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Lepidodactylus zweifeli KRAUS, 2019

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common Names 
SynonymLepidodactylus zweifeli KRAUS 2019: 309 
DistributionPapua New Guinea (Madang Province, Adelbert Mts)

Type locality: Wanuma, 4.90°S, 145.33°E, 2200 feet [= 670 m], Adelbert Mts., Madang Province, Papua New Guinea  
TypesHolotype. AMNH 105088 (field tag RZ 08430), mature male, collected by R. Zweifel, 5 August 1969.
Paratype. Same data as holotype (AMNH 105087). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A medium-sized (adult SVL 41–44.5 mm) species of Lepidodactylus having a subcylindrical tail without a lateral fringe of enlarged scales; all subterminal scansors entire; 40 enlarged precloacal/femoral scales in three series extending along entire femoral region, 38 precloacal/femoral pores in three series in the sole male, with the lateral series on each thigh separated by 2–3 scales from the precloacal series; 9–12 T4 lamellae, 7–8 T1 lamel- lae; fairly narrow toes (T4W/T4L = 0.24–27) with basal webbing (T3T4webL/T4L = 0.10–0.13, T4T5webL/T4L = 0.08–0.12); narrow snout (EN/IN = 1.72–1.79); and dorsum with dark-brown markings but no pale spots.

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 zweifeli sp. nov. in Brown and Parker’s (1977) Group I. Lepidodactylus zweifeli sp. nov. differs from other Melanesian members of this group as follows: from L. browni, L. flaviocularis, L. mutahi, and L. orientalis in having the precloacal/femoral pore series arrayed into three series (versus a continuous row in the other species); from L. magnus in its much smaller size (SVL = 41–44.5 mm versus 50–70 mm in L. magnus), fewer lamellae on T1 (7–8 versus 9–12 in L. magnus), and in having the precloacal/femo- ral pores arrayed in three series (versus usually in a single series in L. magnus, which may, however, have one or a few scales disrupting the series); and from L. pumilus in having the femoral and precloacal pore series separated by only 3–5 scales (versus 7–12 scales in L. pumilus), and less toe webbing (T3T4webL/T4L = 0.10–0.13 versus 0.18–0.19 in L. pumilus, Fig. 1D), especially between T4 and T5 (T4T5webL/T4L = 0.08–0.12 versus 0.23 in L. pumilus). Lepidodactylus zweifeli sp. nov. differs from L. aignanus sp. nov. in its larger size (SVL 41–44.5 mm versus 37.5 mm in L. aignanus sp. nov.), in having enlarged femoral scales (absent in L. aignanus sp. nov.) such that the total number of enlarged precloacal/femoral scales is 40 (versus 17 in L. aignanus sp. nov.), narrower toes (T4W/T4L = 0.24–27 versus 0.33 in L. aignanus sp. nov., Fig. 1C versus 1D), less toe webbing (T3T4webL/T4L = 0.10–0.13 versus 0.26 in L. aignanus sp. nov., Fig. 1C versus 1D), narrower snout (EN/IN = 1.72–1.79 versus 1.61 in L. aignanus sp. nov.), and dorsum without pale spots (versus with lateral and dorsolateral rows of pale spots in L. aignanus sp. nov., Fig. 1A versus 1B in Kraus 2019). 
EtymologyThe name is a genitive honorific for the collector, Richard Zweifel (1926–2019), whose contributions to knowledge of the herpetofauna of New Guinea and nearby islands were foundational to current understanding. See Cole & Zweifel 2020 for biographical details. 
  • COLE, C. J., AND M. K. ZWEIFEL 2020. Obituaries: Life History and Behavior of Richard George Zweifel (1926–2019). Herpetological Review 51: 189-193.
  • 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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