Taxonomic revision of the Pseudogekko compresicorpus complex (Reptilia: Squamata: Gekkonidae), with descriptions of three new species
Recent phylogenetic analysis of false geckos, genus Pseudogekko, revealed unrecognized diversity within these exceedingly rare and enigmatic Philippine forest geckos. Newly available genetic datasets revealed that two of the four currently recognized species are complexes of multiple, deeply divergent evolutionary lineages. In this paper we evaluate species diversity in the Pseudogekko compresicorpus Complex and describe three new species in this unique clade of endemic Philippine geckos. For nearly a century, P. compresicorpus has been recognized as a single, ‘‘widespread’’ species with a geographic range spanning three major faunal regions and several isolated islands. This perception of the species’ wide geographic range has persisted due to the rarity of this species. We evaluate morphological data, in light of a recent phylogenetic study on the genus, to define species limits in P. compresicorpus, finding character-based evidence that unambiguously supports the recognition of four unique evolutionary lineages within the complex, three of which we describe as new species. These evolutionary species correspond to monophyletic lineages supported in recent molecular studies. We also address the historically controversial generic affiliation of Pseudogekko labialis and conclude that this poorly known species is a member of the genus Lepidodactylus. All species recognized in this study possess allopatric geographic ranges and differ from congeners by numerous diagnostic characters of external morphology and, therefore, should be recognized as full species in accordance with any lineage-based species concept. This study nearly doubles the known diversity of Philippine false geckos.