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Article
Published: 2020-11-16

A new endemic species of Hemidactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from São Nicolau Island, Cabo Verde

CIBIO-InBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, Laboratório Associado, Universidade do Porto, Campus Agrário de Vairão, R. Padre Armando Quintas, 4485-661 Vairão, Portugal. Institute of Evolutionary Biology (CSIC-Universitat Pompeu Fabra), Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta 37-49, E-08003 Barcelona, Spain.
Senckenberg, Forschungsinstitute und Naturmuseen, Sektion Herpetologie, Senckenberganlage 25, D-60325 Frankfurt a.M., Germany
UMR 5175 CEFE, EPHE, CNRS, UM, Univ. Paul Valéry, SupAgro, IRD, INRA, Biogéographie et Écologie des Vertébrés, PSL Research University, Montpellier, France
CEFE, Univ. Montpellier, CNRS, Univ. Paul Valéry Montpellier, EPHE, IRD, Montpellier, France
Cryptic diversity DNA integrative taxonomic revision Macaronesia morphology reptile Reptilia

Abstract

A new species of gecko of the genus Hemidactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) is described from São Nicolau Island, Cabo Verde Archipelago, and the Sal and Boavista island populations of Hemidactylus boavistensis (i.e., Hemidactylus boavistensis boavistensis comb. nov. and Hemidactylus boavistensis chevalieri comb. nov.) are recognized as subspecies. Hemidactylus nicolauensis sp. nov. is genetically distinct from H. bouvieri, to which it has previously been referred, and from all other closely related endemic Hemidactylus from Cabo Verde Islands in mitochondrial (12S & cyt b) and nuclear (RAG2, MC1R) markers. It is characterized morphologically by its distinct colouration and a diagnostically different arrangement of digital lamellae. With the description of this new species, São Nicolau is now known to harbour three single-island endemic gecko species, and the documented reptile diversity in Cabo Verde is raised to 23 endemic species. As a result of our taxonomic changes, existing conservation regulations should be updated and the conservation status of these taxa should be re-evaluated.

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