Cyrtodactylus sommerladi, Luu, Vinh Quang, Bonkowski, Michael, Nguyen, Truong Quang, Le, Minh Duc, Schneider, Nicole, Ngo, Hanh Thi & Ziegler, Thomas, 2016

Luu, Vinh Quang, Bonkowski, Michael, Nguyen, Truong Quang, Le, Minh Duc, Schneider, Nicole, Ngo, Hanh Thi & Ziegler, Thomas, 2016, Evolution in karst massifs: Cryptic diversity among bent-toed geckos along the Truong Son Range with descriptions of three new species and one new country record from Laos, Zootaxa 4107 (2), pp. 101-140: 123-128

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Cyrtodactylus sommerladi

sp. nov.

Cyrtodactylus sommerladi  sp. nov.

( Fig. 10View FIGURE 10. A)

Holotype. VNUF R. 2013.22 adult male, in karst forest, Hang Toi region, Noong Ma Village (17 ° 17.795 ’N, 106 °08.738’E, elevation 572 m a.s.l.) within Hin Nam No NPA, Khammouane Province, central Laos, collected on 0 5 May 2013 by V. Q. Luu and N. V. Ha.

Paratypes. NUOL R- 2013.23, IEBR A. 2015.37, ZFMK 97196, VNUF R. 2013.105, VNUF R. 2014.87, NUOL R- 2013.14, IEBR A. 2015.39, NUOL R- 2013.21, IEBR A. 2015.38, VNUF R. 2013.104, ZFMK 97197, VNUF R. 2014.89, VNUF R. 2013.67 the same locality as the holotype. IEBR A. 2015.40 adult female, in karst forest, Cha Lou Village (17 ° 18.880 ’N, 105 ° 57.103 ’E, elevation 572 m a.s.l.) within Hin Nam No NPA, Khammouane Province, central Laos, collected on 25 May 2013.

Diagnosis. Cyrtodactylus sommerladi  sp. nov. is characterized by: Adult SVL 72.3 ± 3.8 mm (mean ± SD); dorsal head greyish brown without dark blotches; nuchal loop present, narrow, not enlarged posteriorly; five or six dark transverse bands between limbs; dorsal surface with homogenous, tubercle-like scales; ventral scales at midbody 31–39; ventrolateral skin folds present; ventral scale rows from mental to cloacal slit 168–192; scale rows at midbody 76–93; precloacal-femoral pores 20–26 in males, 17–21 in females; enlarged femoral and precloacal scales present; postcloacal tubercles 4–6; subcaudal scales slightly enlarged.

Description of holotype. Adult male, small sized (SVL 70.3 mm); body elongate (TrunkL/SVL 0.45); head elongate (HL/SVL 0.25), width (HW/HL 0.77), relatively depressed (HH/HL ratio 0.41), distinct from neck; loreal area concave; snout long (SE/HL ratio 0.47), obtuse, two times longer than diameter of orbit (OD/SE 0.50); snout scales small, homogeneous, granular, about one and a half times larger than those in frontal and parietal regions; eye large (OD/HL ratio 0.23), pupils vertical; eyelid fringe with tiny spines in posterior part, posterior ones more developed; ear opening oval, obliquely orientated, small (EarL/HL 0.12); rostral square-shaped, wider than high (RH/RW ratio 0.55), medially with a straight, vertical suture, in contact with nasorostral, nare and first supralabial on each side; nares oval, surrounded by rostral anteriorly, supranasal, first supralabial laterally, and two enlarged postnasals posteriorly; supranasals in contact; mental triangular, slightly narrower than rostral (RW/MW ratio 0.94), in contact with two postmentals and the first infralabial on each side, postmentals surrounded by first infralabial on each side and seven granular scales posteriorly, two outer ones enlarged; supralabials 10 / 10; infralabials 8 / 9; supralabials separated from orbit by 3 or 4 rows of granular scales. Dorsal scales homogenous, tubercle-like; dorsal tubercles indistinct; ventrolateral folds present; ventral scales smooth, medial scales 2 or 3 times larger than dorsal scales, round, and in 37 rows at midbody; midbody scale rows 87; scales between mental and cloacal slit 192; femoral scales enlarged; precloacal scales enlarged, precloacal-femoral pores 23, in a continuous row; precloacal groove absent.

Fore and hind limbs moderately slender (ForeL/SVL 0.15, CrusL/SVL 0.19); dorsal surface of hind limbs with tubercles, absent on fore limbs; fingers and toes with rudimental webbing; lamellae under fourth fingers 18 / 18, under fourth toes 20 / 22.

Tail longer than snout-vent length (TaiL/SVL 1.14); postcloacal tubercles 6 on each side; subcaudals slightly enlarged.

Coloration in life. Ground color of dorsal head and back greyish brown; head without dark blotches; nuchal loop present, narrow, in U-shape, not enlarged posteriorly, extending from posterior corner of eye through tympanum to the neck, dark brown, edged in yellow posteriorly; four dark brown body bands between limb insertions, edged in yellow; dorsal surface of fore and hind limbs with greyish-brown dark spots; tail dorsally brown with 12 yellow-whitish rings, edged in yellow; ventral surface bright beige.

Variation. The nuchal loop in the adult female paratype ( ZFMK 97197) is interrupted in the middle. Other paratypes have some indistinct spot markings on dorsal head and somewhat irregular and breaking transverse bands.

Sexual dimorphism. The females differ from the males by having fewer precloacal-femoral pores (17–21 versus 20–26 in the males) and females lack hemipenial swellings at the tail base (see Table 9).

Comparisons. We compared the new species with its congeners from Laos and neighbouring countries in the mainland Indochina region, including Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand based on data obtained from the literature (compiled after Luu et al. 2014 a; Nazarov et al. 2014; Nguyen et al. 2014; Panitvong et al. 2014; Pauwels et al. 2014; Pauwels & Sumontha 2014; Schneider et al. 2014; Sumontha et al. 2015; Nguyen et al. 2015; Luu et al. 2015 a; Luu et al. 2016 a, b) and based on the examination of specimens and photographs (see Appendix and Table 3). Cyrtodactylus sommerladi  sp. nov. was well separated by the cluster and correspondence analyses from C. roesleri  ( Figs. 2–3View FIGURE 2View FIGURE 3). Molecular phylogenetic analyses also revealed the close relationships between these species (see Fig. 1View FIGURE 1).

The new species is most similar to C. roesleri  from Vietnam in body size, and dorsal pattern. However, the new species can be distinguished from the latter by its larger size (maximal SVL 80.3 mm versus 73.5 mm), having more dark body bands: 5 or 6 (n= 15) versus 4–5 (n= 19), dorsal surface of the new species shows homogenous scales, all appear tubercle-like, with unclear dorsal tubercles (0–5) (versus dorsal tubercles being arranged in 13–19 rows) ( Fig. 11View FIGURE 11), dorsal surface of tail without tubercles (versus present) (see Fig. 12View FIGURE 12 A,B) and the shape of the rostral suture in the new species is just straight vertical versus Y-shaped in C. roesleri  . In addition, Cyrtodactylus sommerladi  sp. nov. can be distinguished from C. roesleri  by the different head shape, the head of the new species is wider and flatter ( Fig. 5View FIGURE 5).

Distribution. Currently, Cyrtodactylus sommerladi  sp. nov. is known only from the type locality in the karst forest of Hin Nam No NPA, Khammouane Province, central Laos ( Fig. 6View FIGURE 6).

Etymology. The specific epithet sommerladi  refers to our colleague and good friend Ralf Sommerlad, late Regional vice chairman of the IUCN SSC Crocodile Specialist Group (CSG) for Europe, who passed away on 11 June 2015, to honor his lifework and strong commitment for reptile conservation. As common names, we suggest Sommerlad’s Bent-toed Gecko (English), Ki Chiem Sommerlad (Laotian).

Natural history. Specimens were collected at night from 19: 20 to 21: 43 h, mainly on karst walls, ca. 1–4.5 m above the ground, near cave entrances in the limestone forest, at elevations between 269 and 614 m a.s.l. Two female specimens IEBR A. 2015.38 and ZFMK 97197 were found on tree trunks, about 1–2 m from the forest floor. The surrounding habitat was karst forest dominated by species of Ebenaceae  , Dracaenaceae, Arecaeae  , Poaceae  , Meliaceae  , and Moraceae  . The relative humidity was between 74 % and 90 %, and temperatures ranged from 22.7 to 29.9 o C (see Table 10). Female specimens contained eggs in May, by contrast, no records of gravid females or hatchlings were made in March. Thus, the breeding season seems to start only in April or May. The majority of the caves, karst walls, and karst forests where Cyrtodactylus sommerladi  sp. nov. have been explored had dry surfaces, without flowing streams inside (e.g., Ellis & Pauwels 2012).

TABLE 9. Mοrphοmetric measurements (in mm) and meristic characters οf the type series οf Cyrtodactylus sommerladi sp. nov. (* = regenerated οr brοken tail, m = mean, max. = maximum, SD = standard deviatiοn, sub. = subadult, fοr οther abbreviatiοns see material and methοds).

        IEBR A. 2015.37 paratype ΖFMK 97196 paratype NUΟL R- 2013.105 paratype m    
              10.9 ± 0.5 10.6 ‾ 11.8
              14.6 ± 1.2 12.6 ‾ 15.9

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TABLE 10. Ecοlοgical details fοr the type series οf Cyrtodactylus sommerladi sp. nov. frοm Hin Nam Nο NPA, central Laοs. Abbreviatiοns are as fοllοws ∶ m. = male; f. = female; Τemp. = temperature).

        Sex     Humidity Elevatiοn  
            29.9ο C      
            29.8ο C      

National University of Laos


Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig


Sacramento State University