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Article
Published: 2020-07-16

A new species of Hemiphyllodactylus Bleeker (Squamata; Gekkonidae) from Peninsular Thailand that converges in morphology and color pattern on Pseudogekko smaragdinus (Taylor) from the Philippines

Herpetology Laboratory, Department of Biology, La Sierra University, 4500 Riverwalk Parkway, Riverside, California 92515, USA.
Faculty of Biology, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia.
Division of Fishery, School of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Phayao, Phayao, Thailand
Rabbit in the Moon Foundation, Suan Phueng, Ratchaburi, Thailand.
Zoological Museum, Moscow State University, B. Nikitskaya ul. 2, Moscow 125009, Russia
Zoological Museum, Moscow State University, B. Nikitskaya ul. 2, Moscow 125009, Russia
Division of Fishery, School of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Phayao, Phayao, Thailand
Faculty of Biology, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia. Laboratory of Tropical Ecology, Joint Russian-Vietnamese Tropical Research and Technological Center, Hanoi, Vietnam.
Reptilia Phylogenetic systematics Indochina Thai-Malay Peninsula taxonomy convergent evolution

Abstract

An integrative taxonomic analysis of newly discovered populations of Hemiphyllodactylus from Indochina recovered a new species from Peninsular Thailand and two others from Laos. The new Thai species, Hemiphyllodactylus pardalis sp. nov. described herein, is the sister species to all other species in the newly designated Indochina clade and has a unique spotted contrasting dorsal pattern not seen in any other species of Hemiphyllodactylus. This, along with its elongate and gracile body morphology, renders it remarkably convergent on the Philippine gecko Pseudogekko smaragdinus despite the fact it is deeply nested within Hemiphyllodactylus. The description of this new species underscores the depauperate nature of Hemiphyllodactylus diversity throughout Indochina in general and Thailand in particular compared to neighboring upland areas of Myanmar and Peninsular Malaysia. This especially underscores the need for continued herpetofaunal field surveys in montane areas of western Thailand.

 

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