|Paroedura neglecta |
Köhler, Vences, Scherz & Glaw, 2019
We describe the new gecko species Paroedura neglecta sp. n. from the Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park in western Madagascar, belonging to the P. bastardi/tanjaka clade. The species in this clade are characterized by three light dorsal crossbands on the dorsum of juveniles and subadults whereas all other Paroedura species have four such bands. The new species differs from all species in the P. bastardi complex in having the nostril in contact with the rostral scale. It is most similar to the sympatric P. tanjaka, from which it differs by the presence of prominent dorsal tubercles arranged in regular longitudinal rows (versus rather irregular rows of dorsal tubercles), smaller size, details of the dorsal colour pattern and strong genetic divergence.
Key words. Squamata, Gekkonidae, Paroedura neglecta sp. n., systematics, taxonomy, morphology, molecular genetics.
Paroedura neglecta sp. n.
Remarks: This species was previously treated
as Paroedura sp. n. (Bemaraha-Andafiabe) by Jackman et al. (2008),
as Paroedura sp. (aff. tanjaka) by Bora et al. (2010), and
as Paroedura sp. (Bemaraha) by Glaw et al. (2018).
Diagnosis: The new species can be distinguished from most other currently recognized Paroedura species by the presence of only three broad light crossbands on the dorsum (between forelimbs and hindlimbs) in juveniles and subadults versus four light crossbands in all other species except for P. bastardi, P. ibityensis, P. tanjaka (which all have only three crossbands) and P. oviceps and P. vahiny (in which the juvenile colouration is still unknown). In addition it can be distinguished from P. androyensis, P. bastardi, P. ibityensis, P. lohatsara, P. maingoka, P. picta, and P. vahiny by having the nostril in contact with the rostral scale; from P. gracilis by absence of a raised vertebral ridge on the dorsum and shorter forelimbs which do not extend forward beyond tip of snout; from P. masobe by much smaller eyes and absence of a dorsal row of paired spines on the tail; from P. fasciata, P. homalorhina, P. hordiesi, P. vahiny, and P. spelaea by presence of spines on the original tail (versus absence); from P. gracilis, P. homalorhina, P. kloki, P. maingoka, P. masobe, P. oviceps from its type locality (Nosy Be), P. picta, P. spelaea, and P. vahiny by the presence of prominent dorsal tubercles arranged in regular longitudinal rows (versus rather irregular rows of dorsal tubercles). Paroedura neglecta is most similar to P. tanjaka, with which it occurs in syntopy in the Tsingy de Bemaraha. Both species share the character of nostril in contact with the rostral scale, presence of only three broad light crossbands on dorsum of juveniles, and similar general colouration. The new species differs from P. tanjaka by the presence of prominent dorsal tubercles arranged in regular longitudinal rows (versus rather irregular rows of dorsal tubercles; Fig. 3), more clearly outlined dorsal crossbands in adults (versus crossbands in adults mostly resolved into irregular blotches and flecks; Fig. 3), smaller size (maximum SVL 61 mm versus 102 mm; see Nussbaum & Raxworthy 2000), and strong genetic divergence (see phylogenetic tree in Jackman et al. 2008). Paroedura neglecta differs genetically from all species in the genus (note: P. vahiny sequences are not available) by pronounced differences in the DNA sequence of the mitochondrial cox1 gene (see Table 1 in Glaw et al. 2018; 18.9–19.6% uncorrected pairwise distance to its sister species, P. tanjaka).
Available names: The types of the three available junior synonyms in the genus, Diplodactylus porogaster Boulenger, 1896 (synonym of P. androyensis); Diplodactylus robustus Boulenger, 1896 (synonym of P. picta); Phyllodactylus madagascariensis Mocquard, 1895 (synonym of P. picta), were not studied, but are obviously very different from P. neglecta described herein according to their original descriptions (Mocquard 1895, Boulenger 1896). The paratypes of Paroedura guibeae Dixon & Kroll, 1974 (synonym of P. bastardi) studied by us differ from P. neglecta by having the nostril separated from the rostral scale and the same is apparently true for all specimens in the type series (see Nussbaum & Raxworthy 2000).
Etymology: The species epithet is derived from the Latin adjective ‘neglectus’ meaning neglected. It refers to the fact that although identified as an unnamed species shortly after its collection (see Jackman et al. 2008), we refrained from describing it earlier for sentimental reasons only, due to the somewhat imperfect condition of the voucher specimens.
Jörn Köhler, Miguel Vences, Mark D. Scherz and Frank Glaw. 2019. A New Species of Nocturnal Gecko, Genus Paroedura, from the karstic Tsingy de Bemaraha Formation in western Madagascar. SALAMANDRA. 55(2); 73–81.