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Hemiphyllodactylus zhutangxiangensis AGUNG, GRISMER, GRISMER, QUAH, CHORNELIA, LU & HUGHES, 2021

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Zhutangxiang slender gecko 
SynonymHemiphyllodactylus zhutangxiangensis AGUNG, GRISMER, GRISMER, QUAH, CHORNELIA, LU & HUGHES 2021 
DistributionChina (Yunnan)

Type locality: forested karst approximately 1 km northwest of Zhutangxiang town, Lancang Lahu Autonomous County, Yunnan Province, China (22.72345°N, 99.80087°E; 1499 m in elevation).  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype. Adult male (KIZ061157) collected on 21 August 2018 by Ade P. Agung, Ada Chornelia, Jianmei Lu, L. Lee Grismer, Jesse L. Grismer, Evan S.H. Quah, Brian Folt, and Myin Kyaw Thura. Paratypes. Four adult females (KIZ061156, KIZ061158–60) bear the same data as the holotype, two adult males (KIZ061164, KIZ061166) and six adult females (KIZ061161–63, KIZ061165, KIZ061167–68) were collected on 26 June 2019 by Ade P. Agung, Jianmei Lu and Yang Zongbao from karst forest nearby Zhutangxiang town, Lancang Lahu Autonomous County, Yunnan Province, China (22.732306°N 99.798167°E; 1492 m in elevation). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Hemiphyllodactylus zhutangxiangensis sp. nov. can be distinguished from all congeners by having the unique combination of a maximum SVL of 44.42 mm; 7–9 chin scales; enlarged postmentals; five circumnasal scales; 2–4 internasal scales; 8–11 supralabial scales; 8–11 infralabial scales; subdigital lamellae on fingers II–V (3–5)-(4–6)-(4 or 5)-(4 or 5); subdigital lamellae on toes II–V (4 or 5)-(4 or 5)-(4–6)-(4 or 5); dorsal scales 11–15; ventral scales 5–7; having pale-grey base color on body with various transverse blotched patterns on the dorsal side; a dark postorbital stripe extending to at least base of neck; no dorsolateral or ventrolateral stripe on trunk; postsacral marking bearing dark fork-like pattern with anteriorly projecting arms (Agung et al. 2021).

Coloration in life (Figure 5). All Hemiphyllodactylus are known to have the ability to considerably change the intensity and boldness of their coloration and pattern. The description below was taken when the holotype was photographed in the morning after it had been captured. The base color of the dorsal side of the head, body, and limbs are pale-grey and densely mottled with darker markings; top of head overlain with dark blotches; dark pre-and postorbital stripes extend from the external nares, through eye to just anterior of forelimb insertion on the body; postsacral marking bearing dark fork-like pattern with anteriorly projecting arms; limbs bearing irregularly shaped, diffuse, dark markings; tail bearing irregularly shaped, dark and light colored alternating markings; abdomen unicolor grey (Agung et al. 2021).

Variation. Coloration of this species varies considerably (Figure 5). Variation of mensural and meristic data are presented in Table 6 (Agung et al. 2021).

Morphological comparisons. We statistically compared the new species with Hemiphyllodactylus changningensis in its sister lineage, in clade 3 (see results, Table 5, and Figure 4). In addition, in terms of body ratios, H. zhutangxiangensis sp. nov. differs from H. changningensis, H. zalonicus, and H. longlingensis by having a shorter head (HL/SVL = 0.17–0.20 versus 0.22–0.25, 0.22–0.23, 0.22–0.24, respectively); wider head (HW/HL = 1.03–1.13 versus 0.72–0.80, 0.68, 0.75–0.80, respectively); greater SnEye distance (SnEye/HL = 0.53–0.60 versus 0.41–0.49, 0.40–0.42, 0.42–0.45, respectively); greater NarEye distance (NarEye/HL = 0.39–0.44 versus 0.30–0.37, 0.28–0.31, 0.29–0.34, respectively); larger eyes (ED/HL = 0.30–0.36 versus 0.21–0.25, 0.23–0.30, 0.22–0.25, respectively); a wider snout (SnW/HL = 0.19–0.22 versus 0.12–0.16, 0.14, 0.12–0.14, respectively). In terms of scalation, the new species differs from H. changningensis by having more CN (five versus three or four); differs from H. zalonicus by having fewer VS and DS (5–7 versus 9–10, and 11–15 versus 17–18, respectively). For the lamellar, femoroprecloacal pores, and coloration, the new species differs from H. changningensis and H. zalonicus by having more lamellae on the hand (3–5)-(4–6)-(4 or 5)-(4 or 5) versus (3)-(3 or 4)-(3 or 4)-(3), and (3)-(3)-(3)-(3), respectively); more lamellae on the foot (4 or 5)-(4 or 5)-(4–6)-(4 or 5) versus (3)-(3 or 4)-(3 or 4)-(3 or 4), and (3)-(4)-(4)-(4), respectively). Furthermore, H. zhutangxiangensis sp. nov. also differs from H. changningensis by having dark transverse blotches on the dorsum, while such blotching is absent in the later; the absence of a dark reticulate dorsal pattern, present on the later; and having a fork-like dark-colored postsacral marking, that is absent in the later. It also differs from H. zalonicus by having more femoroprecloacal pores (20–23 versus 16–20); having dark transverse dorsal blotches, while these are absent in the later; having a fork-like dark-colored postsacral marking, that is absent or indistinct in the later (see Table 7 for comparative values) (Agung et al. 2021). 
Comment 
EtymologyThe specific epithet, zhutangxiangensis, refers to the name of the town Zhutangxiang in Lancang Lahu Autonomous County, Yunnan Province, China, close to where the specimens were found. 
References
  • AGUNG, A. P., GRISMER, L. L., GRISMER, J. L., QUAH, E. S., CHORNELIA, A., LU, J., & HUGHES, A. C. 2021. A new species of Hemiphyllodactylus Bleeker (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Yunnan, China and its phylogenetic relationship to other congeners. Zootaxa 4980 (1): 1-27 - get paper here
  • Wang K, Lyu ZT, Wang J, Qi S, Che J 2022. Updated Checklist and Zoogeographic Division of the Reptilian Fauna of Yunnan Province, China. Biodiversity Science 30 (4): 21326, 1–31 - get paper here
 
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