Cnemaspis perhentianensis Grismer & Chan, 2008

Grismer, Lee, Wood, Perry L., Anuar, Shahrul, Riyanto, Awal, Ahmad, Norhayati, Muin, Mohd A., Sumontha, Montri, Grismer, Jesse L., Onn, Chan Kin, Quah, Evan S. H. & Pauwels, Olivier S. A., 2014, Systematics and natural history of Southeast Asian Rock Geckos (genus Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887) with descriptions of eight new species from Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia, Zootaxa 3880 (1), pp. 1-147 : 64-66

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.3880.1.1

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Cnemaspis perhentianensis Grismer & Chan, 2008


Cnemaspis perhentianensis Grismer & Chan, 2008

Perhentian Island Rock Gecko

Fig. 32 View FIGURE 32

Holotype. ZRC 2.6675 View Materials . Type locality: “ Pulau Perhentian Besar , Terengganu, West Malaysia (05°54.054 N, 102°44.726343 E)” at 40 m in elevation. GoogleMaps

Diagnosis. Maximum SVL 47.0 mm; 8–10 supralabials; seven or eight infralabials; ventral scales smooth to keeled; 6–8 contiguous, pore-bearing precloacal scales with round pores; 22–27 paravertebral tubercles; tubercles not linearly arranged, present on flanks; tubercles absent from lateral caudal furrows; no ventrolateral caudal tubercles; lateral row of caudal tubercles present; caudal tubercles not encircling tail; all subcaudals keeled, no median row of enlarged subcaudals; three or four postcloacal tubercles on each side of tail base; no enlarged femoral or subtibial scales; subtibials keeled; no submetatarsal scales on first toe; 28–31 subdigital fourth toe lamellae; distinct black and white bands on tail (Tables 6,7).

Color pattern ( Fig. 32 View FIGURE 32 ). Dorsal ground color grey to brown, overlain by irregularly shaped, white markings on top of head and snout; paired, white markings on occiput; no postorbital stripes; squarish, medial, white marking on neck; distinct, irregularly shaped, paravertebral, white markings on dorsum extending from shoulder region to base of tail and alternating with transversely elongate, distinct, white markings on flanks; three small, elongate, dark blotches at base of occiput; paired, dark, poorly defined, paravertebral blotches extend from nape to anterior portion of tail alternating with light, paravertebral markings; dark blotches on flanks alternating with white, transverse markings; black and dull white bands nearly encircle tail; irregularly shaped, dark and light markings on limbs; ventral surfaces of neck, body, and limbs beige, immaculate; gular region smudged with dark stippling.

Distribution. Cnemaspis perhentianensis is known from only from Perhentian Besar and Perhentian Kecil islands ( Grismer & Chan 2008; Grismer et al. 2011a) of the Perhentian Archipelago, Terengganu off the northeast coast of Peninsular Malaysia ( Fig. 3 View FIGURE 3 ).

Natural history. The Perhentian Archipelago is composed of 11 relatively small islands lying 21 km off the east coast of the state of Terengganu ( Fig. 3 View FIGURE 3 ). The largest of these islands, Pulau Perhentian Besar (ca. 857 hectares) is a rugged, hilly island reaching 249 m in elevation. The majority of the island is covered in primary, lowland dipterocarp forest and its granite bedrock is the source of extensive boulder outcroppings that add a significant degree of habitat and microhabitat complexity to the island’s ecosystem, which in turn, supports various saxicolous species ( Grismer et al. 2011a). Grismer & Chan (2008) noted that Cnemaspis perhentianensis is restricted solely to the granite outcroppings ( Fig. 32 View FIGURE 32 ). Specimens collected or observed during the day were found on the shaded surfaces of both large and small rocks and would retreat into cracks at the slightest provocation. Upon retreat, lizards would roll their tail over their back and wag the tip from side to side. At night, lizards could be found on all surfaces of the rocks at greater distances from their crevice microhabitats and appreaed inactive. No lizards were seen on tree trunks or other types of vegetation. Grismer & Chan (2008) reported that the activity of C. perhentianensis may be closely tied to precipitation, noting that on multiple trips, specimens were only observed following periods of rain.

Relationships. Cnemaspis perhentianensis is the sister species of C. karsticola ( Fig. 2 View FIGURE 2 ).

Material examined. Malaysia: Terengganu, Pulau Perhentian Besar ZRC 2.6675 View Materials 79 View Materials (type series) . Additional material examined since Grismer & Chan (2008): Malaysia: Terengganu, Pulau Perhentian Besar LSUHC 8673 View Materials , 8675–76 View Materials , 8697–700 View Materials , 9060 View Materials , 9412 View Materials .

Affinis group. The affinis group contains 13 species that collectively range throughout central Peninsular Malaysia and is comprised of three basal lineages: Cnemaspis pseudomcguirei from northwestern Peninsular Malaysia; the sister species C. affinis and C. harimau from northwestern Peninsular Malaysia and their sister lineage that contains the remaining 10 species (Figs. 2,3). The latter lineage, for the most part, is a polytomy. However, the sister species relationship between C. mcguirei and C. grismeri associated with the Banjaran Bintang Mountains and the relationships between the diminutive, lowland karst-dwellers C. hangus sp. nov., C. selamatkanmerapoh , and C. bayuensis east of the Banjaran Titiwangsa Mountains and the small, upland granitedweller C. stongensis sp. nov. in the northern Banjaran Titiwangsa Mountains are strongly supported ( Fig. 2 View FIGURE 2 ). The sister species relationship between C. mcguirei and C. grismeri is strongly supported in the molecular analysis and further supported in the morphological analysis by them having a pair of ocelli in the shoulder region which we consider to be a derived condition in that it occurs in no other species of Cnemaspis .

The molecular analysis indicates that Cnemaspis flavolineata from the type locality at the Gap below Fraser’s Hill, Pahang is not conspecific with C. flavolineata from Cameron Highlands (18.0% sequence divergence; Table 4 View TABLE 4 ), 76 km to the north and the two species may not even be closely related ( Fig. 2 View FIGURE 2 ). We also found significant differences in tuberculation separating these two populations. Smith (1922) was the first to report this species from Fraser’s Hill which he considered conspecific with C. kendallii (Gray) but later ( Smith 1930) and without comment, referred to it as C. affinis . Although Nicholls (1949) was the first to recognize this population as a distinct species, his brief description did not provide a single diagnostic character separating it from either C. affinis or C. kendallii (quite frankly, he got lucky). As such we provide a redescription of this species below based on the holotype and a second specimen recently collected from the type locality and describe the Cameron Highlands population as a new species ( C. temiah sp. nov.).

The affinis group is diagnosed as having a maximum SVL of 36.5–65.0 mm; 7–13 supralabials; 7–11 infralabials; keeled ventral scales; 0–10 pore-bearing precloacal scales with round pores; 18–34 paravertebral tubercles; tubercles on flanks; lateral row of caudal tubercles present; subcaudals keeled; no median row of enlarged subcaudal scales; 1–5 postcloacal tubercles on each side of base of tail; no enlarged femoral or subtibial scales; subtibials keeled; no submetatarsal scales on first toe; and 21–35 lamellae beneath the fourth toe.













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