A NEWGEKKOFROM SIBUYAN ISLAND, CENTRAL PHILIPPINES

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Abstract

We describe a new species of lizard in the genus Gekko from Sibuyan Island in the Romblon Island group of the central Philippines. Although the new species is diagnosed from other Philippine Gekko by body size and shape, coloration, and multiple characteristics of external morphology, additional support for the recognition of the Sibuyan Gekko population as a distinct evolutionary lineage is garnered from DNA sequence data and biogeographical inference. The new species has been collected on trunks of trees or on granitic rocks along rivers in mature, lowland forest, and on vegetation at forest edges bordering agricultural areas. It is known only from Sibuyan Island and is undoubtedly endemic to this single small, isolated landmass. Although the larger, topographically complex islands of the Philippines have been the targets of numerous recent efforts to estimate vertebrate species diversity, smaller islands of the archipelago have received comparatively less attention and may support significant levels of underappreciated vertebrate diversity.

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