Cyrtodactylus bhupathyi

Agarwal, Ishan, Mahony, Stephen, Giri, Varad B., Chaitanya, R. & Bauer, Aaron M., 2018, Two new species of bent toed geckos, Cyrtodactylus Gray, 1827 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Northeast India with comments on name-bearing types from the region, Zootaxa 4420 (3), pp. 334-356: 342-347

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Cyrtodactylus bhupathyi

sp. nov.

Cyrtodactylus bhupathyi  sp. nov.

Fig. 4 View Figure , 5 View Figure , and 6A

Holotype. BNHS 2255View Materials, adult female, near Bagdogra (26.88004°N 88.47187°E; ca. 200 m asl.), Darjeeling District , West Bengal state, India, collected by A. Datta-Roy and I. Agarwal, 28 October 2010.GoogleMaps 

Paratype. BNHS 2256View Materials, adult female, same data as holotype.GoogleMaps 

Etymology. The specific epithet is a patronym honouring the late Subramaniam Bhupathy for his contributions to Indian herpetology. Dr. Bhupathy also led herpetological research projects on elevational patterns in reptile diversity in Sikkim (Chettri et al. 2010). Dr. Bhupathy passed away in 2014 in an accident while conducting fieldwork in the southern Western Ghats, India.

Suggested common name. Bhupathy’s bent-toed gecko.

Diagnosis and comparison with regional congeners. A small sized Cyrtodactylus  , snout-vent length to 61.5 mm; body and limbs relatively slender, digits relatively short; two pairs of well-developed postmentals, inner pair longer than outer and either in broad contact behind mental or separated by a large scale; 24–25 rows of circular tubercles, bluntly conical and feebly keeled throughout; 51–55 paravertebral tubercles; 37 or 38 mid-body ventral scale rows; no precloacal groove; 4–7 weakly pitted femoral scales on each side separated by 17 or 18 smaller nonpored scales from a single series of 10 or 11 pitted precloacal scales on females; male condition unknown. Five or six basal and 13 apical subdigital lamellae beneath Digit IV of pes, with three intervening rows of non-lamellar granular scales between basal and distal lamellae series. Subcaudal scalation of original tail without clearly defined median series of enlarged scales. Dorsal pattern of 8–10 paired transversely arranged dark blotches/cross-bars, which may be more or less irregular, occasionally alternating with lighter blotches. Original tail with 11–13 alternating dark and light bands, distal-most light bands almost white. The condition of females with precloacal and femoral pores separated by a diastema in the new species is unique within the Indo-Burma Cyrtodactylus  clade for which females are known.

Cyrtodactylus bhupathyi  sp. nov. differs from the following species in having 24 or 25 dorsal tubercle rows: C. annandalei  (16–18 DTR), C. cayuensis  (18 DTR), C. fasciolatum  (15–17 DTR), C. gubernatoris  (20 or 21 DTR), Cyrtodactylus himalayicus  comb. nov. (19–21 DTR), C. mandalayensis  (18 DTR), C. markuscombaii  (14 or 15 DTR), C. russelli  (22 DTR), C. tamaiensis  (21 DTR), the new species from Tripura described below (19–21 DTR), and C. brevidactylus  (27 DTR). The small body size of C. bhupathyi  sp. nov. (SVL to 61.5 mm) and the number of mid-body ventral scale rows (37 or 38) distinguishes it from the large bodied species C. slowinskii  (SVL to 108 mm, MVSR 27–32). Cyrtodactylus bhupathyi  sp. nov. differs from the following species by possessing femoral pores separated from precloacal pores in females: C. ayeyarwadyensis  (no pores on females, continuous series of 10–28 Pcp to PcFP pores on males), C. gansi  (14 small PcP on females, 16–29 PcP on males), C. khasiensis  (no pores on females, 10–12 PcP on males), C. martinstolli  (no pores on females, 0–8 PcP on males), C. wakeorum  (12 PcP on female holotype).

Cyrtodactylus bhupathyi  sp. nov. is most similar morphologically to C. gubernatoris  from which it differs in the number of paravertebral tubercles (51–55 vs. 46–48), dorsal tubercle rows (24 or 25 vs. 20 or 21), and by the presence of femoral pores/partially pitted femoral scales in females (vs. absence on females).

Description of holotype. Holotype in generally good condition except for minor folds of skin on thighs, head slightly kinked toward left, constriction anterior to hindlimb insertions (from tying a previously attached specimen tag), all artefacts of preservation; tail tip removed as tissue sample for molecular analyses ( Fig. 4A View Figure ). Adult female, SVL 61.5 mm. Head moderately long (HL/SVL ratio 0.27), and wide (HW/HL ratio 0.64), dorsoventrally depressed (HH/HW ratio 0.57), distinct from neck; loreal region slightly inflated, interorbital area flat, canthus rostralis not prominent; snout moderately short (SE/HL ratio 0.40), almost twice as long as OD (OD/SE ratio 0.55); scales on forehead, canthus rostralis and snout homogenous, small, rounded and granular; scales on snout and canthus rostralis slightly larger than those on forehead; scales of interorbital and occipital region homogenous, granular, those in occipital region mixed with slightly larger, rounded, conical tubercles ( Fig. 5A View Figure ). Eye small (OD/ HL ratio 0.22); pupil vertical with crenulated margins; supraciliaries mucronate, decreasing in size towards posterior edge of orbit; ear opening oval, obliquely oriented, large; eye to ear distance slightly more than eye diameter. Rostral wider (2.7 mm) than deep (1.4 mm), partially divided dorsally by weakly developed rostral groove; single large supranasal on either side, separated by two small scales (internasals), which are approximately twice the size of enlarged granular scales on snout; rostral in contact with SL I, nasals, supranasals and an internasal; nostrils semicircular, laterally oriented, posterior half covered by nasal pad, each in broad contact with rostral and also surrounded by supranasal, SL I, and three or four postnasals; three or four scale rows separate orbits from supralabials; mental slightly wider (2.0 mm) than long (1.7 mm), triangular, two pairs of welldeveloped postmentals, inner pair longer (maximum length 1.5 mm) than and separating outer pair (maximum length 0.8 mm), separated from each other behind mental by a large gular scale which is subequal in size to outer postmental pair; inner postmentals bordered by mental, IL I, outer postmental and six gular scales; outer postmental bordered by inner postmental, IL I and IL II, and two gular scales on either side; supralabials 10 (8) on each side, bordered by a row of large, flat, slightly elongated scales ( Fig. 5C View Figure ); infralabials 9/9, IL II to IL VII bordered by one row of chinshields, largest anteriorly; interorbital scale rows across narrowest point of frontal bone approximately 30. Body moderately slender, relatively short (TrL/SVL ratio 0.47) with weak ventrolateral folds; dorsal scales heterogeneous, mostly rounded granular, intermixed with irregularly arranged small (2–4 times granule size) circular tubercles, bluntly conical and feebly keeled throughout ( Fig 4 View Figure ), becoming more conical and smaller towards flanks, tubercles extend from frontal region to proximal one third of tail length; tubercles on nape smaller than those of dorsum, largest on flanks; enlarged tubercles on tail completely flat and weakly pointed and keeled; tubercles in approximately 24 irregular longitudinal rows at mid-body; 51–53 paravertebral tubercles; ventral scales much larger than dorsal scales, smooth, cycloid, imbricate to subimbricate, 37 or 38 mid-body ventral scale rows; gular scales smaller than ventrals and granular except a few rows of larger, flat and juxtaposed scales, including a single row of chinshields bordering mental, postmentals and infralabials ( Fig 5C View Figure ). Eleven pitted precloacal scales in a continuous series with 17 or 18 slightly smaller poreless scales followed by four weakly pitted femoral scales on either side; no precloacal groove. Three or four rows of enlarged scales between pitted precloacal scales and vent, as large as the largest ventrals and much larger than pitted precloacal scales. Tail original, dorsoventrally depressed, without distinct median furrow, tapering; tail tip removed for molecular analyses. Dorsal scales at base of tail granular, gradually becoming flatter, subimbricate posteriorly, increasing in size on lateral aspect, intermixed with 6–8 slightly enlarged tubercles near base of tail and reducing to two by fourth transverse row of tubercles ( Fig 4 View Figure ); ventral scales larger that dorsal scales, imbricate, median row comprises irregularly enlarged subcaudals in one or two rows; two enlarged postcloacal tubercles at base of tail. Fore and hindlimbs relatively slender; forearm (FL/SVL ratio 0.15) and crus (CL/SVL ratio 0.18) relatively short; digits relatively short, strongly inflected at each joint, all bearing robust, recurved claws; subdigital lamellae widened beneath basal phalanx; basal lamellae series on Digits I-V: 4-4-4-5-3 (right manus) and 5-6-6-6-6 (right pes); apical lamellae series (intervening rows of non-lamellar granular scales between basal and distal lamellae series in parentheses) on Digits I-V: 6(3)-8(2)-10(1)-8(3)-7(3) (right manus) and 8(1)-8(3)-9(3)-9(3)-9(3) (right pes); interdigital webbing absent on manus, rudimentary between Digits I–V of pes; relative length of digits (measurements in mm in parentheses): I (3.7) <V (4.5) <II (4.6) <III (5.5) <IV (5.6) (right manus) and I (4.1) <II (5.1) <V (6.3) <III (6.4) <IV (7.5) (right pes); palmar and plantar scales smooth, rounded; scales on forelimb heterogeneous, composed of flat, rounded, smooth sub-imbricate scales, gradually increasing in size on forearm, smaller scales appear granular, no enlarged tubercles, ventral portion covered mostly with smaller and granular scales; scales on hindlimbs heterogeneous, dorsal part of thigh and shank, with larger, conical granular scales, intermixed with scattered, enlarged, slightly conical, weekly keeled tubercles, which are denser on shank than on thigh, anterior portion of thigh and ventral aspect of hindlimb with enlarged, smooth, imbricate scales, a few rows under thigh are slightly larger than those on abdomen ( Fig 4 View Figure ).

Colouration in preservative. Ground colouration light brown, dorsum with darker irregular broken up transverse markings with an almost unmarked mid-vertebral line, approximately 8–10 irregular cross-bars on dorsum anterior to hindlimb insertions, fused together between forelimb insertions and neck. Occipital markings separated from post-orbital streak, which continues indistinctly anterior to eye. Dorsum of head unicolour except for indistinct paired dark markings anterior to orbits. Limbs mottled with dark markings, flanks with irregular light and dark markings. Venter off-white with dark abdomen (artefact of preservation). Tail colouration similar to ground colour with 11 darker bands on original tail, lighter bands fading toward tail-tip ( Fig. 4 View Figure ).

Colouration in life. Ground colouration pinkish-brown with darker brown-black transverse markings, head darker than ground colour of body and lighter than dark dorsal markings. Anterior portion of brille yellow, pupil outlined by red, iris dull greenish-gold ( Fig. 6A View Figure ).

Variation. This species is known from only two female specimens, the holotype and paratype. The paratype ( BNHSAbout BNHS 2256) closely agrees with holotype (Table 3) except that it has seven femoral pores on each side; the inner pair of postmentals are in broad contact posterior to the mental; 11 (9) supralabials on each side; 11 infralabials on the left side and on the right; two to three rows of enlarged scales between precloacal pore-bearing scales and vent, as large as the largest ventrals and much larger than pore-bearing scales; dorsal cross-bars more irregular.

Molecular Data. Cyrtodactylus bhupathyi  sp. nov. is more than 16% divergent from Cyrtodactylus ayeyarwadyensis  , C. khasiensis  , and the new species from Tripura (for both ND2 and cyt b), and 13.2% (cyt b), and 16.7% (ND2) divergent from its closest sampled sister species, C. gubernatoris  ( Table 4). Agarwal et al. (2014) incorrectly identified this species as Cyrtodactylus gubernatoris  (CES10/1235= BNHSAbout BNHS 2255).

Distribution and Natural History. This species was encountered during approximately one-half an hour of fieldwork an hour after sunset along a national highway. The geckos were spotted by eyeshine <1.5 m up on a loose stone wall along the side of the road on the edge of lowland moist deciduous forest.

TABLE ³. Measurements (mm) anđ meristic đata for the type series of Cyrtodactylus bhupathyi  sp. nov. anđ Cyrtodactylus tripuraensis  sp. nov., as well as the holotypes anđ referređ material of Cyrtodactylus gubernatoris  , Cyrtodactylus himalayicus  comb. nov. anđ C. khasiensis  . Abbreviations as in materials anđ methođs. * inđicates incomplete/regenerateđ tail, x inđicates measurement coulđ not be taken on that specimen. Numbers in parentheses inđicate supralabial at miđorbital position.

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TABLE ³. (Continueđ)


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