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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
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Southern Titiwangsa Bent-toed Gecko

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3

Fig 4

Fig 5



Species : Cyrtodactylus australotitiwangsaensis
Size (snout to vent) : to 12 cm
Size (total length) : ~ 27 cm

This beautiful gecko occurs in upland areas of the southern parts of the Titiwangsa Mountains in Peninsular Malaysia, such as Genting Highlands and Fraser's Hill, in hill dipterocarp and lower montane forests between 1000 and 1500 metres elevation (Grismer et al, 2012).

This species hides by day in rock crevices : it  emerges only at night, but tends to stay close to its favoured crevice to which it retreats if disturbed. The images shown here are of an adult and a juvenile found living in the narrow spaces in a man-made wall built of roughly hewn blocks of stone.

The ground colour of the body of adults is fawn or beige, and there are three or four thick, pale-edged, dark brown bands across the back. The top of the head is fawn or beige, and sometimes yellowish. The tail is almost black, with six pure white bands. Juveniles lack a white tip to the tail, which occurs in some related species, for example Lekagul's Bent-toed Gecko.

Cyrtodactylus australotitiwangsaensis was formerly considered part of the 'Banded Slender-toed Gecko' (Cyrtodactylus pulchellus) species complex, however as of 2016 this group is now considered to comprise 15 separate species which occur in different parts of southern Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia (the most recent publication listing all 15 is by Grismer et al, 2016).

Fig 1 : Example from Fraser's Hill, Peninsular Malaysia at around 1000 metres elevation.

Figs 2 and 3 : Adult specimen from Fraser's Hill, Peninsular Malaysia at around 1250 metres elevation.

Figs 4 and 5 : Juvenile specimen from the same location as the adult in Figs 1 and 2. In this example two of the dark body bands are fused into one in the middle of the back.

References :

Grismer, L. L., Wood Jr, P. L., Quah, E. S. H., Shahrul, A., Muin, M. A., Sumontha, M., Ahmad, N., Bauer, A. M., Wangkulangkul, S., Grismer, J. L. & Pauwels, O. S. (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.

Grismer, L. L., Wood Jr, Anuar, S., Grismer, M. S., Quah, E. S. H.,  Murdoch M. L., Muin, M. A., Davis, H. R., Aguilar, C., Klabacka, R., Cobos, A., Aowphol, A. & Sites, J. W. Jr. (2016). Two new Bent-toed Geckos of the Cyrtodactylus pulchellus complex from Peninsular Malaysia and multiple instances of convergent adaptation to limestone forest ecosystems. Zootaxa, 4105(5), 401-429.