Cnemaspis maculicollis

Cyriac, Vivek Philip, Johny, Alex, Umesh, P. K. & Palot, Muhamed Jafer, 2018, Description of two new species of Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from the Western Ghats of Kerala, India, Zootaxa 4459 (1), pp. 85-100: 86-92

publication ID

https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4459.1.3

publication LSID

lsid:zoobank.org:pub:F72A2055-3F61-4905-98BB-E0B818E2C378

persistent identifier

http://treatment.plazi.org/id/7E633953-2357-9305-DCBA-766BFE41FD3D

treatment provided by

Plazi

scientific name

Cnemaspis maculicollis
status

sp. nov.

Cnemaspis maculicollis  sp. nov.

Figs. 1–3View FIGURE 1View FIGURE 2View FIGURE 3

Holotype: ZSI/ WGRC /IR. V/2704, an adult male of SVL 42.5 mm; collected from a rock crevice of a boulder at Pandimotta (08.82749°N, 077.21703°E) at an elevation of 1238m, Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary, Kollam District , KeralaGoogleMaps  ; collected on 0 2 January 2016 by Muhamed Jafer Palot and Vivek Philip Cyriac. 

Paratype: ZSI/ WGRC /IR. V/2705, an adult female of SVL 52.7 mm; collected from rock crevice at the same locality as holotype on 0 2 January 2016 by Muhamed Jafer Palot and Vivek Philip Cyriac.

Diagnosis: A large sized slender Cnemaspis  with a maximum snout-vent length 52.7 mm (n = 2); mid-dorsal scales heterogeneous with small granular scales intermixed with large, irregularly arranged, smooth rounded tubercles more pronounced towards the posterior end; spine-like tubercles absent on flanks; ventral scales of neck and abdomen smooth, subimbricate; supralabials to angle of jaw, 7; infralabials, 7–8; subdigital lamellae under manus IV 20–24, under pes IV 23–24; tail base slightly swollen with a single postcloacal spurs on each side; dorsal scales of tail smooth, without whorls of enlarged tubercles; subcaudals on original tail enlarged, smooth irregularly arranged scales; male with 10 precloacal pores, femoral pores absent; pale white spots in the posteriorlateral and posterior-dorsal end of the head; 5–6 pale white spots on the nape.

Cnemaspis maculicollis  sp. nov. differs from all other Indian congeners by the following characters: absence of spine-like tubercles on flanks (versus spine-like tubercles present on flanks in C. assamensis Das & Sengupta  , C. gracilis (Beddome)  , C. goaensis Sharma  , C. littoralis (Jerdon)  , C. mysoriensis (Jerdon)  , C. indraneildasii Bauer  , C. jerdonii (Theobald)  , C. otai Das & Bauer  , C. wicksii (Stoliczka)  , C. andersonii (Annandale)  , C. monticola Manamendra-Arachchi, Batuwita & Pethiyagoda  , C. nilagirica Manamendra-Arachchi, Batuwita & Pethiyagoda  , and C. flaviventralis Sayyed, Pyron & Dahanukar  ); presence of 10 precloacal pores and absence of femoral pores (versus presence of only femoral pores in C. wynadensis (Beddome)  , C. sisparensis (Theobald)  , C. anaikattiensis Mukherjee, Bhupathy & Nixon  , C. heteropholis Bauer  , C. littoralis  , C. indica (Gray)  , C. jerdonii  , C. girii Mirza, Pal, Bhosale & Sanap  , C. kotiyoorensis Cyriac & Umesh  and C. flaviventralis  ; presence of both femoral and precloacal pores in C. gracilis  , C. goaensis  , C. mysoriensis  , C. indraneildasii  , C. otai  , C. yercaudensis Das & Bauer  , C. wicksii  , C. andersonii  , C. australis Manamendra-Arachchi, Batuwita & Pethiyagoda  and C. adii Srinivasulu, Kumar & Srinivasulu  ; presence of only 2 precloacal pores in C. anamudiensis  sp. nov.; presence of a continuous series of 24–28 precloacal and femoral pores in C. kolhapurensis Giri, Bauer & Gaikwad  ; absence of both femoral and precloacal pores in C. boiei (Gray)  and C. assamensis  ); tail without whorls of enlarged pointed or flattened caudal tubercles and two postcloacal spurs at the base of the tail (versus tail with whorls of enlarged or flattened caudal tubercles in C. gracilis  , C. goaensis  , C. littoralis  , C. mysoriensis  , C. indraneildasii  , C. jerdonii  , C. otai  , C. yercaudensis  , C. monticola  , C. australis  and C. nilagirica  ; without postcloacal spur in C. wynadensis  , C. kottiyoorensis  , C. sisparensis  and C. heteropholis  ); dorsal scales heterogeneous with small granular scales intermixed with irregularly arranged, enlarged, smooth, rounded tubercles (versus dorsal scales homogenous in C.boiei  , C. indica  , C. jerdonii  , C. littoralis  , C. nilagirica  , C. wynadensis  , C. sisparensis  , C. kolhapurensis  and C. adii  ).

Cnemaspis maculicollis  sp. nov. closely resembles C. ornata (Beddome)  , C. nairi Inger, Marx & Koshy  and C. beddomei (Theobald)  . It is differentiated from C. beddomei  by its comparatively long slender head and body (HL 27.9 % SVL, HW 59.4 % of HL, TW 34.2 % AG), the distinctive white spots on the nape, 23–24 lamellae on pes IV and presence of 10 precloacal pores (versus robust head and body [HL 28.1 % SVL, HW 72.5 % HL; see Manamendra-Arachchi et al. 2007], lack of white spots on the nape, 16 lamellae on pes IV and 6–8 precloacal pores in C. beddomei  ). Cnemaspis maculicollis  sp. nov. can be differentiated from C. nairi  by its long slender head (HL 27.9 % SVL, HW 59.4 % of HL), the distinctive white spots on the nape, and presence of 10 precloacal pores (versus robust head [HL 29.8 % SVL, HW 64.8 % HL; see Inger et al. 1984], lack of white spots on the nape and 7–8 precloacal pores). Cnemaspis maculicollis  sp. nov. can be differentiated from C. ornata  by its lack of enlarged flattened tubercles on the tail, the presence of 10 precloacal pores and the dorsum with irregularly arranged enlarged rounded tubercles (versus enlarged flattened tubercles on the tail, 6–8 precloacal pores and dorsum with irregularly arranged enlarged conical tubercles in C. ornata  ).

Description of Holotype ( Figs. 1 View Figure and 2 View Figure ): An adult male of SVL 42.5mm; head moderately long (HL 27.9 % SVL), narrow (HW 59.4 % HL) and not strongly depressed (HD 40.7 % HL). Snout moderately long (ES 42.2 % HL); scales on snout granular, smooth, larger than those on the forehead and interorbital region. Eye relatively small (ED 22.0 % HL); pupils round; extra-brillar fringe scales large anteriorly, gradually becoming smaller posteriorly. Tympanum relatively small (TD 8.4 % HL), oval and broader than long. The rostrum is broader than long, partially divided by a median groove. Nasals separated from each other by two supranasals, bordered posteriorly by two postnasals and not in contact with the first supralabial. Mental scale sub-triangular, bordered posteriorly by two widely separated postmentals and a single, large intermediate chin shield; postmentals surrounded posteriorly by 5 scales —first infralabial and four chin shields. Supralabials to the angle of jaw seven; Infralabials to the angle of the jaw, seven. Ventral scales of head and neck granular, smooth.

Body slender (TW 34.2 % AG) and moderately elongate (AG 42.2 % SVL). Mid-dorsal scales heterogeneous with small granular scales intermixed with irregularly arranged, enlarged, smooth, rounded tubercles, more pronounced towards the posterior regions. Ventral scales larger than dorsal scales, smooth and sub-imbricate.

Forelimbs are moderately long; upper arm shorter than lower arm (UAL 10.7 % SVL; LAL 16.3 % SVL). Hindlimbs longer than forelimbs; femur subequal to tibia (FEL 19.2 % SVL; TBL 19.6 % SVL). Dorsal and ventral scales of forelimbs and hindlimbs granular, smooth and without enlarged tubercles; scales on manus and pes smooth. Subdigital lamellae entire, a few fragmented; lamellae on the basal phalanges larger. Interdigital webbing absent. Subdigital lamellae on finger I: 15, finger II: 18, finger III: 20, finger IV: 20, finger V: 18; toe I: 15, toe II: 17, toe III: 24, toe IV: 23 and toe V: 22. Relative length of digits, fingers: IV (5.4 mm)> III (5.3 mm)> V (5.1 mm)> II (4.1 mm)> I (3.9 mm); toes: IV (6.9 mm)> V (6.3 mm)> III (6.1 mm)> II (5.4 mm)> I (2.8 mm). Precloacal scales larger than abdominal scales. Femoral pores absent; 10 precloacal pores.

Tail subcylindrical in cross-section, longer than SVL (TL 43.9 mm). Tail base slightly swollen with a single large conical postcloacal spur on each side. Dorsal scales of the tail, smooth and juxtaposed. Ventral scales larger than dorsal scales of tail; subcaudals slightly larger than adjacent scales, rounded and smooth. Subcaudals irregularly arranged.

Colouration in preservative ( Fig. 1 View Figure ): Head grayish brown in overall colouration, mottled with darker markings and two prominent pairs of elongated pale white spots behind the orbits and the distal end of the head and three to four pale white spots extending from the angle of the jaw and ending above the tympanum. Nape grayish brown with six prominent pale white spots that extends to the lateral sides. The throat and ventral side of the neck pale white, lateral side of neck black in colour which extends towards the chin as two black streaks. The body dorsum is grayish brown with a vertebral series of three dull buff spots. Dorsum of the forelimbs, hindlimbs and tail grayish brown mottled with darker markings. Dorsum of pes and manus grayish brown with pale white transverse bars. Ventral side of abdomen and limbs are pale white in colour. Precloacal region yellowish.

Colouration in life ( Fig. 3A, B View Figure ): Head grayish brown with light and dark markings with two prominent pairs of buff coloured elongated spots—one pair just behind the eye and the other on the distal end of the head. The lateral side of the head with a series of three to four buff spots extending from the angle of the jaw and ending just above the tympanum. The nape is grayish brown with six prominent bluish white spots extending to the lateral sides. The gular and ventral side of the neck pale white. The lateral sides of the neck are black and extend as a pair of black streaks towards the chin. Dorsum overall grayish brown with a vertebral series of three buff coloured spots and irregularly scattered yellowish spots on the paravertebral region. Forelimbs and hind limbs brown; digits cross barred with black and mustard yellow bands. The tail is grayish brown in colour with darker markings.

Variation: A detailed account of the variation in this species is deficient due to the lack of sufficient specimens. Variation in the pholidosis of Cnemaspis maculicollis  sp. nov. is summarized in Table 1. The female paratype of C. maculicollis  had eight supralabials on the right and seven on the left and juxtaposed pectoral scales and lamellae varies from 15–16 on manus I, 18 on manus II, 20–22 on manus III, 20–24 on manus IV and 18–19 on manus V; lamellae 15 on pes I, 16–17 on pes II, 24–26 on pes III, 23–24 on pes IV and 20–22 on pes V.

Etymology: The specific epithet is derived from the Latin word macula meaning spot and collus meaning neck referring to the distinctive necklace like white spots on the nape of this species.

Distribution: At present, Cnemaspis maculicollis  sp. nov. is known to occur in Pandimotta (08.82749°N, 077.21703°E), Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary in Kollam District of Kerala in the Agasthyamalai Hill complex; at an elevation range of 1200–1250 m ( Fig. 7 View Figure ).

Natural History: The type specimens were found in crevices of a boulder amidst the shola-grassland ecosystem in the higher reaches of Pandimotta in Shendurney WLS. Several other individuals were observed between such rock boulders. The rock boulders are covered with mosses and lichens ( Fig. 3C View Figure ). The vegetation is dominated by shola forests interspersed with lush growth of reed brakes. The area is contiguous with Alwarkurichi hills of Kalakkadu Mundanthurai of Tamil Nadu. The locality is also known for many recently described species of frogs (Zachariah et al. 2009).

Kingdom

Animalia

Phylum

Chordata

Class

Reptilia

Order

Squamata

Family

Gekkonidae

Genus

Cnemaspis

Loc

Cnemaspis maculicollis

Cyriac, Vivek Philip, Johny, Alex, Umesh, P. K. & Palot, Muhamed Jafer 2018

2018
Loc

Cnemaspis maculicollis

Cyriac & Johny & Umesh & Palot 2018

2018
Loc

Cnemaspis maculicollis

Cyriac & Johny & Umesh & Palot 2018

2018
Loc

Cnemaspis maculicollis

Cyriac & Johny & Umesh & Palot 2018

2018
Loc

C. nairi

Inger, Marx & Koshy 1984

1984
Loc

C. nairi

Inger, Marx & Koshy 1984

1984