Friday, November 27, 2015

[Herpetology • 2015] Dixonius taoi • A New Species of Dixonius (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Phu Quy Island, Vietnam


Dixonius taoi
Botov, Trung, Truong, Bauer, Brennan & Ziegler, 2015
FIGURE 3. Dorsolateral view of Dixonius taoi sp. n. from Phu Quy Island, Vietnam. Adult male holotype (A: IEBR A.2014.26) and adult female paratype with partially regenerated tail (B: IEBR A2014.27).
Photos: Phùng Mỹ Trung. || DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4040.1.4

Abstract

We describe a new species of Dixonius on the basis of five specimens from Phu Quy Island, Binh Thuan Province, in southern Vietnam. The new species can be distinguished from congeners based on molecular and morphological differences. Diagnostic features are: small size (SVL up to 44 mm); 7 or 8 supralabials; 11 or 12 rows of keeled tubercles on dorsum; 21–23 ventral scale rows; 5 or 6 precloacal pores in males; a canthal stripe running from rostrum through the eye and terminating behind the head; second pair of postmentals about one third to one half size of first pair; ground color of dorsum brown, with one or two rows of light yellow or orange spots in one or two rows along flanks, and irregular bands or a reticulated network of dark marks on dorsum. This is the fifth species of Dixonius known to occur in Vietnam. 

Keywords: Reptilia, Dixonius taoi sp. nov., coastal forest, molecular phylogeny, taxonomy, Binh Thuan Province, southern Vietnam, South China Sea


Etymology. The new species is named in honor of our colleague and friend Dr. Nguyen Thien Tao from the Vietnam National Museum of Nature in Hanoi, in recognition of his numerous and groundbreaking scientific contributions towards a better understanding of the herpetofauna of Vietnam.

Distribution. Phu Quy Island, Binh Thuan Province, Vietnam (Fig. 4).

FIGURE 3. Dorsolateral view of Dixonius taoi sp. n. from Phu Quy Island, Vietnam. Adult male holotype (A: IEBR A.2014.26) and adult female paratype with partially regenerated tail (B: IEBR A2014.27).
Photos: Trung My Phung. || DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4040.1.4

Natural history. The type series were found in secondary forest just above sea level (Fig. 5). The predominant vegetation, which is interspersed with large volcanic stones, consists of small prickly shrubs and species of the families Pandanaceae, Ebenaceae, and Fabaceae. The geckos were collected during a rainy night, when they had left their shelters between stones and shrubs. A few specimens were found in the small shrubs in agricultural lands. Most of the forests in this area have been destroyed, and only a few small patches are left along the coast.


Botov, Andreas, Trung M. Phung, Truong Q. Nguyen, Aaron M. Bauer, Ian G. Brennan and Thomas Ziegler. 2015. A New Species of Dixonius (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Phu Quy Island, Vietnam. Zootaxa. 4040(1): 48–58. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4040.1.4

Loài thằn lằn mới phát hiện trong đêm mưa
Trong cơn mưa nặng hạt, giữa đêm tối mịt mùng, nhà nghiên cứu Phùng Mỹ Trung lặng lẽ tìm kiếm ở đám cây bụi nằm sát biển và điều kỳ diệu đã đến - anh tìm ra loài mới thằn lằn chân ngón tạo.

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