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Nactus alotau ZUG, 2020

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Southern Forest Slender-toed Gecko 
SynonymNactus alotau ZUG 2020: 64 
DistributionPapua New Guinea (Milne Bay west along the south coast to the Central Province)

Type locality: Papua New Guinea, Milne Bay Province, Alotau, −10.3157° 150.4588°.  
TypesHolotype. BPBM 15849, adult malecollected by Fred Kraus on 13 August 2002 (Figure 30).
Paratypes. Adult females, BPBM 15852, from Halowia, 15.8 km east of Alotau, collected by Fred Kraus on 23 September 2002, LSUMZ 93326, Alotau, Napatana Lodge, collected by Christopher C. Austin on 9 August 2006, MCZ 146097–098, Alotau, collected by Fred S. Parker on 19 October 1974, USNM 159816, Milne Bay, collected by R. M. Roecker on 3 March 1944, and adult males, AMS R124906 from Koea Bule Mission, 10°18′S 150°24′E, near Alotau, collected by G. Mengden on 14 August 1987, BPBM 15663, same data as holotype, 15851 from Halowia, 15.8 km east of Alotau, collected by Fred Kraus on 23 September 2002; all localities in Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea. 
DiagnosisDefinition. A bisexual taxon of geckos (Gekko- ninae) with moderate to large adults (♀♀ 44–67 mm SVL, ♂♂ 43–66 mm SVL) with keeled subcaudals, usually moderate postmental scales (6–22, median 14), occasional postmental- infralabial contact (PmLab 0–2, 0), moderate number of dorsal tubercle rows (6–20) and moderate number of tubercles (21–46, usually ≥27) in parasagittal row (TubRow), tubercles present on dorsal surface of thigh and crus (uncommonly on only crus), and precloacal pores (8, 0–13) in males, females usually lack pores (0, 0–9). Diagnostic summary in Table 8.

Variation. Females and males display slight metric differences (adult ♀♀ 58.0, 44.0–67.2 mm; adult ♂♂ 55.5, 42.8– 66.3 mm SVL), although sharing similar proportions (total adult sample): TrunkL/SVL 42.0%, 34%–49%; HeadL/SVL 26.9%, 25%–39%; HeadW/SVL 17.6%, 16%–20%; HeadW/HeadL 65.6%, 47%–79%; EyeD/SVL 6.6%, 5%–8%; EyeD/HeadL 24.6%, 18%–31%; NarEye/HeadL 31.0%, 19%–35%; Inter- orb/HeadL 27.2%, 21%–36%; SnW/HeadL 14.5%, 10%–17%.
Typical head scale pattern of small, granular scales except for those bordering nares and mouth. Snout with large rostral scale bearing middorsal cleft posteriorly; supranasals moderate sized, usually in contact on midline or separated by small granu- lar scale (internasal); large supralabials (4, 3–4) and infralabi- als (3, 2–4) in front of anterior edge of orbit, first supra- and infralabial largest of respective series. Chin with large trapezoi- dal mental and moderate postmentals (Postm = 14, 6–22) and occasional genial scale between postmental and first supral- abial (0, 0–2 PmLab); dorsally, trunk with 14, 6–22 (DorsTub) enlarged tubercles transversely on dorsum and with 27, 21–46 tubercles (TubRow) longitudinally along trunk; 10, 7–10 tuber- cle rows transversely between hindlimbs (TubHip). Enlarged tubercles on crus and femur (TubHindl = 2, uncommonly crus only). Tail with small uniform scales dorsally and laterally, ven- trally variable with uniform, small keeled scales (Subcaud = 0). Usually, pair of cloacal spurs (2, 1–3 CloacS) on each side. Ven- tral scales from chin to vent small, granular, somewhat larger on chest and abdomen. Precloacal pores, males 0–13 usually pres- ent, females usually lack pores, 0–9. Forefoot with narrow digits, their lengths usually 3≈4>2≈5>1; 18, 13–20 lamellae beneath fourth digit (4FingLm), 5, 4–6 scale rows on palm; hindfoot with narrow digits, their lengths 4>3>5>2>1 or 3≈4>2≈5>1; 22, 17–25 lamellae beneath fourth toe (4ToeLm).
Coloration in life not reported. In alcohol, color and pat- tern match the general description of the holotype. The dorsal trunk pattern of transverse bars varies from faded to dark; in some the dark bars are distinctly edged posteriorly in cream and range from 5 to 6 bars between shoulders to sacrum. Forelimbs are usually uniformly medium brown; hindlimbs (thigh) are commonly mottled with dark brown dorsally and uniform light brown to cream posteriorly. 
CommentDistribution: see map in Zug 2020: 53 (Fig. 22), 67 (Fig. 32). 
EtymologyThe specific name derives from the principal mainland town, Alotau, of Milne Bay Province and is used as a noun in apposition. 
  • Zug, George R. 2020. Diversity in Pacific Slender-Toed Geckos, Nactus pelagicus Complex (Reptilia: Squamata), of New Guinea and Adjacent Islands. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology, (651): x + 92 pages - get paper here
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