|Gekko (Gekko) hulk|
Grismer, del Pinto, Quah, Anuar, Cota, McGuire, Iskandar, Wood & Grismer, 2022
Photographs by Ian Dugdale (J), L. Lee Grismer (K, L, N) and Nick Baker (M).
An integrative taxonomic analysis of Sundaic populations of Gekko smithii from the Thai-Malaya Peninsula, Sumatra, and Borneo recovered four deeply divergent mitochondrial lineages that are separated by major geographic barriers (mountains and seaways). Furthermore, they bear a number of concordant statistically significant differences in meristic and morphometric features, morphospatial separation in multivariate space, and discrete differences in color pattern. Gekko smithii sensu stricto is restricted to southern Thailand south of the Isthmus of Kra and Peninsular Malaysia west of the Banjaran (mountain range) Titiwangsa, being that the type locality is on Penang Island, Penang. Gekko hulk sp. nov. is a new species from extreme southern Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia east of the Banjaran Titiwangsa and five east coast islands—the type locality being Pulau (island) Tioman, Pahang. Gekko cf. albofasciolatus is tentatively used to include Bornean populations west of the Iran Mountains in Sabah and Sarawak which, in the absence of molecular data, cannot unequivocally be separated morphologically from G. albofasciolatus from the type locality at Banjarmasin, Kalimantan, Indonesia east of the Iran Mountains. In the absence of molecular data, G. albomaculatus is resurrected to include mainland Sumatran, Nias Island, and Banyak Islands populations which, based on their morphology, cannot be separated from descriptions of G. albomaculatus from the type locality of Bangka Island, 15 km off the southeast coast of mainland Sumatra. Further integrative analyses of all Sumatran and Bornean populations are currently underway as well as the enigmatic Wallacean populations from Sulawesi. Data are presented that strongly suggest all references to G. smithii from Java stem from a 151 year-old misidentification of a specimen of G. gecko of unknown provenance. Additionally, there are no vouchered records of G. smithii from Myanmar. The phylogeographic patterns of Sundaic populations of the G. smithii complex are concordant with those of a plethora of other Sundaic lineages.
Key words: Gekkonidae, integrative taxonomy, phylogenetics, Sundaland, systematics
Gekko smithii Gray, 1842
Diagnosis: Gekko smithii sensu stricto herein after referred to as G. smithii unless noted otherwise can be separated from all other species of Gekko in the G. smithii species complex by having the combination of a maximum SVL of 191.1 mm, 11–17 supralabials, 9–14 infralabials, 3–6 internarial scales, 19–26 frontal scales, 4–9 chin scales, 94–137 midbody scales, 17–23 paravertebral tubercles, 8–11 longitudinal rows of tubercles, 23–35 ventral scales, 15–20 1st toe subdigital lamellae, 19–24 4th toe lamellae; 13–15 precloacal pores in males (absent in females); enlarged subcaudal scales; thin, white nuchal band at base of occiput composed of closely spaced spots; thin dark nuchal band contacting the eyes; large white ocelli surrounding dorsal tubercles or bordering them posteriorly in six or seven transverse rows; and a thick dark reticulum to diffuse banded dorsal pattern (Tables 9, 10).
|Microhabitats of Gekko hulk sp. nov. on Peninsular Malaysia.|
Granite boulder microhabitat on Pulau Perhentian Besar, Terengganu.
Photograph by L. Lee Grismer.
Gekko hulk sp. nov.
Diagnosis: Gekko hulk sp. nov. can be separated from all other species of Gekko in the G. smithii species complex by having the combination of a maximum SVL of 161.3 mm, 10–15 supralabials, 9–13 infralabilas, 3–5 internarial scales, 13–24 frontal scales, 4–8 chin scales, 84–110 midbody scales, 16–21 paravertebral tubercles, 9–11 longitudinal rows of tubercles, 22–28 ventral scales, 14–19 1st toe subdigital lamellae, 18–24 4th toe lamellae; 6–13 precolacal pores in males (absent in females); subcaudals enlarged; thin, white nuchal band at base of occiput composed of closely spaced spots; thin dark nuchal band absent or faded and never contacting eyes; small white ocelli confined to dorsal tubercles or their anterior margin in six or seven transverse rows; and no thick dark reticulum on body (Tables 9, 10).
Distribution: Gekko hulk sp. nov. ranges from at least the southeastern corner of southernmost Thailand in the Hala-Bala Wildlife Sanctuary, Narathiwat Province, southward east of the Banjaran Titiwangsa through Peninsular Malaysia to Singapore. It approaches the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia south the Banjaran Titiwangsa at Gunung Ledang, Johor. It is known from the east coast islands of Perhentian Besar and Redang, Terengganu in the north and from the islands of Tulai and Jahat, Johor and Tioman, Pahang in the south (Figs 1, 7).
Etymology: The specific epithet “hulk” is a noun in apposition in reference to ‘‘The Incredible Hulk’’, who is a fictional character and superhero created by Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby in 1962 and appears in the Marvel Comics publications. When angry, The Incredible Hulk becomes a large, green-skinned, muscular beast possessing great physical strength and a very aggressive temperament—all characteristics of Gekko hulk sp. nov.
Natural history: Much like other species of Gekko (Gekko), G. hulk sp. nov. is an arboreal nocturnal species that is well-established in all types of primary and secondary forests as well as buildings on forest edges. We observed lizards 3–4 m above the ground on the trunks of large trees on Gunung Tebu (Fig. 14) and heard males calling in the afternoon. On Pulau Tioman, we observed individuals 4–5 m above the ground on tree trunks, in tree cavities, and on cement light poles. On Pulau Tulai, lizards were seen on trees during the day but collected off the metal stair railing at night. On Perhentian Besar, geckos occur is high densities and are more common on granite boulders where they take refuge between boulders and in rock cracks. Lizards are far less common on tree trunks. Grismer (2011b) reports finding eggs attached to the undersides of boulders on Pulau Perhentian Besar during September and a gravid female was collected during July on Pulau Tioman.
Resurrection of Gekko albomaculatus (Giebel, 1861)
L. Lee Grismer, Lelani del Pinto, Evan S. H. Quah, Shahrul Anuar, Micheal Cota, Jimmy A. McGuire, Djoko T. Iskandar, Perry L. Wood Jr. and Jesse L. Grismer. 2022. Phylogenetic and Multivariate Analyses of Gekko smithii Gray, 1842 recover A New Species from Peninsular Malaysia and Support the Resurrection of G. albomaculatus (Giebel, 1861) from Sumatra. Vertebrate Zoology. 72: 47-80. DOI: 10.3897/vz.72.e77702