Friday, September 19, 2014

[Herpetology • 2014] The Phylogenetic Relationships of Three New Species of the Cyrtodactylus pulchellus complex (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from poorly explored regions in northeastern Peninsular Malaysia; Cyrtodactylus sharkari, C. jelawangensis & C. timur


 Jelawang Bent-toed Gecko | Cyrtodactylus jelawangensis
Grismer, Wood, Anuar, Quah, Muin, Mohamed, Onn, Sumarli, Loredo & Heinz, 2014
FIGURE 4. Upper: adult female paratype (LSUHC 11063) of Cyrtodactylus jelawangensis sp. nov. from Kem Baha, Hutan Lipur Jelawang, Kelantan, Peninsular Malaysia. Lower: microhabitat at the type locality

 ABSTRACT 
An integrative taxonomic analysis of three newly discovered populations of the gekkonid genus Cyrtodactylus Gray from Merapoh, Pahang; Gunung Stong, Kelantan; and Gunung Tebu, Terengganu indicate they are part of the C. pulchellus complex and each is a new species and thusly named Cyrtodactylus sharkari sp. nov., C. jelawangensis sp. nov., and C. timur sp. nov., respectively. Each species bears a unique suite of morphological and color pattern characters separating them from each other and all other nominal species in the C. pulchellus complex. Their phylogenetic relationships to each other and other species in the C. pulchellus complex were unexpected in that they are not in accordance with the general distribution of the species in this complex, underscoring the intricate historical biogeography of the Thai-Malay Peninsula. These descriptions highlight our current lack of knowledge concerning the herpetological diversity and distribution of species in northeastern Peninsular Malaysia.

Key words: Conservation, Integrative taxonomy, Molecular systematics, Southeast Asia, Sundaland, Conservation


Sharkari’s Bent-toed Gecko | Cyrtodactylus sharkari
Grismer, Wood, Anuar, Quah, Muin, Mohamed, Onn, Sumarli, Loredo & Heinz, 2014
FIGURE 3. Upper: adult male holotype (LSUHC 11022) of Cyrtodactylus sharkari sp. nov. from Gua Gunting, Merapoh, Pahang, Peninsular Malaysia. Microhabitat of Cyrtodactylus sharkari sp. nov. at Gua Gunting (lower right) that is contiguous with Gua Goya (lower left) where this species is also expected to occur.

Sharkari’s Bent-toed Gecko | Cyrtodactylus sharkari 

Distribution. This species is known only from the type locality at Gua Gunting, Merapoh, Pahang, Peninsular Malaysia (Fig. 1). It is expected that its distribution is more extensive throughout the limestone forest of this region.

Etymology. The specific epithet sharkari is a patronym honoring Dato Mohd. Sharkar Shamsudin Chairman of the Pahang State Tourism and Culture Committee for his persistence in ensuring the cancellation of the proposed cement plant in Merapoh.

Natural History. The holotype was collected at 2100 hrs approximately 2 m above the ground on a vertical surface of the perimeter of an extensive karst system surrounded by a limestone forest (Fig. 3). 



 Jelawang Bent-toed Gecko | Cyrtodactylus jelawangensis

Distribution. Cyrtodactylus jelawangensis sp. nov. is known only from the type locality at Kem Baha, Gunung Stong, Kelantan, Peninsular Malaysia (Fig. 1). It is expected that its distribution is more extensive throughout Gunung Stong both above and below the type locality. Norhayati et al. (2005) recorded a specimen that was identified as C. pulchellus from around a stream near the Pergau River in the Gunung Basor Forest Reserve, Kelantan. Due to the close proximity of the location to Gunung Stong, we believe those specimens were incorrectly identified and should be assigned to this new species.

Etymology. The specific epithet jelawangensis is an adjective in reference to Hutan Lipur Jelawang, the recreational forest at the base of Gunung Stong near the type locality. 

Natural History. Cyrtodactylus jelawangensis sp. nov. was collected at night along a fast-flowing stream strewn with granite boulders coursing through hill dipterocarp forest (Fig. 4) between 455 m and 470 m in elevation. Lizards were most common on large granite boulders in areas where they could easily escape into a nearby crack or between boulders. Others were seen on roots beneath an earthen overhang and one specimen was found on a tree trunk


Banjaran Timur Bent-toed Gecko | Cyrtodactylus timur
Grismer, Wood, Anuar, Quah, Muin, Mohamed, Onn, Sumarli, Loredo & Heinz, 2014
FIGURE 5. Upper left: adult male holotype (LSUHC 11207) of Cyrtotdactylus timur sp. nov. from Punca Air, Gunung Tebu, Terengganu, Peninsular Malaysia. Upper right: female paratype LSUHC 11185. Middle left: uncataloged hatching LSUDPC 8249. Lower left: adult male paratype LSUHC 11183. Lower right: juvenile female paratype LSUHC 11184.

Banjaran Timur Bent-toed Gecko | Cyrtodactylus timur

Distribution. This species may be endemic to Gunung Tebu, Terengganu, Peninsular Malaysia. It is expected that its distribution is more extensive both above and below the type locality at Punca Air.

Etymology. The specific epithet “timur” is an invariable noun in apposition in reference to this species being found in the Banjaran Timur of northeastern Peninsular Malaysia. “Timur” means east in the Malay language and is in reference to the mountain range being on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia.

Natural History. All adults were collected at night in hill dipterocarp forest in the vicinity of a rocky stream (Fig. 6) between 640 m and 700 m in elevation. Lizards were most common on the granite boulders along the stream but others were seen on the bases of trees and one individual was observed on an earthen bank. A small juvenile (LSUHC 10886, SVL 60.3 mm) was found on a twig at the base of a large tree deep in the forest and not along the stream.


 L Lee Grismer, Perry L Wood, Shahrul Anuar, Evan S H Quah, Mohd Abdul Muin, Maketab Mohamed, Chan Kin Onn, Alexandra X Sumarli, Ariel I Loredo and Heather M Heinz. 2014. The Phylogenetic Relationships of Three New Species of the Cyrtodactylus pulchellus complex (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from poorly explored regions in northeastern Peninsular Malaysia. Zootaxa. 3786(3):359-81.

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