Wednesday, May 11, 2016

[Herpetology • 2016] Parsigecko ziaiei • A New Genus and Species of Gekkonid Lizard (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Hormozgan Province with A Revised Key to Gekkonid Genera of Iran

Parsigecko ziaiei 
Safaei-Mahroo, Ghaffari & Anderson, 2016
  Ziaie’s Pars-Gecko | Gecko-ye Parsi-ye Ziaie :: 
DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4109.4.2


We describe a new genus and species of gekkonid from two gravid specimens which were found within Koh-e Homag Protected Area, Hormozgan Province, southern Iran. The genus Parsigecko gen. nov. can be distinguished from other genera of Middle East Gekkonidae by a combination of the following characteristics: digits not dilated, dorsal tail covered with small scales without any tubercles or keels, having two strong keeled and pointed scales on each side of each annulus. Parsigecko ziaiei sp. nov. is a ground-dwelling lizard. The new species was found in the Zagros Mountain forest steppe patch with scattered wild pistachio trees and mountain almond shrubs surrounded by South Iran Nubo-Sindian desert and semi-desert habitat in the south of Iran. The genus is the 13th gekkonid genus known from Iran, and the only gekkonid genus endemic to the Zagros Mountains. A key to the genera of the Gekkonidae in Iran is provided.

Keywords: Parsigecko gen. nov., Parsigecko ziaiei sp. nov., morphology, taxonomy, habitat, Zagros Mountains forest steppe, Platyhelminthes

Parsigecko gen. nov.
Type species. Parsigecko ziaiei sp. nov., herein described.

Definition. The monotypic genus of family Gekkonidae is readily distinguished from all other genera of the family by a combination of the following characters: dorsal scales smooth, granular, subequal in size, not tuberculate and not imbricated, two strongly keeled scales on each side of each annulus of tail. Other characteristics of the new genus are given in the species description.This genus is distinguished from all other bent-toed geckos in lacking dorsal tubercles, and from Microgecko Nikolsky, 1907 in its enlarged lateral caudal scales and its single row of enlarged subcaudal scales.

Distribution. Koh-e Homag Protected Area, in Zagros Mountains, Hormozgan Province, southern Iran. Forest steppe habitat. Known only from the type locality.

Etymology. The generic nomen Parsigecko is derived from the word “Pars” which refers to an old name for Iran, the country where the new genus was found. Pars was the ancient seat of the Persian Empire which was centered in south-central Iran.

Parsigecko ziaiei sp. nov.

Holotype. (CAS 259180), gravid female collected by Barbod Safaei-Mahroo on 10 June 2015 within Koh-e Homag Protected Area (elevation 1596 m), Hormozgan Province, southern Iran.

Etymology. We name the species in honor of Hooshang Ziaie, lecturer at IAU University, North Tehran Branch, a distinguished Iranian ecologist and former head of three provincial (Fars, Khuzestan and Mazandaran) offices of the Department of Environment and advisor to Department of Environment of Iran, in recognition of his remarkable and outstanding efforts toward wildlife conservation in Iran.
As common names we suggest Ziaie’s Pars-Gecko (English), Gecko-ye Parsi-ye Ziaie (Persian)

FIGURE 4. Female holotype of Parsigecko ziaiei sp. nov. (CAS 259180) in situ.
Photograph by B. Safaei-Mahroo.

Barbod Safaei-Mahroo, Hanyeh Ghaffari and Steven C Anderson. 2016. A New Genus and Species of Gekkonid Lizard (Squamata: Gekkota: Gekkonidae) from Hormozgan Province with A Revised Key to Gekkonid Genera of Iran.
Zootaxa. 4109(4) DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4109.4.2