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Nactus nanus ZUG, 2020

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Dwarf North-coast Slender-toed Gecko 
SynonymNactus nanus ZUG 2020: 45 
DistributionPapua New Guinea (Madang Province: Siar Plantation)

Type locality: Papua New Guinea, Madang Province, Siar Plantation near Alexishafen [−5.1667° 145.7500°].  
TypesHolotype. AMS R124053, adult male, collected by S. Donnellan on 19 March 1987 (Figure 17). Paratypes: AMS R124051, adult female with same collecting data as holotype. 
DiagnosisDefinition. A bisexual taxon of geckos (Gekko- ninae) of small adults (37–45 mm SVL) with keeled subcau- dals, small to moderate postmental scales (2–5), no or slight postmental-infralabial (PmLab) contact, low to moderate num- ber of dorsal tubercle rows (14–15) and moderate number of tubercles (33–34) in parasagittal row (TubRow), high number of precloacal pores (12) in males, none in females. Diagnostic summary in Table 8.

Variation. The female (36.8 mm SVL) is smaller than male, although with similar proportions: TrunkL/SVL 44%; HeadL/SVL 25%; HeadW/SVL 19%; HeadW/HeadL 76%; EyeD/SVL 7%; EyeD/HeadL 26%; NarEye/HeadL 34%; Inter- orb/HeadL 32%; SnW/HeadL 16%.
Typical head scale pattern of small, granular scales except for those bordering nares and mouth. Snout with large rostral scale bearing middorsal cleft posteriorly; large supralabials (3) and infralabials (2) in front of anterior edge of orbit, first supra- and infralabial largest of respective series. Chin with large trapezoidal mental and small postmentals (Postm = 2) and no genial scale between postmental and first surpalabial (PmLab = 0); dorsally, trunk with 14 (DorsTub) enlarged tubercles transversely on dorsum and with 34 tubercles (TubRow) longitudinally along trunk; 8 tubercle rows trans- versely between hindlimbs (TubHip). Uniform covering of small scale on dorsal forelimb and hindlimb (TubHindl = 0). Tail with small uniform scales dorsally and laterally, ventrally with uniform, small keeled scales (Subcaud = 0). Three cloa- cal spurs on each side. Ventral scales from chin to vent small, granular, somewhat larger on chest and abdomen. Precloacal pores, male 12, female none. Forefoot with narrow digits, their lengths usually 4>3>2≈5>1; 13 lamellae beneath fourth digit (4FingLm), 6 scale rows on palm; hindfoot with narrow digits, their lengths 4>3≈5>2>1; 19 lamellae beneath fourth toe (4ToeLm).

Coloration in life not reported. 
CommentThis species is known from only two specimens found amid a large sample of N. allenallisoni.

Distribution: see map in Zug 2020: 47 (Fig. 18). 
EtymologyThis population has the smallest adults on the northern PNG coast. The Latin nanus is a masculine noun for dwarf and is proposed in recognition of this species’ diminutive size. The specific name is 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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