An integrative taxonomic analysis using color pattern, morphology and 1497 base pairs of the ND2 mitochondrial gene and its five flanking tRNAs demonstrated that nine monophyletic species-level lineages occur within the Cyrtodactylus pulchellus complex (Cyrtodactylus pulchellus sensu strictu and C. macrotuberculatus) of the Thai-Malay Peninsula that have a sequence divergence between them ranging from 5.9–16.8%. Additionally, each lineage is discretely diagnosable from one another based on morphology and color pattern and most occur in specific geographic regions (upland areas or islands) that prevent or greatly restrict interpopulation gene flow.
Six of these lineages were masquerading under the nomen C. pulchellus and are described as the following: Cyrtodactylus astrum sp. nov. (ตุ๊กกายประดับดาว) from northwestern Peninsular Malaysia and southwestern Thailand; C. langkawiensis sp. nov., at this point endemic to Langkawi Island, Malaysia; C. bintangrendah sp. nov., a lowland species surrounding the Banjaran (=mountain range) Bintang of northwestern Peninsular Malaysia; C. bintangtinggi sp. nov., endemic to the upland regions of the Banjaran Bintang of northwestern Peninsular Malaysia; C. trilatofasciatus sp. nov., endemic to upland regions of Cameron Highlands in the central portion of the Banjaran Titiwangsa in Peninsular Malaysia; and C. australotitiwangsaensis sp. nov. from the more southerly upland regions of the Banjaran Titiwangsa.
An additional species, Cyrtodactylus lekaguli sp. nov. (ตุ๊กกายหมอบุญส่ง) from Satun, Trang, Surat Thani, and Phang-nga provinces in southern Thailand, was identified on the basis of morphology and color pattern and is hypothesized to be part of a clade containing C. astrum sp. nov. and C. langkawiensis sp. nov.
Key words: Taxonomy, Phylogeny, Cyrtodactylus, Gekkonidae, Malaysia, Thailand, Molecular systematics, New species
Grismer LL, Wood PK Jr, Quah EH, Anuar S, Abdul Muin M, Sumontha M, Ahmad N, Bauer AM, Wangkulangkul S, Grismer JL, Pauwels OSG. 2012. A phylogeny and taxonomy of the Thai-Malay Peninsula Bent-toed Geckos of the Cyrtodactylus pulchellus complex (Squamata: Gekkonidae): combined morphological and molecular analyses with descriptions of seven new species. Zootaxa. 3520: 1-55.