Thursday, December 25, 2014

[Herpetology • 2014] Cyrtodactylus celatus • Hiding in Plain Sight: A New Species of Bent-toed Gecko (Squamata: Gekkonidae: Cyrtodactylus) from West Timor, collected by Malcolm Smith in 1924


 Holotype of Cyrtodactylus celatus sp. nov. (BMNH 1926.10.30.45).
[upper] (Top) Dorsal view. (Bottom) Ventral view. Units on the scale are in centimeters.
 [lower] (A) Lateral view of the head, to illustrate snout, eye, and ear proportions and labial scales. (B) Palmar view of left hand. (C) Plantar view of left hind foot. (D) Chin shield pattern. (E) Line drawing of chin shields identifying primary (1°) and secondary (*) postmental shields.

Abstract
We describe a new species of bent-toed gecko from a single specimen initially collected in 1924 by Malcolm Smith on Timor Island in the Lesser Sunda Archipelago of Indonesia. Cyrtodactylus celatus sp. nov. is distinguished from all other congeners by the following combination of characters: small adult size; without spinose tubercles on the ventrolateral body fold and along the lateral margin of the tail; 16 longitudinal rows of tubercles at midbody; 42 ventral scales between the ventrolateral folds at midbody; no transversely enlarged, median subcaudal scales; 17 subdigital lamellae (seven basal + ten distal) under the fourth toe; no abrupt transition between postfemoral and ventral femoral scale series. The specimen is the earliest confirmed record of the genus Cyrtodactylus for Timor, and it is the first putatively endemic gecko species described from this island.

Keywords: Gekkonidae, Cyrtodactylus, new species, Lesser Sunda Archipelago, West Timor, Indonesia, description, taxonomy, osteology, Malcolm Smith


Cyrtodactylus celatus sp. nov.
Smith’s Hidden Bent-toed Gecko

Etymology. The species name celatus is a Latin adjective, meaning ‘hidden away.’ We use it to describe this species not only because the specimen remained hidden behind a single line of Smith’s (1927) contribution and on the shelves of the BMNH, but also because it has taken nearly 200 years since the initial herpetological survey work on Timor to describe the first putatively endemic member of this diverse gecko genus from that island.

Kathriner, Andrew, Aaron M. Bauer, Mark O'Shea, Caitlin Sanchez & Hinrich Kaiser. 2014. Hiding in Plain Sight: A New Species of Bent-toed Gecko (Squamata: Gekkonidae: Cyrtodactylus) from West Timor, collected by Malcolm Smith in 1924. Zootaxa. 3900(4): 555–568.

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