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Trigonodactylus persicus NAZAROV, MELNIKOV, RADJABIZADEH & POYARKOV, 2018

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common Names 
SynonymTrigonodactylus persicus NAZAROV, MELNIKOV, RADJABIZADEH & POYARKOV 2018 
DistributionIran (Hormozgan)

Type locality: Iran, Hormozgan province, 100 km northwest of Ahvaz, given as 27°24' N 56°57' E, altitude 77 m elevation, but corrected to 31°44' N, 48°06' E, 30 m elevation (Lukas Pola, pers. comm., 30 May 2021)  
TypesHolotype: ZMMU R-14668, adult male, June 22, 2011, coll. Daniel A. Melnikov, Roman A. Nazarov and Khosrow Rajabizadeh (Fig. 3a). Paratypes: ZMMU R-14669, R-15160, R-15161, R-15162; ZISP-29581, 29582, 29583; ICSTZ-M6H1293, M6H1294, M6H1295; with the same data as a holotype. Measurements of holotype and type series are presented in Table 3. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Small sized geckos, maximum SVL 34 mm; SVL/TailL approximately 1:1. Dorsal surface covered with small homogenous granular scales. Ventral scales rounded, weakly keeled (Fig. 3b), 54–61 longitudinal rows at midbody (V), 190–225 scales along midbody (SLB), 88–97 scales around midbody (SAB). Nostrils surrounded by convex scales. No enlarged postmentals. Fingers and toes weakly flattened dorsoventrally, lateral edge of digits fringed by series of projecting triangular scales. No web between digits. Usually, three median lamellae present only on distal part of digits (Fig. 3c); no precloacal or femoral pores.
Main dorsal background color is cream with beige shade. Dark ^- shaped stripe on dorsal surface of rostral part of snout, which passes through eye above ear opening and continues on side of body. Labials white, in some cases, with grey-brown dots. Patterns on dorsum formed by dark thin irregular vermicular patches, spots, and lines. Sometimes these dark dorsal patterns blend with each other and form transverse bands. There is a dark longitudinal narrow stripe between forelimbs and hindlimbs on sides of body. Dorsal surfaces of limbs and digits with irregular dark bands. Dorsal surface of tail with 8–10 dark-brown wide bands with irregular margins, same size as light bands with which they alternate. Ventral surface of body and limbs white. Ventral surface of tail with dark spots that become more distinct posteriorly.

Comparisons: Trigonodactylus persicus sp. nov. is closely related to T. arabicus Hass,1957 and can be distinguished by the shape of forelimbs and hindlimbs. The new species does not have any webbing between the fingers and toes, but T. arabicus has well-developed webs (Fig.6a). Moreover, T. arabicus has very large eyes: Its HeadL/OrbD ratio is 3.65, while this value for the new speicies is 4.35. The shape of the mental can be used as an additional character distinguish the new species from T. arabicus. Trigonodactylus persicus sp. nov. has a relatively wider and deeper mental plate than T. arabicus (Fig.4).
Trigonodactylus persicus sp. nov. differs from the recently described Trigonodactylus [Stenodactylus] sharqiyahensis by the form of the digits. The new species has more elongated, thinner fingers, and there is no webbing between them. The dorsal patterns specific for T. sharqiyahensis, which comprise longitudinal dark bands, can also be used to distinguish this species from T. persicus sp. nov. (dorsal patterns consist of small separate irregular spots and dots). The posterior edge of the mental plate in the new species is undulating, whereas in T. sharqiyahensis it has a roundish posterior edge (Fig. 4).
Discriminant analysis of 16 morphometric measurements of the three species of the genus Trigonodactylus has shown that the major contributing factors to the diversification of these species are the diameter of the eye (OrbD) and the length of the fourth finger and toe (LD4A, LD4P). A separate comparison of males and females has shown that morphometric differences between females of these species are deeper than in males (Fig.7).
The new species is significantly smaller in size, shape and proportions of the body and the head compared to all Stenodactylus s. s. except one species, S. pulcher (Fig. 8), which has approximately the same size as Trigonodactylus persicus sp. nov. The following characteristics enable us to distinguish S. pulcher from the new species: gular and ventral scales smooth, granular, without keels (versus keeled oval gular and ventral scales in the new species); relatively smaller eyes: HeadL/OrbD is 4.94 (4.35 in the new species); elongated fingers: SVL/ LD4A 14.4 (versus 16.9 in the new species). 
CommentDistribution: Nazarov et al. erroneously say that the type locality is in “Khuzestan Province” while it is actually in Hormozgan. 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality in Persia (Iran). 
  • Kwet, A. 2019. Liste der im Jahr 2018 neu beschriebenen Reptilien. Elaphe 2019 (3): 52-72
  • Nazarov, Roman A.; DANIEL A. MELNIKOV, MEHDI RADJABIZADEH & NIKOLAY A. POYARKOV 2018. A new species of short-fingered geckos Stenodactylus (Squamata, Geckonidae) from South Iran with taxonomic notes on validity of the genus Trigonodactylus Hass, 1957. Zootaxa 4457 (1): 093–113 - get paper here
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