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Lygodactylus baptistai MARQUES, CERIACO, BUEHLER, BANDEIRA, JANOTA & BAUER, 2020

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymLygodactylus baptistai MARQUES, CERIACO, BUEHLER, BANDEIRA, JANOTA & BAUER 2020 
DistributionAngola (Namibe: Serra de Neve Inselberg)

Type locality: Mamué riparian area, Namibe Province, southwestern Angola [-13.80080°, 13.12350°, 715 m a.s.l.],  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype CAS 263557, field number AMB 10328, adult male; (Figs. 10–11) collected on a tree by L. Ceríaco, S. Bandeira and I. Agarwal, on 22 November 2016. Paratype. An adult female (CAS 263551, field number AMB 10329), same data as holotype. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A medium sized Lygodactylus species. Lygodactylus baptistai sp. nov. can be distinguished from other member of its genus by the following combination of characteristics: 1) three scales (rostral, one supranasal and 1st supralabial) entering the nostril; 2) nostril broadly in contact with the rostral; 3) mental followed by two postmentals; 4) first infralabial < 25% overlap with postpostmental; 5) 15 to 16 rows of ventral scales at midbody; 6) 5 precloacal pores; 7) median subcaudals more than 3⁄4 of the tail width arranged in a single broad row (Fig. 4C); 8) venter bright yell(ow; 9) black markings on a bright yellow background on the gular region on males (Marques et al. 2020).

Comparison with other South and Southwestern African Lygodactylus. As the molecular data provide evidence of the distinctiveness of Lygodactylus baptistai sp. from all other taxa, we here restrict our morphological comparisons to those named congeners occurring in Angola and surrounding countries. Lygodactylus baptistai sp. nov. differs from L. angolensis L. chobiensis, and L. lawrencei by having 5 precloacal pores (versus 7–10 in L. angolensis; 7–11 in L. chobiensis; two in L. lawrencei) (Fig. 2). The new species can be distinguished from L. bradfieldi, L. capensis, L. nyaneka sp. nov. and L. tchokwe sp. nov. by having only three scales entering the nostril (versus four in L. bradfieldi and L. nyaneka sp. nov., five in L. capensis), and by having the nostril broadly in contact with the rostral (versus always separated in L. angolensis, L. chobiensis, L. lawrencei and L. nyaneka sp. nov.) (Fig. 3). It furthermore differs from all the comparator species, except L. chobiensis, by its bright yellow ventral and gular coloration (versus cream or white in L. angolensis, L. bradfieldi, L. capensis, L. nyaneka sp. nov. and L. lawrencei) (Marques et al. 2020).

Coloration in life. Background coloration is smoke-grey to brown, with a brownish stripe from the insertion of the forelimb to the tail. A posteriorly narrowing continuous cinnamon brown to dark orange stripe on the flanks from the neck to the base of the tail. 3 (left) to 5 (right) yellowish to cream spots on the upper limit of these stripes. The head is lighter than the body, with the snout more cinnamon brown to dark orange. The limbs are also lighter than the body, approaching a greyish coloration speckled with some cinnamon brown to dark orange irregular dots. The dorsal surfaces of the autopodia near the digital insertions have a bold, irregular, cinnamon brown to dark orange pattern. The venter is bright yellow with no marking or speckling, lateral margins of the venter light grey with some cinnamon shades. The gular region is bright yellow, becoming paler behind the level of the angle of the jaws. There is a broad black line bordering the mandibular margin between the level of the angles of the jaws, a posterior black chevron with its apex directed anteriorly and confluent with a more anterior irregular marking, and two incomplete broken lines lateral and parallel to the chevron (Fig. 10). The tail is cinnamon brown to dark orange with a lighter chevron-like pattern with a dark brown border extending along the length of the tail, the venter is light yellow with an inconspicuous line formed by grey speckles (Marques et al. 2020). 
Comment 
EtymologyThe specific epithet “baptistai”, formed in the genitive singular and is masculine. It is given in honor of Álvaro “Varito” Baptista, from Omauha Lodge, Namibe Province, Angola. This recognition is due to the friendship of the Baptista family and their important role in the support of the author’s expeditions, especially to Serra da Neve. 
References
  • Marques MP, CerÍaco LMP, Buehler MD, Bandeira SA, Janota JM, Bauer AM 2020. A revision of the Dwarf Geckos, genus Lygodactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae), from Angola, with the description of three new species. Zootaxa 4853 (3): 301–352 - get paper here
 
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