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Lygodactylus wojnowskii MALONZA, GRANTHON & WILLIAMS, 2016

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Mt. Kenya dwarf gecko 
SynonymLygodactylus wojnowskii MALONZA, GRANTHON & WILLIAMS 2016
Lygodactylus wojnowskii — SPAWLS et al. 2018: 116 

Type locality: vicinity of Chogoria Town, Meru South in Tharaka-Nithi County, Kenya ( 0°14’ S, 37°37’ E), ca. 1600 m.  
TypesHolotype: NMK L3383/2 (Field No. PK176), adult male; collected 14 June 2010 by Danston Munene. Paratypes. NMK L3383/3 (Field No. PK177), L3383/4 (Field No. PK178), adult males; L3383/1 (Field No. PK175), L3383/5 (Field No. PK179), L3383/6 (Field No. PK180), L3383/7 (Field No. PK181), L3383/8 (Field No. PK182), L3383/9 (Field No. PK183), L3383/10 (Field No. PK184), adult females; all collected in the same area as the holotype by the same collector. NMK L3213/1 (Field No. H162), L3213/2 (Field No. H197), adult males same locality as holotype, collected June 2009 by David Wojnowski. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Lygodactylus wojnowskii sp. nov. differs from its closest species L. mombasicus in having a different dorsal head pattern which has a Y-shaped pale stripe. While the throat of both species is dark or black, that of female Lygodactylus wojnowskii sp. nov. bears a chevron and a characteristic “o” shaped white chin spot. The two supranasals in L. wojnowskii sp. nov. are separated by 3 scales while in L. mombasicus they are separated by one scale.
Lygodactylus wojnowskii sp. nov. is assignable to the picturatus group on the basis of the following combination of characters: a large, undivided mental scale and subcaudal scales with the median row strongly enlarged transversely. Lygodactylus wojnowskii sp. nov. may be specifically diagnosed by possessing a combination of the following characters: regular head pattern, male throat black, that of female with two chevrons, six post-postmentals, no striking sexual dichromatism. Its dorsal colour is very similar to L. mombasicus and to some extent to L. kimhowelli but the stripes on the head join to form a Y-shaped mark between the orbits unlike the ring-like blotch in L. mombasicus. Lygodactylus wojnowskii sp. nov. falls within the size range of both L. mombasicus and L. picturatus (L. wojnowskii : males 35–38 mm SVL, females 30–38 mm; L. mombasicus: males 37–39 mm, females 34–35 mm; L. picturatus: males 38–39 mm; females 35–36 mm). Lygodactylus wojnowskii sp. nov. has greater number of post-postmentals of 6 versus 5 in L. mombasicus.
It differs from other members of the L. picturatus group from Kenya as follows: L. keniensis has irregular head stripes and no dark vertebral stripes, female throat with three chevrons; L. mombasicus females, despite having two chevrons on the throat, lack the white chin spot. The other members of picturatus group in Kenya are quite different: L. picturatus males have distinct yellow heads, both L. manni and L. guttularis have gray heads and an unstriped dorsum, and in L. scortecci the head is cream or yellow striped.
CommentHabitat: hedgerows, small bushes, trees and fences covered by heavy vegetation; short fruit plants like pawpaw, mango, and citrus, among others. The species is strictly arboreal and is quite agile, jumping between nearby branches.

Sympatry: Hemidactylus mabouia 
EtymologyThe specific epithet wojnowskii is given in honour of Dr. David Wojnowski currently at Georgia State University, USA, who collected the two paratype specimens in June 2009. 
  • MALONZA, PATRICK K.; AARON M. BAUER, CAROLINA GRANTHON, DEAN A. WILLIAMS, DAVID WOJNOWSKI 2019. A new species of gecko of the genus Lygodactylus (Sauria: Gekkonidae) from southeastern Kenya. Zootaxa 4609 (2): 308–320 - get paper here
  • MALONZA, PATRICK K.; CAROLINA GRANTHON, DEAN A. WILLIAMS 2016. A new species of dwarf gecko in the genus Lygodactylus (squamata: Gekkonidae) from central Kenya. . Zootaxa 4061 (4): 418–428 - get paper here
  • Spawls, Steve; Kim Howell, Harald Hinkel, Michele Menegon 2018. Field Guide to East African Reptiles. Bloomsbury, 624 pp. - get paper here
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