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Nactus robertfisheri ZUG, 2020

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Bismarcks Slender-toed Gecko 
SynonymNactus robertfisheri ZUG 2020: 50 
DistributionPapua New Guinea (Bismarck Archipelago: New Ireland, West New Britain, East New Britain, Bougainville)

Type locality: Papua New Guinea, West New Britain Province, Camp 2, 2.6 km NNW of Marmar −5.49° 151.4893°.  
TypesHolotype. BPBM 22014, adult male, collected by Fred Kraus on 5 March 2005 (Figure 20).
Paratypes. BPBM 22012, 22015, 22018, 22021, adult females, and BPBM 22010, 22017, 22024, adult males with the same collecting locality as the holotype on 5–7 March 2005. 
DiagnosisDefinition. A bisexual taxon of geckos (Gekkoninae) with moderate to large adults (♀♀ 50–70 mm, ♂♂ 48–67 mm SVL) with keeled subcaudals, variable-sized postmental scales (2–24, usually ≤10), no or slight postmental-infralabial (PmLab = 0–2) contact, low to moderate number of dorsal tubercle rows (14–19) and moderate number of tubercles (24–44, usually ≥28) in parasagittal row (TubRow), tubercles on dorsal surface of thigh and crus, and variable precloacal pores (8, 0–12) in males (females usually without pores, 0, 0–1). Diagnostic summary in Table 8.

Variation. Females and males display slight metric differences (adult ♀♀ 61.1, 50.7–69.5 mm; adult ♂♂ 58.3, 48.2– 66.7 mm SVL), although sharing similar proportions (total adult sample): TrunkL/SVL 39.5%, 29%–46%; HeadL/SVL 27.2%, 25%–31%; HeadW/SVL 18.0%, 15%–21%; HeadW/HeadL 66.4%, 56%–76%; EyeD/SVL 6.5%, 5%–8%; EyeD/HeadL 24.1%, 20%–28%; NarEye/HeadL 32.6%, 30%–43%; Inter- orb/HeadL 26.2%, 21%–31%; SnW/HeadL 14.0%, 11%–18%.
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 infralabials (3, 2–4) in front of anterior edge of orbit, first supra- and infral- abial largest of respective series. Chin with large trapezoidal men- tal and usually moderately large postmentals (Postm = 14, 2–24) and usually no genial scale between postmental and first surpala- bial (0, 0–2 PmLab); dorsally, trunk with 16, 14–19 (DorsTub) enlarged tubercles transversely on dorsum and with 30, 24–44 tubercles (TubRow) longitudinally along trunk; 9, 7–10 tubercle rows transversely between hindlimbs (TubHip). Uniform cover- ing of small tuberculate-like scale on dorsal half of forelimb and enlarged tubercles on crus and femur (TubHindl = 2). Tail with small uniform scales dorsally and laterally, ventrally typically with uniform, small keeled scales (Subcaud = 0, 0–1). Usually, single cloacal spurs (1, 1–2 CloacS) on each side. Ventral scales from chin to vent small, granular, somewhat larger on chest and abdomen. Precloacal pores, males 0–12, females 0–1. Forefoot with narrow digits, their lengths usually 3≈4>2>5>1; 18, 15–21 lamellae beneath fourth digit (4FingLm), 5, 4–7 scale rows on palm; hindfoot with narrow digits, their lengths 4≈3>2≈5>1; 23, 20–25 lamellae beneath fourth toe (4ToeLm).
Coloration in life, individual from West New Britain with medium-brown dorsal and lateral background and broad trans- verse brown bars on neck (1) to base of tail; 5 on trunk and sacrum, each edged posteriorly with dark brown; broad dark- brown postorbital bar to angle of jaw and dark-brown lips with narrow cream sutures. In alcohol, background tan to medium brown dorsally and ventrally. Top of head with scattered, irregu- lar medium-brown marks (faded mottling), supra- and infral- abial scales tan centered, cream edged; small brown postorbital stripe from bottom of orbit to end of temporal area and above ear opening. Dorsally, from base of neck to inguinal area, 5 to 7 brown, irregular-shaped transverse marks, each with cream pos- terior edge (some divided on midline). Dorsally, base of tail and onward with bold dark bar separated by cream to light-tan inter- spaces. Venter uniform light tan from chin onto tail. 
EtymologyThe specific name recognizes Robert N. Fisher for his biological discoveries in Papua New Guinea and throughout the eastern Pacific. The name also acknowledges our friendship and his ever-ready support of my research endeavors in Pacific herpetology. 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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