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Phyllodactylus cleofasensis RAMÍREZ-REYES, BARRAZA-SOLTERO, NOLASCO-LUNA, FLORES-VILLELA & ESCO BEDO-GALVÁN, 2021

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Higher TaxaPhyllodactylidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymPhyllodactylus cleofasensis RAMÍREZ-REYES, BARRAZA-SOLTERO, NOLASCO-LUNA, FLORES-VILLELA & ESCO BEDO-GALVÁN 2021
Phyllodactylus tuberculosus — STEJNEGER 1899 (in part)
Phyllodactylus lanei — ZWEIFEL 1960 (in part)
Phyllodactylus tuberculosus saxatilis — MCDIARMID et al. 1976 (in part)
Phyllodactylus tuberculosus saxatilis — CASAS-ANDREU 1992
Phyllodactylus tuberculosus saxatilis — WOOLRICH-PIÑA et al. 2016 
DistributionMexico (Maria Cleofas Island, Nayarit)

Type locality: Mexico, Nayarit, María Cleofas Island (21.3095°N, 106.2340°W), 64 m elevation  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: MZFC-HE 35623, Adult female, collected by Ilse K. Barraza-Soltero and Armando H. Escobedo-Galván on on 24–25 May 2018.
Paratypes: MZFC-HE 35618-35622 and MZFC-HE 35624-35626, Six adult specimens and two juveniles. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (and/or description): Phyllodactylus cleofasensis can be distinguished from all congeners by the following combination of characters: (1) Snout-vent length ranged from 44.8 to 77.0 mm (mean 59.5 mm), (2) has a white venter, variable dorsal coloration, and a greater number of paravertebral dorsal tubercles (mean 47.89), (3) paravertebral dorsal tubercles from head to tail (mean 47.89), (4) number of scales across the snout, starting from the 3rd labial scale (mean 26.5), and (5) number of longitudinal ventral scales from an imaginary line of the forelimbs to the cloacal opening (mean 61) (Ramírez-Reyes et al. 2021)

Comparisons: Three meristic characters mainly differentiate P. cleofasensis from the rest of the species of the saxatilis clade (P. saxatilis, P. nolascoensis, P. partidus, P. homolepidurus and Phyllodactylus sp.) (Table 3): paravertebral dorsal tubercles from head to tail (mean 47.89); number of scales across the snout, starting from the 3rd labial scale (mean 26.5); and number of longitudinal ventral scales from an imaginary line of the forelimbs to the cloacal opening (mean 61). Phyllodactylus cleofasensis has the highest values of the mentioned characters, while the rest of the studied species presented lower counts compared to other Phyllodactylus species in Mexico (Tables 2 and 3). The new species has the second highest mean number of dorsal tubercles after P. delcampi (63.4). Other Phyllodactylus species have fewer mean dorsal tubercles (P. paucituberculatus, 28.7; P. duellmani, 37.1; P. bordai, 32.9; P. davisi, 41.6; P. muralis, 33.1; P. homolepidurus, 35.9; P. xanti, 37; P. lanei, 32.4; P. papenfussi, 33.2; P. isabelae, 32.3; P. lupitae, 28.8; P. rupinus, 28; P. benedettii, 28.8; and P. kropotkini, 28.4). Regarding the number of scales crossing the snout, P. cleofasensis has a very similar number of scales to P. muralis (26.1) and P. lupitae (25.5); lower counts occur in P. unctus (21.7), P. paucituberculatus (19.5), P. duellmani (19.9), P. delcampi (21), P. bordai (19.4), P. davisi (23.7), P. muralis (26.1), P. homolepidurus (22.5), P. xanti (16.5), P. lanei (21.6), P. papenfussi (17.8), P. isabelae (21.1), P. rupinus (20.6), P. benedettii (22), and P. kropotkini (20.2). Concerning ventral scales, P. cleofasensis has a mean of 61, similar to three species of the lanei clade (or clade I), namely, P. lupitae (61.5), P. rupinus (62) and P. lanei (62.86). The rest of the Phyllodactylus in Mexico have less than 61 scales: P. kropotkini (60), P. benedettii (59.71), P. xanti (58.75), P. angelensis (56.75), P. davisi (55.5), P. magnus (55.3), P. partidus (55.2), P. saxatilis (55), P. santacruzensis (54), P. muralis (53.9), P. isabelae (53.85), P. nolascoensis (52.75), P. homolepidurus (52.5), P. bordai (51.91), P. bugastrolepis (51.57), P. duellmani (48.75), P. paucituberculatus (48.66), and P. unctus (48.5) (Ramírez-Reyes et al. 2021).

Color in life: Dorsally presents a clear background, patterns of irregular patches dark brown color and some of them are clear on the legs. The scales on the clear area are yellow/beige, scales around the eyes are colored dark brown, the supralabials are with alternating light and dark patches. Ventrally presents a very white almost transparent coloration it turns light yellow near to the cloaca, the pupils are black on a dark brown iris. Dorsal coloration of the tail is clear with irregular brown patches, it ends with a big dark brown patch; this coloration is based on a tail that has not been lost before. The coloration in general is affected by the light and the substrate in which the organism is located. it can be lighter or darker (Barraza-Soltero IK, pers. comm. 20 Apr 2021).



 
CommentDiet: Orthopterans (Family Rhaphidophoridae) and coleopterans (Family Passalidae); they also consumed plant matter, arachnids, lepidopterans, scorpions (Centruroides elegans insularis), cockroaches (Blattodea: Pycnoscelus surinamensis) and remains of shed skin (Barraza-Soltero, 2019; Barraza-Soltero & Escobedo-Galván, 2020).

Similar species: P. saxatilis 
EtymologySpecific epithet is taken from the type locality María Cleofas Island, with the Latin suffix -ensis meaning, “originating from.” Specific epithet is masculine, in agreement with the gender of Phyllodactylus. 
References
  • Ramírez-Reyes T, Barraza-Soltero IK, Nolasco-Luna JR, Flores-Villela O, Escobedo-Galván AH 2021. A new species of leaf-toed gecko (Phyllodactylidae, Phyllodactylus) from María Cleofas Island, Nayarit, Mexico. ZooKeys 1024: 117-136 - get paper here
 
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