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Lepidodactylus babuyanensis ELIADES, BROWN, HUANG & SILER, 2021

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Babuyan Scaly-toed Gecko 
SynonymLepidodactylus babuyanensis ELIADES, BROWN, HUANG & SILER 2021: 104 
DistributionPhilippines (Calayan Island)

Type locality: at 72 m in Barangay Magsidel, Municipality of Calayan, Cagayan Province, Calayan Island, Philippines (19.274828, 121.447018).  
TypesHolotype. PNM 9877 (formerly OMNH 46971; CDS
Field No. 9198), adult male, collected 27 May 2018 by CDS, K. Wang, J. Brown, E.D. Ellsworth, and S.N. Smith.
Paratypes (paratopotypes).—OMNH 46977, 46978, 46979, 46982, 46989 adult males, OMNH 46980, 46981, 46983 46993, 47001 adult females collected 26 May 2018; OMNH 46970, adult male, OMNH 46972, 46973 adult females collected 27 May 2018; OMNH 47002 juvenile, OMNH 46974 subadult female, OMNH 46985 adult male, OMNH 46975, OMNH 46976, 46984, 46986, 46987, 46988, adult females collected 28 May 2018; OMNH 46992 adult male, OMNH 46990, 46991 adult females collected 29 May 2018; OMNH 47004 adult female collected 31 May 2018; OMNH 47005 adult female collected 31 May 2018; OMNH 47006 adult female collected 1 June 2018; OMNH 47007 subadult male collected 1 June 2018; OMNH 46994 subadult male, OMNH 47003 adult female collected 2 June 2018; OMNH 46996 subadult female, OMNH 46997, 46998, 46999, 47000, adult males, OMNH 46995 adult female collected 3 June 2018 by CDS, K. Wang, J. Brown, E.D. Ellsworth, and S.N. Smith. Other paratypes: KU. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Lepidodactylus babuyanensis can be distinguished from congeners by the following combination of characters: (1) body size small (SVL 31.9–39.3 mm); (2) snout–forearm length short, 31.0–39.8% SVL; (3) total arm length short, 18.7–23.3% SVL; (4) total leg length short, 23.4–31.4% SVL; (5) head length short, 24.7–31.9% SVL; (6) Finger III divided scansors 3; (7) precloacofemoral pores in males 18–23; and (8) rostral scale not in contact with the nostril. (ELIADES et al. 2021)

Comparisons. Characters distinguishing Lepidodactylus babuyanensis from all other Philippine species of Lepidodactylus are summarized in Table 1 and additional comprehensive comparisons are available in Supplemental Table 1. The new species appears to be quite cryptic in phenotype when compared with L. balioburius, with little distinction observed among morpholometric characters traditionally employed in systematic studies of the genus. However, examination of robust series of both L. babuyanensis (n 1⁄4 40) and L. balioburius (n 1⁄4 16) reveal that L. babuyanensis has tendencies toward being a larger species compared with L. balioburius, including a larger body size (maximum SVL 39.3 mm, mean SVL 35.1 mm vs. 35.0 mm, 32.4 mm), a larger relative axilla–groin distance (55.4% SVL, 50.9% SVL vs. 53.2%, 48.0%), a larger axilla–groin distance relative to snout–forearm length (174.0% snout–forearm length, 150.3% snout–forearm length vs. 144.3%, 129.8%), and a smaller eye diameter relative to head length (22% head length, 20.2% head length vs. 23.5%, 21.5%). Additionally, principal component analysis does recover some degree of separation between these lineages, primarily based on body size (Fig. 1).
Considering all other Philippine congeners, L. babuyanensis can be distinguished readily from L. aureolineatus, L. herrei herrei, L. herrei medianus, L. labialis, L. lugubris, and L. planicaudus by having a rostral scale separated from the nostril (vs. contacting); from L. h. herrei and L. h. medianus by having more midbody dorsal scales (15–22 vs. ,15); from L. h. herrei and L. bisakol by having a moderate number of paravertebral scales (15–20 vs. ,13 [L. h. herrei], .20 [L. bisakol]); from L. bisakol, L. nakahiwalay, and L. bakingibut by having fewer midbody ventral scales (9–13 vs. .13); from L. bisakol and L. bakingibut by having fewer ventral scales (8–12 vs. .14); from L. lugubris by having fewer total scansors on Finger III (7–11 vs. .11); from L. h. herrei and L. planicaudus by having fewer divided scansors on Finger III (3 vs. .3); from L. aureolineatus, L. h. herrei, L. h. medianus, L. lugubris, L. labialis, and L. bakingibut by having a moderate number of precloacofemoral pores (18–23 vs. ,14 [L. labialis], .24 [L. aureolineatus, L. h. herrei, L. h. medianus, L. lugubris, L. bakingibut]); from L. labialis and L. lugubris by having a linear pore series shape (vs. vshaped); from L. labialis by having no cleft on the rostral scale (vs. cleft) and more webbing between Toes III and IV (1–3 vs. 0); from L. bakingibut by having a larger thigh length relative to crus length (103.8–120.8% crus length vs. 100.0–102.0%); and from L. christiani by having a larger Finger III length relative to total arm length (21.7–35.5% arm length vs. ,21.4%). (ELIADES et al. 2021)

Coloration of paratype in life. Based on photograph of OMNH 46977 in life (Fig. 3C). Dorsal surface of head, body, limbs, and tail mostly Drab (Color 19) to Smoke Gray (Color 266) with minimal speckling of Olive-Brown (Color 278) and Sepia (Color 279); very faint chevron patterning present along dorsal surface; faint post orbital stripe of Cream Color (Color 12) with minimal speckling of Sepia (Color 286) extends to a point in line with the posterior end of the head.
Measurements and scale counts of holotype (in mm).—Snout–vent length 37.3; axilla–groin distance 18.7; tail length 44.5; tail width 4.3; tail depth 3.0; snout–forearm length 11.8; upper arm length 3.8; forearm length 4.0; thigh length 5.1; crus length 4.9; Finger III length 2.4; Toe IV length 3.4; head length 10.0; head width 7.0; head height 3.5; eye–ear distance 2.6; eye–nostril distance 2.9; snout length 4.2; interorbital distance 1.4; internarial distance 1.4; ear diameter 0.7; eye diameter 2.0; midbody dorsal scales 18; paravertebral scales 17; midbody ventral scales 10; ventral scales 10; supralabials 13; infralabials 12; circumorbital scales 31; circumnasals 4; snout scales 6; chin scales 10; Finger III total scansors 9; Finger III divided scansors 3; Toe IV total scansors 7; Toe IV divided scansors 3; precloacofemoral pores 20; cloacal spurs 3. (ELIADES et al. 2021)

Variation. Morphometric variation within this series is summarized in Table 1. Among the 40 specimens examined, we observed variation in the number of midbody dorsal, paravertebral, midbody ventral, ventral, supralabial, infralabial, circumorbital, snout, and chin scales, Finger III total scansors, Toe IV total scansors, and precloacofemoral pores in males (Supplemental Table 1). (ELIADES et al. 2021) 
CommentDistribution: see map in Eliades et al. 2022: 96 (Fig. 2) and 107 (Fig. 8). 
EtymologyNamed after the biogeographically unique Babuyan Island Group of the northern Philippines, located in the Luzon Strait. The small archipelago is composed of five major islands (Babuyan Claro, Calayan, Camiguin Norte, Dalupiri, and Fuga), as well as associated small islets (Fig. 8). The Babuyan Island Group is surrounded by deep-ocean channels and believed to have never been in historical contact with surrounding paleoisland landmasses. As such, the island group is home to a number of endemic vertebrate species. 
  • Eliades, S. J., Brown, R. M., Huang, W. S., & Siler, C. D. 2021. Taxonomic Revision of Scaly-toed Geckos (Reptilia: Gekkonidae: Lepidodactylus) in the Northern Philippines, with Descriptions of Four New Species. Herpetological Monographs, 35(1), 90-111 - get paper here
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