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Urocotyledon rasmusseni BAUER & MENEGON, 2006

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Rasmussen's Gecko 
SynonymUrocotyledon rasmusseni BAUER & MENEGON 2006
Urocotyledon rasmusseni — SPAWLS et al. 2018: 126 
DistributionTanzania (Udzungwa Mountains)

Type locality: Tanzania, Iringa Province, Udzungwa Mountains, Mbatwa Ranger Post, Udzungwa Mountains National Park (7°35’44”S, 36°37’35”E), 1188 m elevation.  
TypesHolotype: MTSN 8224, adult female, Museo Tridentino di Scienze Naturali; 15 September 2004. Coll. Michele Menegon. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A small Urocotyledon; Urocotyledon rasmusseni may be distinguished from all other members of the genus on the basis of: a lack of enlarged postmental scales (present in U. wolterstorffi and U. inexpectata), presence of denticulate ventrolateral tail mar- gins (absent in U. wolterstorffi and U. inexpectata), dermal fold or web on posterior face of hind limb absent (present in U. palmata), four undivided lamellae under fourth toe (versus 7- 12 in all other species; Stejneger 189; Tornier 1900; Müller 1909; Loveridge 1947; Spawls et al. 2002) and rostral cleft present (absent in all other species; contra Loveridge 1947). It also differs in color pattern from all other species (see Müller 1910; Perret 196, fig. 2, Spawls et al. 2002, fig. p. 119; Branch 2005, fig. p. 105). Urocotyledon rassmuseni may be more specif- ically differentiated from U. wolterstorffi, its only East African mainland congener, in having much smaller claws, a reduced number of transverse lamellae under the digits (4 under digit IV of pes versus 8-12; Loveridge 1959; Spawls et al. 2002), a convex (versus concave) snout profile, granular scales on the dorsal sur- face of the digits, above the enlarged terminal scansors (versus smooth, flattened scales), a dorsal pattern of longitudinally oriented whitish-grey diamonds or chevrons (versus transverse whitish bands or series of spots, see Spawls et al. 2002, fig. p. 119; Branch 2005, fig. p. 105), and a pale coppery-beige iris (ver- sus dark orange fide Spawls et al. 2002) [from BAUER & MENEGON 2005]. 
CommentAbundance: only known from the type specimen (Meiri et al. 2017). 
Etymologynamed after Jens Bødtker Rasmussen of the Zoological Museum of Copenhagen (1947-2005). 
  • Bauer A. & M. Menegon 2006. A new species of Prehensile-tailed Gecko, Urocotyledon (Squamata: Gekkonidae), from the Udzungwa Mountains, Tanzania. African Journal of Herpetology 55 (1): 13-22. - get paper here
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Loveridge, A. 1947. Revision of the African lizards of the family Gekkondiae. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 98: 1-469 - get paper here
  • Meiri, Shai; Aaron M. Bauer, Allen Allison, Fernando Castro-Herrera, Laurent Chirio, Guarino Colli, Indraneil Das, Tiffany M. Doan, Frank Glaw, Lee L. Grismer, Marinus Hoogmoed, Fred Kraus, Matthew LeBreton, Danny Meirte, Zoltán T. Nagy, Cristiano d 2017. Extinct, obscure or imaginary: the lizard species with the smallest ranges. Diversity and Distributions - get paper here
  • Rovero, F., Menegon, M., Fjeldså, J., Collett, L., Doggart, N., Leonard, C., Norton, G., Owen, N., Perkin, A., Spitale, D., Ahrends, A., Burgess, N. D. 2014. Targeted vertebrate surveys enhance the faunal importance and improve explanatory models within the Eastern Arc Mountains of Kenya and Tanzania. Diversity and Distributions. doi: 10.1111/ddi.12246 - get paper here
  • Spawls, Steve; Kim Howell, Harald Hinkel, Michele Menegon 2018. Field Guide to East African Reptiles. Bloomsbury, 624 pp. - get paper here
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