Sunday, November 8, 2015

[Herpetology • 2013] Hemiphyllodactylus zugi • A New Species of Hemiphyllodactylus (Reptilia: Gekkonidae) from northern Vietnam

Hemiphyllodactylus zugi
Thạch sùng dẹp zug | Zug’s  Slender Gecko 
Nguyen, Lehmann, Le, Duong, Bonkowski & Ziegler, 2013


We describe a new species of the genus Hemiphyllodactylus on the basis of four specimens from Cao Bang Province, northern Vietnam. Hemiphyllodactylus zugi sp. nov. is distinguished from the remaining congeners by a combination of the following characters: a bisexual taxon; average SVL of adult males 41 mm, of adult female 46.6 mm; chin scales bordering mental and first infralabial distinctly enlarged; digital lamellae formulae 3-4-4-4 (forefoot) and 4-5-5-5 (hindfoot); femoral and precloacal pore series continuous, 18–21 in total in males, absent in female; cloacal spur single in males; dorsal trunk pattern of dark brown irregular transverse bands; dark lateral head stripe indistinct; upper zone of flank with a series of large light spots, edged above and below in dark grey; caecum and gonadal ducts unpigmented.

Keywords: Slender Gecko, karst forest, phylogeny, taxonomy, Cao Bang Province, Ha Lang District

Hemiphyllodactylus zugi 

Etymology. We name the new species in honour of Professor Dr. George Zug, National Museum of Natural History,  Smithsonian  Institution  (Washington  DC,  USA),  in  recognition  of  his  contribution  to  herpetological  research  in  Southeast  Asia,  particularly  the  genus  Hemiphyllodactylus.  As  common  names  we  suggest  Zug’s  Slender Gecko (English), Zugs Halbblattfingergecko (German), and Thạch sùng dẹp zug (Vietnamese).

Natural history. Hemiphyllodactylus zugi inhabits disturbed secondary limestone forests near a residential area at elevations between 435–601 m. Specimens were found at night on a wooden fence, tree bark and leaves near cave entrances or on a limestone boulder near a forest path, ca. 0.5–1.5 m above the ground. 

Distribution. The species is currently known only from Cao Bang Province in northern Vietnam (Fig. 4). This species is expected to be found in the contiguous limestone forests in Guangxi Province, China as in the case of Gekko adleri Nguyen, Wang, Yang, Lehmann, Le, Ziegler & Bonkowski, a recently described species from the border region between China and Vietnam (Nguyen et al. 2013).  

Truong Quang Nguyen, Tanja Lehmann, Minh Duc Le, Ha Thuy Duong, Michael Bonkowski & Thomas Ziegler. 2013. A New Species of Hemiphyllodactylus (Reptilia: Gekkonidae) from northern Vietnam. Zootaxa. 3736 (1): 089–098