Cnemaspis laoensis Grismer, 2010

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 : 126-127

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.3880.1.1

publication LSID


persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Cnemaspis laoensis Grismer, 2010


Cnemaspis laoensis Grismer, 2010

Lao Rock Gecko

Fig. 64 View FIGURE 64

Holotype. THNHM 12433 . Type locality: “ Dong Phu Vieng National Protected Area , Savannakhet, Laos ”.

Diagnosis. Maximum SVL 40.9 mm; nine supralabials; seven infralabials; smooth ventral scales; no precloacal pores; 22 paravertebral tubercles; body tubercles randomly arranged, present on flanks; tubercles present in lateral caudal furrows; no ventrolateral or lateral caudal row of tubercles; caudal tubercles do not encircle tail; subcaudals smooth, bearing a slightly enlarged median row; two or three postcloacal tubercles; no enlarged femoral, subtibial or submetatarsal scales; subtibials keeled; and 29 subdigital fourth toe lamellae ( Table 6 View TABLE 6 ). Cnemaspis laoensis lacks the diagnostic color characteristics of other Southern Indochina clade species.

Color pattern ( Fig 64 View FIGURE 64 ). Dorsal ground color of head, body, limbs and tail pale brown; rostrum and top of head bearing diffuse, faint, brown markings; postorbital stripes absent; light-colored, subelliptical, paired, paravertebral markings extending from nape to base of tail, continuing onto tail as wide, diffuse, light-colored, caudal bands separated by thinner, dark-brown bands; dark-brown markings within interspaces between light markings; large, light-colored markings on flanks; forelimbs and hind limbs mottled; all ventral surfaces beige bearing small, black stipples in each scale.

Distribution. Cnemaspis laoensis is known only from the type locality at Dong Phu Vieng, Savannakhet, along the Laotian portion of the Ho Chi Minh Trail ( Fig. 1 View FIGURE 1 ).

Natural History. Nothing is known of the natural history of Cnemaspis laoensis . However, Grismer (2010) hypothesized that on the basis of having smooth ventral and subcaudal caudal scales, this species is a likely karstdweller. All other karst dwelling, microhabitat specialists share this combination of characters although its prominent dorsal tuberculation would suggest otherwise. Additionally, there are numerous outcroppings of karst tower formations in the general area of the type locality.

Relationships. The distribution or Cnemaspis laoensis in southern Laos ( Fig. 1 View FIGURE 1 ) would suggest that it could potentially belong in the Ca Mau clade, the caudanivea group of the Southern Indochina clade of southern Vietnam or the chanthaburiensis group of southern Thailand and southwestern Cambodia of the Southern Indochina clade. The fact that this species has a small SVL (40.9 mm); dense, prominent, dorsal tuberculation; lacks enlarged femoral, subtibial and submetatarsal scales; has a dorsolateral row of caudal tubercles; and tubercles in the lateral caudal furrow would likely preclude it from being a member of the Ca Mau clade ( Table 6 View TABLE 6 ). Its dense arrangement of prominent dorsal tubercles; lack of a ventrolateral row of caudal tubercles; and lack of a dark, mid-gular stripe would likely preclude it from being a member of the caudanivea group ( Table 6 View TABLE 6 ). It differs from members of the chanthaburiensis group only in lacking a lateral row of caudal tubercles and thus its inclusion in this group would be the most likely ( Table 6 View TABLE 6 ). However, given that C.laoensis is separated from the nearest member of the chanthaburiensis group in Khao Ang Ru Ni, Chachoengsao Province in southeastern Thailand by approximately 600 km, two mountain ranges, and the Tonle Sap Basin would indicate that it will likely prove to be in its own species group within the Southern Indochina clade. For now, we tentatively place it in the chanthaburiensis group.

Material examined. Laos: Savannakhet, Dong Phu Vieng National Protected Area THNHM 12433 (holotype) .













GBIF Dataset (for parent article) Darwin Core Archive (for parent article) View in SIBiLS Plain XML RDF