Tuesday, November 3, 2015

[Herpetology • 2015] Malayodracon gen. nov. • The Systematic Status of Gonocephalus robinsonii Boulenger, 1908 (Agamidae: Draconinae) | กิ้งก่าดงเขาสูง

Malayodracon gen. nov. 
Denzer, Manthey, Mahlow & Böhme, 2015
กิ้งก่าดงเขาสูง | Malayodracon robinsonii (Boulenger, 1908)

FIGURE 5. Malayodracon robinsonii from Tanah Rata, Cameron Highlands, West Malaysia.
Photo: U. Manthey. 
DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4039.1.5 || ResearchGate.net

The generic assignment of the draconine lizard Gonocephalus robinsonii from the highlands of West-Malaysia has been uncertain since the original description. Here we present a study based on morphology, previously published karyotype data and molecular phylogenetics using 16S rRNA sequences to evaluate the systematic status of G. robinsonii. As a result we describe Malayodracon gen. nov. to accommodate the species.

Keywords: Reptilia, Gonocephalus, phylogeny, cranial morphology, Malayodracon gen. nov., Malayodracon robinsonii comb. nov., Dendragama boulengeri

Malayodracon gen. nov. 
Type species: Gonyocephalus robinsonii Boulenger, 1908;
Type locality: Gunong (=Gunung / Mt.) Tahan (5,200 ft / 1,585 m), Pahang, Malaysia; the holotype (by monotypy) is deposited in the British Museum Natural History BMNH 1946.8.14.81 (previously BMNH 1906.2.28.8); collected by H.C. Robinson. 
Taxon — Malayodracon robinsonii (Boulenger, 1908)
Gonyocephalus robinsonii — Boulenger 1908: 65; Boulenger 1912: 67
Gonyocephalus robinsoni — Smith 1922: 269
Gonocephalus robinsoni — Smith 1930: 24; Smirnova 2003: 128
Goniocephalus robinsoni — Smith 1935: 133; Sly 1976: 156; Bourret 1947 “2009”: 211
Gonocephalus robinsonii — Smedley 1931: 110; Wermuth 1967: 61; Moody 1980: 299; Denzer & Manthey 1991: 312; Manthey & Denzer 1992a: 16; Manthey & Schuster 1992: 65; Manthey & Grossmann 1997: 189; Chan-ard et al. 1999: 102; Diong et al. 2000: 73; Honda et al. 2002; Denzer & Manthey 2009: 256; Grismer 2011: 258; Pyron et al. 2013
(Gonocephalus inc. sed.) robinsonii — Manthey 2010: 46

Distribution. Malayodracon robinsonii is restricted in its distribution from mid to high altitude areas of the peninsular Malaysian highlands (approx. 600–1500 m asl) inhabiting submontane and montane forests. M. robinsonii shares this isolated distribution with several other reptile species that are restricted to the Cameron Highlands or the central mountain ranges of Malaysia (Fraser and Larut Hills; Genting Highlands) such as Trimeresurus nebularis Vogel, David & Pauwels, 2004, Hebius sanguineus (Smedley, 1931), Macrocalamus tweediei Lim, 1963 and Collorhabdium williamsoni Smedley, 1931. Endemism on genus and species level is comparatively high in this geographical area.
Malayodracon robinsonii has been reported from Genting Highlands (Ulu Kali), Cameron Highlands (Tanah Rata, Gunung Brinchang, Gunung Beremban, Gunung Jesar) and further north from its type locality Gunung Tahan.

Etymology. The name Malayodracon was chosen to express that the type and currently only known species of the genus is restricted to Malaysia (latinized malaya, male form malayo owing to the gender of the ending -dracon) and constitutes a genus belonging to the subfamily Draconinae (gr. drakon / δράκων; a serpent in Greek mythology; latinized dracon = engl. dragon). 

Denzer, Wolfgang, Ulrich Manthey, Kristin Mahlow & Wolfgang Böhme. 2015. The Systematic Status of Gonocephalus robinsonii Boulenger, 1908 (Squamata: Agamidae: Draconinae). Zootaxa. 4039(1)129–144. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4039.1.5