Cyrtodactylus cucphuongensis , Tri, Ngo Van & Onn, Chan Kin, 2011

Tri, Ngo Van & Onn, Chan Kin, 2011, A new karstic cave-dwelling Cyrtodactylus Gray (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Northern Vietnam, Zootaxa 3125, pp. 51-63: 52-57

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Cyrtodactylus cucphuongensis

sp. nov.

Cyrtodactylus cucphuongensis  sp. nov.

Figures: 1–3

Holotype. ITBCZ 2206, adult male collected by Ngo Van Tri on 20 July 2008 from the karst outcrops adjacent to the main road in Cuc Phuong National Park, Nho Quan district, Ninh Binh province, Northern Vietnam (20 º 15.324 ’N, 105 º 38.060 ’E) at 100 m elevation.

Diagnosis. Cyrtodactylus cucphuongensis  sp. nov. differs from all other congeners by the following combination of characters: SVL 96.0 mm; large, dark spots on top of head; wide nuchal band which tapers at both ends; five or six irregular, dark brown bands between limb insertions; precloacal pores absent; 14 relatively enlarged scales beneath thighs in discontinuous arrangement, separated medially by eight smaller scales; 18 interorbital scales on frontal bone; 18 scales in a straight line between eye and nostril; 42 rows of ventral scales between ventrolateral folds; 10 irregular, longitudinal rows of conical tubercles at midbody between lateral folds; 27 paravertebral tubercles between limb insertions; 19 subdigital lamellae on first toe; 24 subdigital lamellae on fourth toe.

Description of holotype. Adult male, SVL 96.0 mm ( Fig. 1 AView FIGURE 1. A). Head moderately long (HeadL/SVL: 0.27), relatively narrow (HeadW/HeadL: 0.65), depressed (HeadH/HeadL: 0.37), distinct from neck; lores and interorbital region inflated, canthus rostralis present, frontonasal region concave; snout elongate (SnEye/HeadL: 0.40), pointed, longer than eye diameter (OrbD/SnEye: 0.66); scales on snout small, rounded, granular, homogeneous, larger than those on occipital region. Eye large (OrbD/HeadL: 0.27), pupils reddish; supraciliaries short, bearing tiny conical spines posteriorly. Ear opening oval, oblique, small (EarL/HeadL: 0.05); eye to ear distance greater than diameter of eye (EyeEar/OrbD: 1.06). Rostral scales smooth, incompletely divided posteriorly by a shallow dorsal groove; two enlarged supranasals in broad contact posteriorly with one smaller intersupranasal ( Fig. 2View FIGURE 2 A); rostral in contact with first supralabial and nostril; nostril oval, surrounded by supranasal, rostral, first supralabial, and three enlarged postnasals; 1–3 rows of small scales separates orbit from supralabials. Mental triangular, wider (3.0 mm) than deep (2.2 mm); one pair of enlarged postmentals in broad contact medially, bordered anteromedially by mental, bordered anterolaterally by first infralabial, and posterolaterally by six enlarged lateral chinshields ( Fig. 2View FIGURE 2 B). Twelve supralabials on both sides; 16 interorbital scale rows on frontal bone; 20 scales between eye and nostril.

Body slender, elongate (TrunkL/SVL: 0.43). Dorsal scales granular; large, regularly distributed conical tubercles (5–7 times size of adjacent scales) extend from occipital region to base of tail; larger tubercles arranged in 10 rows at midbody between ventrolateral folds ( Fig. 2View FIGURE 2 C); tubercles are smallest on flanks and occipital region; 27 paravertebral tubercles between limb insertions. Ventral scales larger than those on dorsum, smooth, relatively round, subimbricate, largest posteriorly; 42 scale rows across belly between ventrolateral folds ( Fig. 2View FIGURE 2 D); gular region with relatively homogeneous, smooth scales. Precloacal groove absent; precloacal scales enlarged; precloacal pores absent ( Fig. 2View FIGURE 2 E). Scales on palm and hind limbs smooth, granular with scattered, conical tubercles which are smaller than those on dorsum.

Fore and hindlimbs slender (ForeL/SVL: 0.17; CrusL/SVL: 0.19); digits slender, strongly inflected at basal interphalangeal joints, all bearing slightly curved claws; basal subdigital lamellae nearly as broad as digit, without scansorial surface: 7–8 – 8 – 7–8 manus; 7 – 7–10 – 11 – 10 pes; narrow lamellae distal to digital inflection, not including ventral claw sheath: 12 – 12–14 – 14 – 12 manus; 12–13 – 14 – 13 –16 pes; one or two rows of small, non lamellar granules between basal and distal lamellar series; two or eight small, non lamellar granules between broad and narrow lamellae of manus and pes ( Fig. 3 AView FIGURE 3. A, B); interdigital webbing present but weakly developed. Relative length of digits in mm: (manus) III (8.9)> IV (8.5)> V (8.0)> II (7.8)> I (5.8); (pes): V (10.5)> IV (10.2)> III (9.4)> II (7.1)> I (5.8).

Tail regenerated at base, tail length 79.3 mm, slender, tapering to a point; two smooth, yellowish-white postcloacal tubercles at base; base of tail with four longitudinal rows of weakly keeled tubercles dorsally; dorsal surface of tail with heterogeneous scales; subcaudal scales smooth, juxtaposed; median row of narrow, enlarged subcaudal scales throughout the length of tail ( Fig. 2View FIGURE 2 F).

Coloration in life ( Fig. 1 AView FIGURE 1. A). Base color yellowish-brown; large, dark brown spots on top of head; eye rings yellowish; wide, dark brown nuchal band with tapering ends, outlined by yellow both anterior and posteriorly; postorbital stripes in contact with tapered ends of the nuchal band; two yellow-edged stripes on lateral surface of neck from posterior end of jaw, terminating at the shoulders; nape with a series of four oval blotches, the middle two connected, forming a butterfly shape. Five irregular, dark bands on dorsum, one immediately posterior to hind limbs in the form of two connected blotches; small dark blotches scattered on flanks and space between dorsal bands; dorsal surface of limbs, manus and pes yellowish-brown, scattered with dark bands and blotches; regenerated tail is dark brown. Ventral surface of body pinkish, scattered with small yellowish and dark-brown blotches.

Etymology. The specific epithet is named after the Cúc Phơ ng National Park. Suggested common name: Cúc Phơ ng Bent–toed Gecko; Vietnamese name: Thằn lằn chân ngón Cúc Phơ ng.

Distribution and natural history. Cyrtodactylus cucphuongensis  sp. nov. is currently known only from the cave in the karst forests of Cuc Phuong National Park in the Nho Quan district, Ninh Binh province and from the ceiling of a water-filled cave at Yen Thanh commune, Thach Thanh district, Thanh Hoa province, Northern Vietnam ( Nguyen et al. 2003). The specimen from the latter locality was caught during the dry season when the water was low. Other individuals were seen at the entrance of the cave of the type locality but eluded capture. The original tail of the observed lizards was yellowish-white with dark bands.

als and methods. Measurements in millimeters (mm); M= male; Reg = regenerated tail.

Holotype Holotype ITBCZ 2206 ITBCZ 2206