Friday, April 7, 2023

[Herpetology • 2023] Pachydactylus maiatoi • A New Species of Thick-toed Gecko (Squamata: Gekkonidae: Pachydactylus) from Serra da Neve and surrounding Rocky Areas of southwestern Angola

Pachydactylus maiatoi 
Marques, Parrinha, Ceríaco, Brennan, Heinick & Bauer, 2023

Maiato’s Thick-toed Gecko | osga-de-dedos-grossos-de-Maiato  ||  DOI: 10.3897/vz.73.e101329
Photo by Luis M.P. Ceríaco.

Several specimens of Pachydactylus angolensis, a poorly known Angolan endemic gecko, have recently been collected in southern Angola, considerably increasing its known distribution range. Previous observations led to the hypothesis that two different morphological forms exist in the country—a coastal form and an inland form. Based on the morphological examination of historical and recently collected specimens, as well as on newly generated molecular data, we conducted a taxonomic revision of this putative species complex. The results support the separation of these two forms as two different species. The coastal form belongs to the nominotypic population, while the inland form is here described as a new species, Pachydactylus maiatoi sp. nov.. A brief comment on the biogeographical implications of this discovery is also provided.

Keywords: Africa, biogeography, integrative taxonomy, reptiles, type specimens

Photos of the holotype (CAS 266485) of Pachydactylus maiatoi sp. nov.,
(A) life and (B) preserved, from N’Dolondolo, Namibe Province, Angola.
Photo by Luis M.P. Ceríaco.

Life photo of one the paratypes (CAS 264267) of Pachydactylus maiatoi sp. nov., from Maungo, Namibe Province, Angola.
Photo by Luis M.P. Ceríaco.

Pachydactylus maiatoi sp. nov.

Diagnosis: A small, rupiculous Pachydactylus with a depressed body form. SVL at least 40.5 mm (Table 3, 4). Dorsum with enlarged, keeled dorsal scales. OrbD slightly greater than EyeEar. Rostral and supralabials excluded from the nostril rim. Lack of contact between the nostril and both the first supralabial and rostral. Tail indistinctly segmented with juxtaposed to subimbricate scalation. Dorsal pattern almost uniform beige to dark brown, sometimes with small and very diffuse whitish spots, with a dark mask in the lateral side of the head terminating above or just anterior to the ear. Labials white. Venter cream with brown spots on limbs and tail. Tail lighter than the dorsum. Forelimbs and hindlimbs moderately short and stout, interdigital webbing absent, free digits with four (4) subdigital, undivided lamellae.

Etymology: The species is named after the Angolan biologist Francisco Maiato Gonçalves (Huambo, 1982–) , a researcher and curator of the Herbarium of Lubango (ISCED), and vice-dean for Research and International Affairs at the University Mandume Ya Ndemufayo, Huíla Province, Angola. Francisco Maiato Gonçalves represents a new generation of Angolan researchers and a driving force in the study and conservation of southern Angolan biodiversity. The specific epithet is a patronym in the masculine genitive singular. 
We propose the English common name of Maiato’s thick-toed gecko and the Portuguese common name of osga-de-dedos-grossos-de-Maiato.
A Type locality of Pachydactylus maiatoi sp. nov., N’Dolondolo, Serra da Neve inselberg, northern Namibe Province. Photo by Ishan Agarwal.
B Collecting locality of the paratype (CAS 264267) in Maungo region, central Namibe Province. Photo by Luis M. P. Ceríaco.

Mariana P. Marques, Diogo Parrinha, Luis M. P. Ceríaco, Ian G. Brennan, Matthew P. Heinick and Aaron M. Bauer. 2023. A New Species of Thick-toed Gecko (Pachydactylus) from Serra da Neve and surrounding Rocky Areas of southwestern Angola (Squamata: Gekkonidae). Vertebrate Zoology. 73: 325-343. DOI: 10.3897/vz.73.e101329

Resumo: Vários espécimes de Pachydactylus angolensis, uma osga endémica de Angola, rara e pouco conhecida, foram recentemente coletados no sul de Angola, aumentando consideravelmente a sua área de distribuição conhecida. Observações anteriores levantaram a hipótese da existência de duas formas morfológicas distintas no país — uma forma costeira e outra das regiões interiores. Com base na observação morfológica de espécimes históricos e recentes, bem como dados moleculares gerados recentemente, levou-se a cabo a revisão taxonómica deste putativo complexo de espécies. Os resultados suportam a separação destas duas formas em duas espécies diferentes. A forma costeira pertence à população nominotípica, enquanto a forma das regiões interiores é aqui descrita como uma nova espécie, Pachydactylus maiatoi sp. nov.. Apresentam-se ainda as implicações biogeográficas desta nova descoberta.
Palavras-chave: África, biogeografia, espécimes tipo, répteis, taxonomia integrativa