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Nactus soniae ARNOLD & BOUR, 2008

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common Names 
SynonymNactus soniae ARNOLD & BOUR 2008
Nactus soniae — PAPENFUSS et al. 2010
Nactus sonial — BILAL et al. 2022 (in error) 
DistributionLa Reunion

Type locality: Grotte au Sable, St-Gilles, La Réunion  
TypesHolotype: BMNH R16534, frontal bone; Paratypes: Grotte au Sable, St-Gilles, La Réunion; 1 frontal, 1 maxilla, 1 dentary; BMNH R16535-16537. Status unclear fide P. Campbell, pers. comm., March 2019. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A small Nactus, estimated from available bones to be about 45mm from snout to vent. Frontal not elongate, with only weakly developed anterior lateral submaxillary flanges. Maxilla with dorsal lamina inset medially, so outer surface of tooth-bearing body of bone is rounded; its posterior section comparatively short. Tooth counts low with 29 teeth in maxilla and 24 in dentary of available material. Also has distinctive mitochondrial DNA sequence (12S rRNA and cytochrome b).
Differs from other Nactus in conformation of maxilla and from other Mascarene species in the following additional features: N. serpensinsula and N. durrelli of Mauritius—smaller size and lower tooth counts; N. coindemerensis of Mauritius—larger size; two undescribed subfossil species from Rodrigues (E. N. Arnold, J. J. Austin and C. G. Jones, unpublished observations)—lower tooth counts, only weakly developed anterior lat- eral submaxillary flanges on frontal bone, also lacking the elongation of the frontal found in one of the Rod- rigues species. Distinguished from sympatric Phelsuma geckos (Fig. 1) by much narrower frontal bone with a longer tubular section, a higher dorsal lamina on the maxilla and coarser dentition. 
CommentConservation: Probably extinct; this species has been described based on subfossil remains and DNA data. 
EtymologyNamed after Sonia Ribes-Beaudemoulin, present curator of the Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle, Saint-Denis, La Réunion. She organised a dozen expeditions to collect important subfossil remains of vertebrates, especially tortoises, birds and bats from the marshes of l’Ermitage near St-Gilles. 
  • Arnold, E. Nicholas; Bour, Roger. 2008. A new Nactus gecko (Gekkonidae) and a new Leiolopisma skink (Scincidae) from La Reunion, Indian Ocean, based on recent fossil remains and ancient DNA sequence. Zootaxa 1705: 40-50 - get paper here
  • Bilal, Asif; Anisa Iftikhar, Warda Zafar, Rao Zahid Sattar and Dilip Kakodiya 2022. Extinct Species of Last Decade and the Reasons: an overview. Op Acc J Bio Sci & Res 12(1),2022 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Sanchez, M. 2020. Nactus soniae (amended version of 2019 assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T13484053A164136280
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