Tuesday, July 24, 2018

[Herpetology • 2018] Cyrtodactylus chamba • A New Bent-toed Gecko (Squamata: Gekkonidae: Cyrtodactylus) from the Western Himalayas, Himachal Pradesh, India

Cyrtodactylus chamba 
Agarwal, Khandekar & Bauer, 2018

We describe a new species of the gekkonid genus Cyrtodactylus based on a series of six specimens from the Chamba Valley in the Western Himalayas, Himachal Pradesh state, India. Cyrtodactylus chamba sp. nov. is a member of the subgenus Siwaligekko and can be diagnosed from congeners in the Western Himalayas by a combination of its small size (snout to vent length up to 63 mm), a continuous series of five precloacal pores on males, 13–15 rows of dorsal tubercles, 33–43 scales across the belly, no regular series of enlarged subcaudals, and a dorsal colour pattern of 5–7 irregular, broad, dark bands with much narrower, light interspaces. The new species is 14% divergent in ND2 sequence from the most similar sampled congener, Cyrtodactylus (Siwaligekkohimalayanus from Jammu and Kashmir, and is 0.5–1.1% divergent in nuclear sequence data from sampled Siwaligekko species. Many more undiscovered Cyrtodactylus species probably exist across the Himalayas at elevations below ~2000 m; basic field surveys for reptiles and other poorly known groups and examination of existing material should be a priority if we are to appreciate the true diversity of this spectacular mountainous landscape.

Keywords: Reptilia, Alpha taxonomy, Cyrtodactylus lawderanus, Himalayas, lizard, ND2, Siwaligekko, systematics, taxonomy

FIGURE 8. Type series of Cyrtodactylus chamba sp. nov. in life,
 BNHS 2330 (top left), BNHS 2331 (top right),
BNHS 2333 (bottom left), BNHS 2334 (bottom right).

Cyrtodactylus chamba sp. nov. 
Cyrtodactylus sp. Chamba (Agarwal et al. 2014a)

Etymology. The specific epithet is the name of the type locality of the species and is used as a noun in apposition. Cyrtodactylus chamba sp. nov. is only known from around Chamba, in the Chamba Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India. 
Suggested common name. Chamba bent-toed gecko

 Ishan Agarwal, Akshay Khandekar and Aaron M. Bauer. 2018. A New Bent-toed Gecko (Squamata: Gekkonidae: Cyrtodactylus) from the Western Himalayas, Himachal Pradesh, India. Zootaxa. 4446(4); 442–454. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4446.4.2

Agarwal, I., Bauer, A.M., Jackman, T.R. & Karanth, K.P. 2014. Insights into Himalayan Biogeography from Geckos: A Molecular Phylogeny of Cyrtodactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 80, 145–155. DOI:  10.1016/j.ympev.2014.07.018