Cnemaspis bidongensis Grismer, Wood, Amirrudin, Sumarli, Vazquez, Ismail, Nance, Muhammad, Mohamad, Syed, Kuss, Murdoch & Cobos, 2014

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 : 124-125

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.3880.1.1

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Cnemaspis bidongensis Grismer, Wood, Amirrudin, Sumarli, Vazquez, Ismail, Nance, Muhammad, Mohamad, Syed, Kuss, Murdoch & Cobos, 2014


Cnemaspis bidongensis Grismer, Wood, Amirrudin, Sumarli, Vazquez, Ismail, Nance, Muhammad, Mohamad, Syed, Kuss, Murdoch & Cobos, 2014

Pulau Bidong Rock Gecko

Fig. 63 View FIGURE 63

Holotype. Adult female ( LSUHC 11455) collected on 26 August 2013 by Jacob A. Chan at 2200 hrs at 34 m from Pulau Bidong, Terengganu, Peninsular Malaysia (5°37.201 N 103°03.244 E) at 49 m in elevation.

Paratype. Adult males ( LSUHC 11447, 11452–54) and adult female LSUHC 11451 bear the same data as the holotype except they were collected between 1800 and 2400 hrs.

Diagnosis. Maximum SVL 58.1 mm; nine or 10 supralabials; 7–9 infralabials; keeled ventral scales; no precloacal pores; 21–26 paravertebral tubercles; no tubercles on flanks; caudal tubercles encircling tail; no tubercles in lateral caudal furrows; ventrolateral caudal tubercles present anteriorly; subcaudals keeled; a median row of enlarged, keeled subcaudals; one or two postcloacal tubercles on each side; no enlarged femoral, subtibial, or submetatarsal scales; subtibials keeled; 26–30 subdigital lamellae on fourth toe; large, round, black blotches on nape and anterior portion of body; distinct black and white caudal bands in females (Tables 6,7).

Color pattern in life ( Fig. 63 View FIGURE 63 ). Females: dorsal ground color of head, body, limbs and tail brown; a series of diffuse, yellowish lines on rostrum extend posteriorly onto frontal region; dorsal pattern on occiput consisting of a series of dull white spots surrounding a dark brown, tear-drop shaped, vertebral marking; three diffuse, dark brown, postorbital stripes radiate from eyes; dorsal pattern of neck and body consists of a vertebral series of six dull-white blotches extending to base of tail paralleled by similar blotches on flanks; a series of seven diffuse dark brown blotches extend from side of neck along flanks to base of tail on each side of body; intervening area between all body blotches consists of a network of dark and light mottling that extends onto the limbs; nine white caudal bands infused with faint black speckling encircle tail; interband areas bear black mottling; ventral surfaces of head body and limbs beige to dull yellow with weak black stippling in each scale; anterior gular region yellow; subcaudal region bearing white, irregularly shaped bands; small, dark, elongate blotch on mental and medial postmental. Males: overall yellowish to dull-orange dorsal pattern on the head, body and tail and lack the dull-white blotching seen in females yet retain the darker blotching pattern. The caudal pattern is banded but the light bands are not white as in the females and the dark bands are dark brown as opposed to black. The ventral pattern of males is similar to that of females except that the lateral margins of the abdomen tend to near dark network enclosing small, lighter spots. Also, subcaudal banding is faint.

Distribution. Cnemaspis bidongensis is presumed to be endemic to Pulau Bidong, Terengganu, Peninsular Malaysia ( Grismer et al. 2014; Fig. 4 View FIGURE 4 ) being that it has not been found in any other archipelago or any other island in the Bidong Archipleago (Vazquez et al. 2014.).

Natural History. Grismer et al. (2014) noted that Cnemaspis bidongensis occurs in secondary, coastal forest and is widespread throughout the island. During the Vietnamese refugee period from May 1975 to October 1991, the island’s primary forest was severely degraded by cutting. During this time, as many as 250,000 people fleeing the communist take over of southern Vietnam spent time on Pulau Bidong and in June 1979 it was considered the most heavily populated place on earth ( Island). Although this had a catastrophic effect on the native forest, C. bidongensis was able to survive because it is not a microhabitat specialist as are many other species of Cnemaspis ( Grismer & Ngo 2007; Grismer & Chan 2009; Grismer et al. 2010a,b; 2013a; Grismer 2011a; Wood et al. 2013). During the course of our fieldwork, lizards were observed day and night on both granite rocks and vegetation ( Fig. 63 View FIGURE 63 ). Lizards were wary, swift, agile and would seek shelter at the slightest provocation. During the day, lizards would often jump from rocks to nearby trees and escape by ascending 3–5 meters up the trunk—a behavior not observed in any other species of Cnemaspis . Lizards would also avoid capture by retreating into rock cracks. During the evening, lizards were commonly seen on rocks, branches, and leaves where they appeared to be sleeping. When aroused, many would drop to the forest floor from as high as 1.5 meters and escape into the leaf litter—a behavior also uncharacteristic of Cnemaspis . Hatchlings and juveniles were not observed and the presence of gravid females carrying two eggs suggests that July is the beginning of the reproductive season.

Relationships. Cnemaspis bidongensis froms a polytomy with C. peninsularis sp. nov. from Peninsular Malaysia and C. mumpuniae sp. nov. from Pulau Natuna Besar, Indonesia ( Fig. 2 View FIGURE 2 ).


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