to just anterior of forelimb insertion on body; postsacral marking bearing anteriorly projecting arms; limbs with irregularly shaped, diffuse, dark markings; tail pale-gray, with several irregularly shaped dark markings on dorsal side, diffused on lateral sides; abdomen unicolor gray.” (Agung et al. 2022).

Variation: “Coloration of this species varies considerably (Figure 8). Variations in mensural and meristic data are presented in Supplementary Table S8.” (Agung et al. 2022). 
CommentNatural history: All specimens were collected during the evening of 1 July 2019 on the surface of a forested karst hill in Yanshan County, Yunnan Province, China (Figure 10). There were several gravid females among the specimens collected, each containing two eggs. We also found two eggs placed together loosely in the crevices of the same hill, which we assumed were laid by Hemiphyllodactylus yanshanensis sp. nov. based on their size (Figure 10), indicating that its reproductive season extends into July. The karst hills were surrounded by paddy fields and several huts and houses were nearby (Agung et al. 2022). 
EtymologyThe specific epithet yanshanensis refers to the name of Yanshan County where the specimens were found. 
  • Agung, A. P., Chornelia, A., Grismer, L. L., Grismer, J. L., Quah, E. S., Lu, J. M., ... & Hughes, A. C. 2022. Description of two new species of Hemiphyllodactylus (Reptilia: Gekkonidae) from karst landscapes in Yunnan, China, highlights complex conservation needs. Zoological Research, 43(5), 767-786 - get paper here
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