Lepidodactylus pollostos KARKKAINEN, RICHARDS, KRAUS, TJATURADI, KREY & OLIVER, 2020
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|Higher Taxa||Gekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)|
|Synonym||Lepidodactylus pollostos KARKKAINEN, RICHARDS, KRAUS, TJATURADI, KREY & OLIVER 2020|
Lepidodactylus sp. Salawati — OLIVER et al., 2018: 4; fig. 1a
|Distribution||Indonesia (West Papua: Salawati Island)|
Type locality: “Weybya Camp”, 0.9564°S, 130.7843°E, 75 m. a.s.l., Salawati Island, West Papua Province, Indonesia.
|Types||Holotype: MZB Lace.5334 (field tag SJR7808), mature male, collected by S. Richards, B. Tjaturadi and K. Krey on 29 June 2005.|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis. A species of Lepidodactylus that differs from all congeners in its unique combination of very small size (adult male SVL = 32.5 mm), subcylindrical tail without lateral fringe of enlarged scales, undivided terminal scansors, two divided subterminal scansors on T4, 17 enlarged scales of pore-bearing series limited to precloacal region, 19 precloacal pores, six enlarged scales in a series between apex of pore-bearing series and cloaca, long forelimbs (FA/SVL = 0.12), short snout (SN/HL = 0.39), 14–16 T4 lamellae, eight T1 lamellae, lamellae occupying most of toes (T4lamellaeL/T4L = 0.94), narrow toes (T4W/T4L = 0.29), dark-brown flecks on venter that are most distinct on throat and head, lightto medium-brown scales on venter coalescing into vermiculations across the throat and torso, light-brown postorbital stripe, and plantar surfaces with extensive minute medium-brown punctations and with many entirely medium-brown scales.|
Color in life. Pattern in life similar to in preservative but with greater contrast. Dorsal bands coppery-brown on a beige base, dark-brown dorsolateral spots prominent but becoming less distinct posteriorly (Fig. 3A). Head with strongly contrasting light-brown and darker copperybrown mottling and streaking, including a prominent darkbrown preorbital bar, and light-brown postorbital stripe (Fig. 3B). Limbs and digits beige with extensive brown markings forming faint to distinct barring. Distinct unpatterned and contrasting pinkish-grey patches scattered across ventrolateral midtorso, upper limbs, digits, webbing and base of tail suggestive of damage to specimen or developmental anomalies. Original tail medium-brown with series of seven obscure light-beige dorsal patches and a pair of dark-brown spots above enlarged hemipenial bulges. Iris silvery grey with extensive copper reticulations.
Comparisons with other species. The subcylindrical tail without a lateral fringe of enlarged scales, undivided terminal scansors and the series of divided subterminal scansors under all toes place Lepidodactylus pollostos sp. nov. in Brown and Parker’s (1977) Group II. Four other Lepidodactylus species in Group II are recognised from New Guinea and nearby islands, of which three are members of the L. novaeguineae Group (the type species, plus L. kwasnickae and L. mitchelli), and one (L. dialeukos) is of uncertain phylogenetic placement though most likely a member of the L. novaeguineae Group, given its morphological features and geographical range.
Lepidodactylus pollostos sp. nov. differs from all material currently referred to L. novaeguineae by its combination of smaller adult size (adult male SVL = 32.5 mm versus 36.5–42.0 mm), higher number of precloacal pores (19 versus 11–18), longer forelimbs (FA/SVL = 0.12 versus 0.09–0.10), shorter snout (SN/HL = 0.39 versus 0.42–0.45), wider ear opening (EarL/HL = 0.13 versus 0.052–0.076), prominent light-brown postorbital stripe (versus absent), dark-brown stippling on venter coalesced into flecks that are most distinct on throat and head (versus evenly and densely stippled with no obvious pattern), and plantar surfaces with extensive medium-brown punctations and numerous entirely medium-brown scales (versus only minute brown punctations). It is likely that L. novaeguineae as presently construed is a species complex (Oliver et al., 2018), so we also provide additional comparisons against the holotype and two geographically proximate paratypes (N = 3, CAS 89684, AMNH 66346, FMNH 43060). Lepidodactylus pollostos sp. nov. specifically differs from these three specimens in its smaller size (adult male SVL = 32.5 mm versus 36.5–39.5 mm), in having a higher number of precloacal pores (19 versus 13–15), shorter eye-ear distance (EE/SVL = 0.073 versus 0.85–0.91), narrower head (HW/ HL = 0.82 versus 0.85–0.88), shorter eye-naris distance (EN/IN = 1.45 versus 1.61–1.72), and longer (T4L/SVL = 0.108 versus 0.099–0.104) and narrower toes (T4W/T4L = 0.29 versus 0.33–0.34).
Lepidodactylus pollostos sp. nov. differs from the two easternmost taxa in the L. novaeguineae group (Lepidodactylus kwasnickae, Lepidodactylus mitchelli) in its combination of smaller adult size (adult male SVL = 32.5 mm versus 41.5–49.5 mm and 35–42.5 mm, respectively), higher number of precloacal pores in males (19 versus 12– 14 and 10–13, respectively), shorter snout (SN/HL = 0.39 versus 0.41–0.43 and 0.43–0.48, respectively), and shorter ear-to-eye distance (EE/SVL = 0.073 versus 0.079–0.085 and 0.079–0.092, respectively). Lepidodactylus pollostos sp. nov. further differs from L. mitchelli in having narrower toes (T4W/T4L = 0.29 versus 0.31–0.40 in L. mitchelli) and a narrower head (HW/HL = 0.82 versus 0.86–0.91 in L. mitchelli). Lepidodactylus pollostos sp. nov. further differs from L. kwasnickae in having a row of tiny scales between the precloacal series and the pubic patch (versus absent in L. kwasnickae), lower number of enlarged scales in a series between apex of pore-bearing series and cloaca (6 versus 9–10 in L. kwasnickae), and in lacking lateral and dorsolateral rows of pale spots (versus present in L. kwasnickae).
Lepidodactylus pollostos sp. nov. differs from Lepidodactylus dialeukos in its combination of much smaller adult size (SVL = 32.5 mm versus 46.5 mm in L. dialeukos), higher number of divided subterminal scansors on digits (2 versus 1 in L. dialeukos), narrower toes (T4W/ T4L = 0.29 versus 0.36 in L. dialeukos), higher number of T4 lamellae (14–16 versus 9–10 in L. dialeukos), greater coverage of the fourth toe by lamellae (T4lamellaeL/T4L = 0.94 versus 0.53 in L. dialeukos), and in having the dorsum with beige base colouration overlain with indistinct medium-brown transverse bars and seven pairs of indistinct darker-brown dorsolateral spots (versus dorsum gray flecked with white in L. dialeukos).
Lepidodactylus pollostos sp. nov. can be distinguished from two other species in group II that occur elsewhere in Melanesia as follows: from Lepidodactylus guppyi Boulenger by its smaller size (SVL = 32.5 mm versus 37.5– 48.2 mm), much lower number of precloacal pores in males (19 versus 39–51), fewer enlarged scales limited to the precloacal region (17 versus 40–52 scales extending well onto thighs in L. guppyi, and higher number of fourth toe lamellae (14–16 versus 11–13) (Brown and Parker, 1977); and from Lepidodactylus pulcher Boulenger by its much smaller size (SVL = 32.5 mm versus 40–55 mm in L. pulcher), higher number of precloacal pores in males (19 versus 16), and lower number of fourth toe lamellae (14–16 versus 17–19 in L. pulcher), first toe lamellae (8 versus 11– 13 in L. pulcher) (Brown and Parker, 1977), and dorsum with six medium-brown bands (versus pinkish-brown with minute black specks in L. pulcher [Boulenger, 1885]).
|Comment||Only known from the holotype.|
Sympatry: Cyrtodactylus irianjayaensis, Cyrtodactylus papuensis, Gehyra barea, Hemiphyllodactylus typus and Nactus sp.. Other species known from Salawati: Gehyra insulensis, probably on Salawati: Gekko vittatus, Hemidactylus frenatus, Lepidodactylus lugubris.
Distribution: see map in Karkkainen et al. 2020: 7 (Fig. 4).
|Etymology||The trivial epithet, pollostos, is a single-ending Greek adjective, meaning smallest or least, as this is possibly the smallest species of Lepidodactylus.|
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