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Nactus acutus KRAUS, 2005

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common Names 
SynonymNactus acutus KRAUS 2005
Nactus acutus — PAPENFUSS et al. 2010 
DistributionPapua New Guinea (Louisiade Islands, Woodlark Island)

Type locality: on ridge on S side of Mt. Rossel, Rossel Island, 11.35552° S, 154.22459° E, 720 m elevation, Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea.  
TypesHolotype: BPBM 20755 (field tag FK 10213), non-reproductive male, collected by F. Kraus . 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A medium (36.6 mm) species of Nactus lacking dorsal tubercles and
enlarged postnasals; and having granular, largely tricarinate dorsal and ventral scales; lamellate, unexpanded subdigital lamellae; 16 lamellae under the 4th toe; claws lying within four scales; granular postmentals; elongate first infralabials; a single row of scales between the orbit and supralabials; 5 supralabials to center of eye and 7 to rictus; 7 infralabials; keeled scales on the tail; elongate, slit-like ear opening; relatively narrow head (HW/HL = 0.64); long, narrow snout (EN/SV = 0.087, IN/SV = 0.033, EN/IN = 2.7); small eye (EE/SV = 0.055) and interorbital distance (ID/SV =0.063); relatively narrow tail (TW/TL = 0.10); four sternal/xiphisternal ribs; and uniformly dark gray dorsal color.

Comparison with other species: Nactus acutus may be distinguished from N. sphaerodactylodes in its larger size; 16 (vs. 10–13) lamellae under 4th toe; relatively narrow head, snout, and tail; relatively small eye and interorbital distance; carinate (vs. smooth) scales on tail; absence of enlarged postnasals; and narrow ear opening. From all other members of the genus except N. coindemirensis, N. acutus differs in 1) lacking rows of enlarged tubercles on the body, 2) having the claws lie within four (vs. two or three) scales, and 3) having elongate infralabials such that the mental extends no further posteriorly than the center of the first infralabials (vs. to or past suture with 2nd infralabial) and the suture between the first and second infralabials lies behind the center of the second supralabial (vs. at beginning of second supralabial). From N. coindemirensis, N. acutus differs in its elongate first infralabial as well as in having granular (vs. imbricate) ventral scales, carinate (vs. smooth) dorsal and ventral scales, lamellate (vs. granular) distal subdigital scales, unexpanded (vs. expanded) proximal subdigital lamellae, and 7 (vs. 10–11) infralabials. From the closely related N. vankampeni, N. acutus further differs in having tricarinate (vs. multicarinate) dorsal and ventral keeling, one (vs. two) scale row between orbit and supralabials, and four (vs. five) sternal/xiphisternal ribs. 
CommentAbundance: only known from the type specimen (Meiri et al. 2017). 
EtymologyThe name is a masculine Latin adjective meaning “sharp” and is in reference to the long, pointed snout of the species. 
  • HEINICKE, MATTHEW P.; ELI GREENBAUM, TODD R. JACKMAN, AARON M. BAUER 2010. Molecular Phylogenetics of Pacific Nactus (Squamata: Gekkota: Gekkonidae) and the Diphyly of Australian Species. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, 61 (17): 633-646 - get paper here
  • Jackman, Todd R.; Aaron M. Bauer, Eli Greenbaum 2008. Phylogenetic relationships of geckos of the genus Nactus and their relatives (Squamata: Gekkonidae). Acta Herpetologica 3 (1): 1-18
  • Kraus, Fred 2005. The genus Nactus (Lacertilia: Gekkonidae): a phylogenetic analysis and description of two new species from the Papuan Region. Zootaxa 1061:1-28 - get paper here
  • Meiri, Shai; Aaron M. Bauer, Allen Allison, Fernando Castro-Herrera, Laurent Chirio, Guarino Colli, Indraneil Das, Tiffany M. Doan, Frank Glaw, Lee L. Grismer, Marinus Hoogmoed, Fred Kraus, Matthew LeBreton, Danny Meirte, Zoltán T. Nagy, Cristiano d 2017. Extinct, obscure or imaginary: the lizard species with the smallest ranges. Diversity and Distributions - get paper here
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