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Hemiphyllodactylus zalonicus GRISMER, CHIT, PAWANGKHANANT, NAZAROV, ZAW & POYARKOV, 2021

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Mt. Zalon Slender Gecko
Burmese: Zalontaung Ein Myaung Twal 
SynonymHemiphyllodactylus zalonicus GRISMER, CHIT, PAWANGKHANANT, NAZAROV, ZAW & POYARKOV 2021 
DistributionMyanmar (Sagaing Region)

Type locality: evergreen dipterocarp tropical forest on the slope of Zalon Mountain (Zalon Taung), ca. 1 km westwards from the Zalon Taung Pagoda, Zalon Taung National Forest, ca. 13 km northwards from Ban Mauk town, Ban Mauk District, Sagaing Region, northern Myanmar (GPS data N 24.51628°, E 095.81705° WGS; elevation 690 m a.s.l.)  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: ZMMU R-16635, adult female (field ID NAP-09556) collected on 2 August 2019, at 18:00 h by P. Pawangkhanant, May Thu Chit and N.A. Poyarkov.
Paratype: ZDUM-2019.12.29–038, adult female (field ID MTZ-00038), collected from a rock at the same locality as the holotype on 29 December 2019, at 23:30 h by May Thu Chit. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Hemiphyllodactylus zalonicus sp. nov. can be distinguished from all other congeners by possessing the unique combination of having a maximum SVL of 37.7 mm, trunk not particularly elongate or gracile (AG/SVL ratio 0.49); eight to ten chin scales; enlarged post- mentals; five circumnasal scales; four intersupranasals (= postrostrals); 10 supralabials; eight infralabials; 18 longitudinal rows of dorsal scales and nine longitudinal rows of ventral scales at midbody contained within one eye diameter; 3333 digital formulas on hands and 3444 formulas on the feet; three subdigital lamellae on the first finger and four subdigital lamellae on the first toe; perforated femoroprecloacal scales; 16 perforated precloacal scales 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; no dorsolateral light-coloured spots or dark dorsolateral stripe on trunk; no dark ventrolateral stripe on trunk; dark paravertebral markings on trunk; no light-coloured postsacral marking bearing anteriorly projecting arms; and caecum and gonads pigmented. These characters are scored across all species in the Indochina clade, all Thai species and all other species of Hemiphyllodactylus from Myanmar in Grismer et al. (2017, Grismer et al. 2018a, 2020a, 2020b), Sukprasert et al. (2018), and Eliades et al. (2019).

Colouration in life: Dorsal ground colour light-brown except for vertebral region which is brownish grey (Figure 4a); top of head bearing dark-coloured, irregularly shaped markings; dark- coloured, diffuse stripe extends from rostral scale to forelimb insertion (Figure 4c); large, dark-coloured, diffuse, irregularly shaped, paravertebral marking on trunk; indistinct dark- coloured markings on ventral margin of trunk becoming more distinct posteriorly; dark- coloured, irregularly shaped markings on limbs; indistinct light-coloured postsacral band with broken, light-coloured anteriorly projecting arms; five indistinct, dark-coloured, caudal bands; gular, pectoral and abdominal regions beige with dark stippling; stippling dense in pelvic region and underside of limbs; subcaudal region reddish-orange bearing scattered black and white scales (Figure 4b). Colouration after a year in preservative much the same but not nearly as distinct, bright yellowish and reddish tints faded and overall colouration turned greyish-brown (Figure 3).

Comparisons: The molecular analyses indicate that Hemiphyllodactylus zalonicus sp. nov. is nested within Hemiphyllodactylus clade 3 of Yunnan, China with H. changningensis and H. longlingensis from which it differs by an uncorrected pairwise sequence divergence of 15.0–15.3% and 14.5–18.9%, respectively (see Table 2 for comparative data). Hemiphyllodactylus zalonicus sp. nov. is most closely related to H. changningensis but differs from it by having 17–18 as opposed to 11–15 dorsal scales; and a narrower head (HW/SVL = 0.15 versus 0.17–0.18) and shorter snout (NE/HL = 0.28–0.31 versus 0.41–0.49). It differs from H. longlingensis by having more dorsal scales (17–18 versus 10–14), 16–20 perforated femoroprecloacal scales in the female versus 19–22 femoroprecloacal pores in males; and a narrower head (HW/SVL = 0.15 versus 0.17–0.19) and shorter snout (NE/HL 0.28–0.31 versus 0.42–- 0.45) (Table 2). These characters are scored across all species in the Indochina clade, all Thai species and all other species of Hemiphyllodactylus from Myanmar in Grismer et al. (2017, Grismer et al. 2018a, 2020a, 2020b), Sukprasert et al. (2018), and Eliades et al. (2019). 
CommentOnly limited information provided as authors have not returned requested information yet. 
EtymologyThe specific epithet zalonicus is a Latinised toponymic adjective in nominative singular given in reference to the type locality of Mt. Zalon (Zalon Taung) in Sagaing Region of northern Myanmar. 
References
  • Grismer, L. Lee; May Thu Chit , Parinya Pawangkhanant , Roman A. Nazarov , Than Zaw & Nikolay A. Poyarkov 2020. The phylogeny of Hemiphyllodactylus Bleeker, 1860 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) with a description of a new species from the Mangin Range, Sagaing Region, northern Myanmar. Journal of Natural History, 54:29-30, 1913-1931 - get paper here
 
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