ABSTRACT

A recent taxonomic revision of geckos of the genus Hemidactylus Goldfuss, 1820 uncovered cryptic diversity within the Congolese population of H. nzingae Ceríaco, Agarwal, Marques and Bauer, 2020. Herein, we describe an unnamed southern Congolese lineage of H. nzingae as a new species. We base our description on previously published molecular evidence and newly collected morphological, meristic, and coloration data. Members of the group share a conservative morphology, and the newly described species is very similar to H. nzingae from which it differs mostly on the basis of coloration and tubercle scale rows. Our description is the first new species of gecko described from Democratic Republic of the Congo in nearly 7 decades and reinforces the already strong evidence that the country is a hotspot of reptile diversity.

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