Friday, May 13, 2016

[Herpetology • 2016] Cyrtodactylus hitchi • A New Bent-toed Gecko (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from the Mekongga Mountains, South East Sulawesi, Indonesia

Cyrtodactylus hitchi 
Riyanto, Kurniati & Engilis, 2016 


We describe Cyrtodactylus hitchi sp. nov., a new species of Bent-toed Gecko from montane forests in the Mekongga Mountains, South East Sulawesi, Indonesia. Although we cannot speculate about relationships, morphologically it shares several traits with C. batik, a large species known only from Mount Tompotika near the tip of Sulawesi’s Eastern Peninsula. The following unique combination of characters distinguishes it from all other congeners: absence of precloacal groove, absence of precloacal and femoral pores, absence of enlarged femoral scales, no abrupt contact between large and small postfemoral scales, 18–20 lamellae under the fourth toes, and transversely enlarged, median subcaudal scales arranged in a single row.

Keywords: new species, Cyrtodactylus, Gekkonidae, Mekongga, Sulawesi, Indonesia, Reptilia

Cyrtodactylus hitchi sp. nov. Riyanto, Kurniati & Engilis
English common name: Hitch’s Bent-toed Gecko
Indonesia common name: Cicak Jari Lengkung Hitch

Diagnosis. A small-sized Cyrtodactylus with SVL up to 70.3 mm in males, 79.0 mm in females; 18–20 irregularly aligned rows of keeled tubercles; 27–30 paravertebral tubercles; 40–45 ventral scales between ventrolateral folds; ventrolateral folds with tubercles; no precloacal groove; no precloacal pores; no enlarged femoral and precloacal scales; no femoral pores; 18–20 lamellae beneath fourth toe; smooth transition between rows of large and small postfemoral and ventral femoral scales; and greatly enlarged transverse median subcaudal scales arranged in a single row.

Natural History. All specimens were collected from secondary forest in various microhabitats such as on vegetation along streams, along rivers and foot paths, and on tree trunks and fallen logs (Fig. 7). Cyrtodactylus hitchi appears to have a relatively narrow elevational range corresponding to hill forest habitat ranging from 900–1100 m asl. We did not encounter the species above 1200 m asl and below 900 m asl. It is replaced below 500 m by C. jellesmae.

Etymology. The specific epithet is a noun in the genitive singular case, honoring Dr. Alan Thomas Hitch for his friendship and as the field leader of expeditions to the Mekongga. 

Awal Riyanto, Hellen Kurniati and Andrew Engilis, Jr. 2016. A New Bent-toed Gecko (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from the Mekongga Mountains, South East Sulawesi, Indonesia.
 Zootaxa. 4109(1);  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4109.1.5

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