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Lepidodactylus aignanus KRAUS, 2019

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common Names 
SynonymLepidodactylus aignanus KRAUS 2019: 307 
DistributionPapua New Guinea (Milne Bay Province)

Type locality: Liak, 10.6594°S, 152.6941°E, near sea level, Misima Island, Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea.  
TypesHolotype. BPBM 17229 (field tag FK 6989), mature female, obtained by F. Kraus from local collector, 13 January 2003. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A small (adult SVL 37.5 mm) species of Lepidodactylus having a subcylindrical tail without a lateral fringe of enlarged scales; all subterminal scansors entire; 17 enlarged scales of pore-bearing series limited to precloacal region; 11–12 T4 lamellae, 7–9 T1 lamellae; fairly wide toes (T4W/T4L = 0.33); toes approximately onequarter webbed (T3T4webL/T4L = 0.26); dorsum with several irregular dark-brown saddles, and many pale lateral and dorsolateral round spots, especially concentrated from forearm to eye.

Comparisons with other species. The subcylindrical tail without a lateral fringe of enlarged scales and the series of undivided scansors under all toes place Lepidodactylus aignanus sp. nov. in Brown and Parker’s (1977) Group I. Lepidodactylus aignanus sp. nov. differs from other Melanesian members of this group as follows: from L. flaviocularis Brown, McCoy & Rodda, L. magnus Brown & Parker, L. mutahi Brown & Parker, and L. pumilus in having 17 enlarged precloacal scales (versus 26–50 enlarged precloacal/femoral scales in the other species) limited to the precloacal region (extending far onto the thighs in the other species); from L. browni Pernetta & Black and L. orientalis Brown & Parker in having 17 enlarged precloacal scales (versus 19–27 in L. orientalis and 22–39 in L. browni), toes with more webbing (T3T4webL/T4L = 0.26 versus 0.11–0.16 in L. browni and 0.10–0.14 in L. orientalis, Fig. 1C), and dorsum with many pale lateral and dorsolateral round spots (Fig. 1A), especially concentrated from forearm to eye (versus absent in L. browni and L. orientalis, or with few vague dorsolateral spots behind forearm in one specimen of L. browni). 
CommentHabitat: The area around Liak is mixed gardens with a fringe of coastal trees. Common trees in the area include Artocarpus altilis, calophyllum inophyllum, cocos nucifera, and Musa spp. It is uncertain how close to shore the specimen was collected, but L. lugubris was obtained at the same location and often dominates shoreline commu- nities, so L. aignanus sp. nov. may occur somewhat inland from that. It remains unknown as well what the upper elevation of this species might be. 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality of Misima Island, whose former name was St. Aignan Island. 
  • Kraus, Fred 2019. New species of Lepidodactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from New Guinea and adjacent islands. Zootaxa 4651 (2): 305–329 - get paper here
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