Cyrtodactylus phuketensis , Sumontha, Montri, Pauwels, Olivier S. G., Kunya, Kirati, Nitikul, Awat, Samphanthamit, Phamon & Grismer, Lee, 2012

Sumontha, Montri, Pauwels, Olivier S. G., Kunya, Kirati, Nitikul, Awat, Samphanthamit, Phamon & Grismer, Lee, 2012, A new forest-dwelling gecko from Phuket Island, Southern Thailand, related to Cyrtodactylus macrotuberculatus (Squamata: Gekkonidae), Zootaxa 3522, pp. 61-72: 62-69

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Cyrtodactylus phuketensis

sp. nov.

Cyrtodactylus phuketensis  sp. nov.

( Figs 1–4View FIGURE 1View FIGURE 2View FIGURE 3View FIGURE 4)

Holotype. Adult male PSUZC-RT 2010.58 (formerly Montri Sumontha field number MS 510) from Ban Bangrong (coordinates UTM UPSAbout UPS ca. 47 p0433130 0 888891 = 0 8 o 02.465N, 98 o 23.588 E; altitude ca. 41 m asl), Thalang District, Phuket Island, Phuket Province, southwestern Thailand. Collected by Kirati Kunya on 2 June 2008.

Paratypes. Adult male THNHM 15378 (formerly MS 509) and adult female QSMI 1170 (formerly MS 508). Locality, collecting date, and collector are the same as the holotype.

Diagnosis. Cyrtodactylus phuketensis  is distinguished from all other Sunda Shelf Cyrtodactylus  by having the unique combination of a maximum SVL of 114.7 mm; very large, trihedral, keeled, tubercles on body, limbs and tail; tubercles present on occiput and top of head and on gular region and throat; no granular scales (only large tubercles) on dorsal surfaces of limbs; 22–24 ventral scale rows; transversely enlarged, median, subcaudal plates; proximal subdigital lamellae square; 19 subdigital lamellae on 4 th toe; abrupt transition between posterior and ventral femoral scales; enlarged femoral and precloacal scales in a continuous series bearing 33–36 pores; precloacal groove present in males and females; precloacal depression absent; no white reticulum on head; three dark bands between limbs insertions; no bands on fore- and hind limbs.

Description of holotype. SVL 102.6 mm. Head large, moderate in length (HL/SVL 0.29) and wide (HW/HL 0.69), somewhat flattened (HD/HL 0.40), distinct from neck, and triangular in dorsal profile; lores concave; frontal and prefrontal regions deeply concave; canthus rostralis rounded; snout elongate (ES/HL 0.40), rounded in dorsal profile. Eye large (ED/HL 0.34). Ear opening elliptical, relatively large (EL/HL 0.29), obliquely oriented. Eye to ear distance shorter than diameter of eye. Rostral rectangular, deeply divided dorsally, bordered posteriorly by left and right supranasals and internasal, bordered laterally by first supralabials. Nares bordered anteriorly by rostral, dorsally by two supranasals, posteriorly by granular scales, ventrally by first supralabial; 12 (left) / 13 (right) rectangular supralabials extending to just beyond upturn of labial margins tapering abruptly below midpoint of eye; 1 st supralabial tallest, 2 nd largest; 10 (left & right) infralabials; scales of rostrum and lores raised, larger than granular scales on top of head and occiput, those on canthus rostralis largest; occipital scales intermixed with enlarged tubercles; large, boney frontal ridges bordering orbit confluent with boney, transverse, parietal ridge. Dorsal supraciliaries elongate, smooth, V-shaped. Mental triangular, bordered laterally by infralabials I and posteriorly by left and right, rectangular postmentals which contact medially for about 50 % of their length; one row of slightly enlarged, elongate sublabials extending to 6 th infralabial; small, granular, gular scales intermixed with numerous large, conical tubercles grading posteriorly into larger, conical tubercles on throat which abruptly transition into large, flat, smooth, imbricate, pectoral and ventral scales.

Body relatively short (AG/SVL 0.48) with well-defined, tuberculate, ventrolateral folds. Dorsal scales small, granular, interspersed with very large, trihedral, regularly arranged, keeled tubercles separated by no more than three granules at their base ( Fig. 2View FIGURE 2); tubercles extend from occiput to anterior part of tail. Tubercles on occiput and nape relatively small, those on body largest; approximately 23 rows of tubercles at midbody; approximately 40 paravertebral tubercles; 22 flat, imbricate, large, ventral scale rows between ventrolateral body folds; ventral scales much larger than dorsal scales. Precloacal scales large, smooth. Distinct precloacal groove ( Fig. 3View FIGURE 3).

Forelimbs moderately robust, relatively short (FL/SVL 0.16). No granular scales on dorsal surface of forelimbs, only large, trihedral, keeled tubercles. Palmar scales rounded. Digits well-developed, inflected at basal, interphalangeal joints. Subdigital lamellae nearly square proximal to joint inflection, only slightly expanded distal to inflection. Digits more narrow distal to joints. Claws well-developed, sheathed by a dorsal and ventral scale.

Hind limbs more robust than forelimbs, moderate in length (TBL/SVL 0.20). No granular scales on dorsal surfaces of hind limbs, only large, trihedral, keeled tubercles. Ventral scales of thigh flat, imbricate, same size as dorsals; ventral, tibial scales flat, imbricate, slightly keeled. Two rows of enlarged, flat, imbricate femoral scales extend from knee to knee through precloacal region where they are continuous with enlarged, precloacal scales. Posterior row of enlarged femoral scales composed of 33 contiguous, pore-bearing scales extending from knee to knee forming a V bordering the precloacal groove; 8 pores bordering groove; postfemoral scales immediately posterior to the pore-bearing scale row conical. Plantar scales low, slightly rounded. Digits well-developed, inflected at basal, interphalangeal joints; subdigital lamellae proximal to joint inflection nearly square, only slightly expanded distal to inflection. Digits more narrow distal to joints. Claws well-developed, sheathed by a dorsal and ventral scale; 19 (left & right) subdigital lamellae on 4 th toe.

Tail original, 133.9 mm in length, 9.6 mm width at base, tapering to a point. All postcloacal scales flat, large, imbricate. Median row of transversely enlarged, subcaudal scales. Three well-developed lateral postcloacal spurs at the base of tail on hemipenial swelling.

Coloration in life. Dorsal ground color of head, body, limbs and tail tan. Wide dark brown nuchal band edged with thin, white lines extends from posterior margin of one eye to posterior margin of the other eye. One similar dorsal band extends across forelimb insertions, two bands on dorsum between limbs insertions, one additional band at base of tail; these bands do not extend below the level of the ventrolateral skin fold. Tail has seven dark bands, not edged with white lines, and forming complete rings around the tail. Ventral surfaces of head, limbs and base of tail uniformly light brown; ventral surface of abdomen uniformly beige.

Variation. The paratypes (see Figs. 1View FIGURE 1, 4View FIGURE 4, 6View FIGURE 6) match the holotype in most respects. Meristic and morphometric characters are presented in Table 1. The postmentals of the female paratype contact medially for more than 30 % of their length. The female paratype has a precloacal groove that is less marked than that in males, and she has three minute postcloacal spurs. This specimen also has an incomplete, discontinuous fourth band, above the hind limb insertions. Nine additional individuals not part of the type series ( Figs. 7 a–hView FIGURE 7 A – H) also have three dark bands between limb insertions.

Distribution. This species only has been recorded from the type locality and nearby in Khao Phra Thaeo Nonhunting Area ( Figs. 5View FIGURE 5, 8View FIGURE 8), but probably occurs in other remaining forested areas of the island and possibly forested areas from the adjacent peninsula near Phuket Island. Extensive field work in forested areas in Phang-Nga Province did not reveal any Cyrtodactylus phuketensis  sp. nov., although a related species, also belonging to the C. pulchellus Gray  complex (Grismer et al. in press), was found ( Pauwels et al. 2000, 2002).

Natural history. The three individuals of the type series were found active at night on large trees in mature secondary forest, approximately one meter above the ground. When disturbed, they tried to escape by running to the tree roots. Two individuals (see Fig. 7 aView FIGURE 7 A – H) were observed during the day on walls inside the headquarters of the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project in Khao Phra Thaeo Non-hunting Area. Four more individuals were observed at night on trees of large and medium diameter in primary forest in Khao Phra Thaeo Non-hunting Area, where they were found in direct proximity to the agamids Acanthosaura cf. crucigera Boulenger  and Calotes emma Gray  ; the gekkonids Cnemaspis phuketensis Das & Leong 2004  , C. vandeventeri Grismer, Sumontha, Cota, Grismer, Wood, Pauwels & Kunya 2010  , Cyrtodactylus brevipalmatus (Smith)  , C. oldhami (Theobald)  , Gekko gecko Linnaeus  , Hemidactylus frenatus Duméril & Bibron  , H. platyurus (Schneider)  , and Ptychozoon lionotum Annandale  ; the colubrid Ahaetulla prasina (Boie)  ; the pareatid Pareas carinatus Wagler  ; the pythonid Python brongersmai Stull  ; and the viperids Trimeresurus (Popeia) phuketensis Sumontha, Kunya, Pauwels, Nitikul & Punnadee, 2011  and Tropidolaemus wagleri Wagler. When  handled, all individuals defended themselves by biting. This nocturnal species seems mostly restricted to primary and mature secondary forest and is probably threatened by forest alteration. The type specimens were briefly kept in captivity and fed on ground crickets, cave crickets (Orthoptera) and meal worms ( Coleoptera  , Tenebrionidae  ). The female paratype laid two eggs in captivity a few days after it was captured, but they failed to hatch.

Etymology. The specific epithet phuketensis  refers to Phuket Island, on which the type locality is situated. Suggested common names: Took-kai Phuket ( Thai), Phuket bent-toed gecko (English)  , Cyrtodactyle de Phuket (French); Phuketkromvingergekko (Dutch).

TABLE 1. Meristic and morphometric (in mm) data for the type series of Cyrtodactylus phuketensis sp. nov. Paired meristic characters are given left / right.

  Holotype PSUZC-RT 2010.58 Paratype THNHM 15378 Paratype QSMI 1170
Sex Male Male Female
Supralabials 12/13 13/12 12/11
Infralabials 10/10 9/9 9/9
Strong tuberculation Yes Yes Yes
Tubercles on forelimbs Yes Yes Yes
Tubercles on hind limbs Yes Yes Yes
Tubercles on head and occiput Yes Yes Yes
Tubercles on gular region Yes Yes Yes
Tubercles on at least anterior third of tail Yes Yes Yes
No. of paravertebral tubercles No. of longitudinal rows of tubercles 40 23 43 24 41 24
No. of ventral scale rows Enlarged median subcaudals 22 Yes 24 Yes 22 Yes
Proximal subdigital lamellae square No. of subdigital lamellae on 4th toe Yes 19 (9 + 10) Yes 19 (8 + 11) Yes 19 (8 + 11)
Contact of posterior thigh scales abrupt Enlarged femoral and precloacal scales present Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
No. of femoro-precloacal pores (males) / shallow pits (female) 33 (13 + 8 + 12) 36 (13 + 9 + 14) 36 (14 + 8 + 14)
Precloacal groove present Yes Yes Yes
Precloacal depression present No No No
Enlarged precloacal scales present Yes Yes Yes
SVL 102.6 94.3 114.7
TL 133.9 124.1 124.0 (partly regenerated)
TW 9.6 8.8 8.4
FL 16.5 13.1 16.1
TBL 20.1 17.1 21.0
AG 49.2 43.4 52.7
HL 29.5 27.0 30.4
HW 20.5 17.8 21.3
HD 11.8 10.0 12.5
ED 9.9 7.5 10.7
EE 8.7 6.2 7.9
ES 11.9 10.6 12.7
EN 9.0 8.0 9.5
IO 5.3 4.0 5.5
EL 3.0 2.5 3.7
IN 4.1 3.9 4.3

Uppsala University, Museum of Evolution, Botany Section (Fytoteket)