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Saurodactylus splendidus JAVANMARDI, VOGLER & JOGER, 2019

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Higher TaxaSphaerodactylidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common Names 
SynonymSaurodactylus splendidus JAVANMARDI, VOGLER & JOGER 2019: 419 
DistributionMorocco (Djebel Bani and Draa Valley)

Type locality: Icht (N 29°03’, W 08°51’), in Djebel Bani, Morocco  
TypesHolotype. NHM-BS (given as SNMB) N 60080; collected by Sven Vogler on 30 May 2017 (Fig. 13 in Javanmardi et al. 2019).
Paratypes: SNMB-61534: Adult, sex unknown, SNMB-61535: Adult, sex unknown. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Very peculiar pattern of dark brown or blackish ground color, a V-shaped whitish-yellow mark on the head, terminating at the neck. 4 pairs of large whitish-yellow spots, each pair forming a band: one between the shoulders, two on the back and one between the hind legs.Un-regenerated tail dark brown with 5-6 transverse pale yellow to white bands. Legs sometimes much lighter than back. Contrary to other members of the S. brosseti species complex, dorsal color pattern of juveniles does not differ from that of adult animals; tail rings in juveniles are usually intensely yellow or orange (juveniles from the North, South and Anti-Atlas have a completely dark background, mostly devoid of spots, and a bright reddish tail; pers. observation; Bons & Pasteur 1957). Internasals large, touching each other only in a limited area of contact; proximally and distally they are separated by two small granules. Only one narrow postnasal shield separates nasals from 1st labial. This configuration (Fig. 13) is unique to this species. 
CommentDistribution: for a map see Javanmardi et al. 2019: 405 (Fig. 2).

Only known from 3 types. 
EtymologyThe name refers to the contrasting pattern of these beautiful geckos. 
  • JAVANMARDI, SOHEILA; SVEN VOGLER, ULRICH JOGER 2019. Phylogenetic differentiation and taxonomic consequences in the Saurodactylus brosseti species complex (Squamata: Sphaerodactylidae), with description of four new species. Zootaxa 4674 (4): 401–425 - get paper here
  • Martínez del Mármol, Gabriel; D. James Harris, Philippe Geniez, Philip de Pous, and Daniele Salvi 2019. Amphibians and Reptiles of Morocco. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, 478 pp - get paper here
  • Vogler, S. 2020. Aus eins mach fünf - Neue Echsenfingergeckos der Gattung Saurodactylus aus Marokko. Elaphe 2020 (3): 34-41
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