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Nactus modicus ZUG, 2020

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Louisiade Slender-toed Gecko 
SynonymNactus modicus ZUG 2020: 57 
DistributionPapua New Guinea (Milne Bay Province: Louisiade Archipelago: Nimo (Nimowa) Island, Sudest Islands, Rossel (Yela) Island)

Type locality: Papua New Guinea, Milne Bay Province, Sudest Island, track up Mount Rossel, Point 30, small stream below Camp 2, −11.3543° 154.22315° [Aus66], 640 m. Camp 1, −11.4918° 153.4126°, 127 m asl, along Gesirava River.  
TypesHolotype. BPBM 19852, adult male, collected by Fred Kraus, F. Malesa, and local collectors on 9 April 2004 (Figure 25).
Paratypes. BPBM 19831–832, 19837–838, adult females from Sudest Island, Araeda, −11.4362° 153.4301°, 0 m asl, collected by Fred Kraus on 10 April 2004, and BPBM 19834, locality as preceding male paratypes, and 19853–854, adult males with the same collecting data as the holotype. 
DiagnosisDefinition. A bisexual taxon of geckos (Gek- koninae) with moderate to large adults (♀♀ 46–65 mm, ♂♂ 48–68 mm SVL) with keeled subcaudals, usually large postmen- tal scales (10–28, median 24), no postmental-infralabial (PmLab = 0) contact, moderate number of dorsal tubercle rows (15–21) and moderate number of tubercles (25–32, usually ≥28) in para- sagittal row (TubRow), tubercles present on dorsal surface of thigh and crus, and precloacal pores (11, 10–14) in males, most females lack pores (0, 0–12). Diagnostic summary in Table 8.

Variation. Females and males display slight met- ric differences (adult ♀♀ 58.7, 46.0–64.5 mm; adult ♂♂ 56.5, 47.8–67.9 mm SVL), although sharing similar proportions (total adult sample): TrunkL/SVL 40.2%, 37%–45%; HeadL/ SVL 27.7%, 24%–30%; HeadW/SVL 18.5%, 18%–20%; HeadW/HeadL 67.2%, 61%–79%; EyeD/SVL 6.8%, 6%–7%; EyeD/HeadL 24.6%, 21%–28%; NarEye/HeadL 32.4%, 31%– 36%; Interorb/HeadL 26.7%, 24%–32%; SnW/HeadL 14.3%, 13%–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 (3, 3–4) and infralabi- als (3, 3–4) in front of anterior edge of orbit, first supra- and infralabial largest of respective series. Chin with large trapezoi- dal mental and large postmentals (Postm = 24, 10–28) and no genial scale between postmental and first supralabial (0 PmLab); dorsally, trunk with 18, 15–21 (DorsTub) enlarged tubercles transversely on dorsum and with 28, 25–32 tubercles (TubRow) longitudinally along trunk; 10, 7–12 tubercle rows transversely between hindlimbs (TubHip). Enlarged tubercles on crus and femur (TubHindl = 2). Tail with small uniform scales dorsally and laterally, ventrally variable with uniform, small keeled or smooth scales (Subcaud = 0, 0–1). Usually, pair of cloacal spurs (2, 0–2 CloacS) on each side. Ventral scales from chin to vent small, granular, somewhat larger on chest and abdomen. Precloa- cal pores, males 10–14, females 0–12. Forefoot with narrow dig- its, their lengths usually 3≈4>2≈5>1; 17, 15–19 lamellae beneath fourth digit (4FingLm), 5, 4–6 scale rows on palm; hindfoot with narrow digits, their lengths 3≈4>2≈5>1; 20, 15–23 lamellae beneath fourth toe (4ToeLm).
Coloration in life not reported. In alcohol, color and pattern match the general description of the holotype. 
CommentDistribution: see map in Zug 2020: 53 (Fig. 22). 
EtymologyThe Latin adjective modicus refers to “moderate,” “medium,” or “average” and is proposed for these populations that represent the size range of many New Guinea populations. 
  • 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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