Cyrtodactylus pantiensis , Grismer, Lee, Onn, Chan Kin, Grismer, Jesse L., Wood, Perry L. & Belabut, Daicus, 2008

Grismer, Lee, Onn, Chan Kin, Grismer, Jesse L., Wood, Perry L. & Belabut, Daicus, 2008, Three new species of Cyrtodactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Peninsular Malaysia, Zootaxa 1921, pp. 1-23: 14-20

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.184717

persistent identifier

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scientific name

Cyrtodactylus pantiensis

sp. nov.

Cyrtodactylus pantiensis  sp. nov.

Figures 6View FIGURE 6, 7View FIGURE 7

Holotype. Adult male ( ZRC 2.6750) collected by Chan K. Onn, L. Lee Grismer, Perry L. Wood, Jr., and Jesse L. Grismer on 2 June 2008 from Bunker Trail (01° 51.759 N, 103 ° 53.186 E; 20 m asl.), Gunung Panti Bird Sanctuary in the Gunung Panti Forest Reserve, Johor, Peninsular Malaysia.

Paratypes. All paratypes ( LSUHC 8904, ZRC 2.6751-52) were collected at the same locality and on the same date as the holotype between 2030 and 0 100 hrs.

Diagnosis. Cyrtodactylus pantiensis  is distinguished from all other Sunda Shelf species by having a maximum SVL of 77.2 mm; moderately sized, conical, keeled, body tubercles; tubercles occurring on the occiput, forelimbs, hind limbs, and beyond base of tail; 40–45 ventral scales; no transversely enlarged, median subcaudal scales; proximal subdigital lamellae transversely expanded; 22 or 23 subdigital lamellae on fourth toe; abrupt transition between postfemoral and ventral femoral scales; no enlarged femoral and precloacal scales; no femoral pores; eight or nine precloacal pores not separated by intervening scales lacking pores; no precloacal groove or depression; paired, dark, semilunar-shaped blotches on upper nape prominently outlined in light yellow; no wide, dark, ventrolateral stripes on flanks confluent with a wide, dark, postorbital stripe; no white reticulum on head; dark blotches on body. These characters are summarized across all Sunda Shelf species in Table 1.

Description of holotype. Adult male SVL 67.0 mm; head moderate in length (HL/SVL 0.25), wide (HW/ HL 0.68), flat (HD/HL 0.41), distinct from neck, triangular in dorsal profile; lores weakly inflated, prefrontal region deeply concave, canthus rostralis smoothly rounded; snout elongate (ES/HL 0.42), rounded in dorsal profile; eye large (ED/HL 0.22); ear opening elliptical, obliquely oriented, moderate in size (EL/HL 0.09); eye to ear distance greater than diameter of eye; rostral square, partially divided dorsally by three granular scales, bordered posteriorly by large left and right supranasals and medial granular postrostral (=internasal), laterally by first supralabials; external nares bordered anteriorly by rostral, dorsally by a large, anterior supranasal and small, posterior supranasal, posteriorly by two, large postnasals and ventrally by first supralabial; 10 (R,L) rectangular supralabials extending to just beyond dorsal inflection of labial margins tapering abruptly below midpoint of eye, first supralabial largest; nine (R,L) infralabials tapering smoothly posteriorly to beyond orbit; scales of rostrum and lores raised, same size as granular scales on top of head and occiput; scales of occiput intermixed with slightly enlarged tubercles; dorsal superciliaries elongate, smooth; mental triangular, bordered laterally by first infralabials, posteriorly by left and right square postmentals contacting medially for 40 % of their length; one row of slightly enlarged, elongate sublabials extending posteriorly to 5 th infralabial; gular scales small, granular, grading posteriorly into slightly larger, flatter, throat scales which grade into larger, flat, smooth, imbricate, pectoral and ventral scales.

Body relatively short (AG/SVL 0.43) with well-defined ventrolateral folds; dorsal scales small, granular interspersed with moderately sized, conical, semi-regularly arranged, keeled tubercles being most dense on flanks; tubercles extend from occiput to anterior one-third of tail; tubercles on occiput and nape relatively small, those on body largest; approximately 22 longitudinal rows of tubercles at midbody, 36 paravertebral tubercles on body; 45 flat, imbricate, ventral scales between ventrolateral, body folds, ventral scales larger than dorsal scales; precloacal scales not large; no precloacal groove or depression ( Fig. 6View FIGURE 6).

Forelimbs moderate in stature, relatively short (FL/SVL 0.14); granular scales of forearm same size as those on body, interspersed with large, keeled tubercles; palmar scales rounded, flat; digits well-developed, inflected at basal, interphalangeal joints; subdigital lamellae transversely expanded proximal to joint inflections, more granular distal to inflection; digits slightly more narrow distal to inflections; claws well-developed, sheathed by a dorsal and ventral scale; hind limbs more robust than forelimbs, moderate in length (TBL/ SVL 0.16), covered dorsally by granular scales interspersed with large, conical tubercles, covered anteriorly by flat, slightly larger scales; ventral scales of thigh flat, imbricate, larger than dorsals; ventral tibial scales flat, imbricate; no rows of enlarged, flat, imbricate, femoral scales; small postfemoral scales form an abrupt union with large ventral scales of thigh on posteroventral margin of thigh; plantar scales low, flat; digits welldeveloped, inflected at basal, interphalangeal joints; subdigital lamellae transversely expanded proximal to inflections, more granular distal to inflections, digits more narrow distal to inflections; 23 subdigital lamellae on right 4 th toe, 21 on left; claws well-developed, sheathed by a dorsal and ventral scale.

Tail moderate, 86.0 mm in length, tapering to a point, posterior 25.6 mm regenerated, 7.4 mm in width at base; dorsal scales of base of tail granular becoming flatter posteriorly; no median row of transversely enlarged, subcaudal scales on original portion of tail; subcaudal scales larger than dorsal caudal scales; one pair of paravertebral and dorsolateral tubercle rows on either side of midline; paravertebral tubercle rows not widely separated; caudal tubercles decrease in size posteriorly, extending approximately one-fifth length of tail; one enlarged, postcloacal tubercle at base of tail on hemipenial swelling; all postcloacal scales flat.

Coloration in life. Dorsal ground color of head, neck, body, limbs, and tail straw-yellow; thick, dark brown mottling on top of head and rostrum; dark, diffuse postorbital patch; paired, non-symmetrical, semilunar-shaped, dark blotches on upper portion of nape prominently outlined in ground color; eight pairs of rectangular, dark brown, paravertebral to alternating blotches extending from nape to base of tail; blotches not countershaded with lighter color; wide, dark, elongate markings above shoulders; irregularly shaped, dark blotches on flanks; body speckled overall; dark blotching on limbs, obscure banding on hind limbs; dark body blotches extend onto tail to form brown and cream-colored bands anteriorly that do not encircle tail; bands transform to black and white on posterior one-third of tail; ventral surfaces of head, body and limbs lightly stippled in gray; subcaudal region darkened by fine mottling; iris red.

Variation. The paratypes closely approximate the holotype in all aspects coloration suggesting sexual dimorphism is absent ( Figs. 7View FIGURE 7, 8View FIGURE 8). The dark, dorsal, markings of the paratypes are more paired than alternating. LSUHC 8904 has only small tubercles on its forelimbs. Females ( ZRC 2.6751-52) lack precloacal pores. Meristic differences are shown in Table 3.

Distribution. Cyrtodactylus pantiensis  is known from Bunker Trail in the Gunung Panti Forest Reserve, Johor and tentatively (see below) from the Sungai Udang Recreational Forest, Melaka ( Fig. 1View FIGURE 1).

Natural history. Bunker Trail lies within the boundaries of the Gunung Panti Forest Reserve in central Johor near the base of Gunung Panti ( Fig. 1View FIGURE 1). The habitat is primarily lowland dipterocarp forest but because it lies on the edge of an extensive peat swamp forest associated with the confluence of the Sungai Sedili Besar and Sungai Dohol and their smaller tributaries, the substrate is wet for a significant portion of the year and there are several small streams that drain into the two major rivers. Along one of these streams, Cyrtodactylus pantiensis  was quite common but difficult to catch. We observed nine specimens and all but one were perched within root tangles at the edge of the stream ( Fig. 9View FIGURE 9) or on the ground less than 1 m away from root tangles. Lizards would retreat rapidly into the root tangles upon our approach and were difficult to extract. Some lizards would be on root tangles suspended over the water. One specimen jumped off a small branch 2 m above the water, landed just over 2 m from the shore, and ran across the surface of the water to escape into the nearest root tangle. In two nights of searching, no specimens were seen in the nearby forest, only along the water’s edge. We did find several C. semenanjungesis  in the nearby forest and even one specimen in a root tangle at the water’s edge. The furthest away from the water’s edge we found C. pantiensis  was less than 1 m. From this we conclude C. pantiensis  is strictly a riparian species.

Etymology. The specific epithet pantiensis  refers to the type locality being within the Gunung Panti Forest Reserve.

Comparisons. Cyrtodactylus pantiensis  is readily differentiable from all other Sunda Shelf species of Cyrtodactylus  on the basis of color pattern and morphology ( Table 1). It is most similar to C. quadrivirgatus  , a species that is common in southern Peninsular Malaysia ( Grismer & Pan 2008; Wood et al. 2008). However it differs from C. quadrivirgatus  in lacking greatly enlarged rows of femoral scales in males ( Fig. 6View FIGURE 6); having fewer precloacal pores (eight or nine vs. 0–4); having more subdigital lamellae (22 or 23 vs. 19 or 20); having paired, semilunar-shaped, dark blotches edged in ground color on the upper portion of the nape as opposed to the lack of such blotches in C. quadrivirgatus  ; never having wide, dark, postorbital stripes extending posteriorly past the axillary pockets as opposed to having such stripes in C. quadrivirgatus  ( Fig. 8View FIGURE 8); and having dense speckling in the ground color as opposed to a generally immaculate ground color as in C. quadrivirgatus  ( Fig. 8View FIGURE 8). One specimen (HC 265) collected on 31 March 2008 by CKO from vegetation in a swampy area of the Sungai Undang Forest Reserve, Melaka, approximately 197 km to the west of Bunker Trail in Johor, is similar to C. patiensis  in all aspects of coloration and morphology except for having fewer (19) subdigital lamellae. We tentatively consider this specimen C. pantiensis  and await the acquisition of additional material.

TABLE 3. Meristic data for the type series of Cyrtodactylus pantiensis.

    2.6751 2.6752  
No. of subdigital lamellae on 4th toe        

Zoological Reference Collection, National University of Singapore


La Sierra University, Herpetological Collection