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Vientiane, Laos

Luu V.Q.,University of Cologne | Luu V.Q.,AG Zoologischer Garten Cologne | Calame T.,WWF Greater Mekong | Bonkowski M.,University of Cologne | And 3 more authors.
Zootaxa | Year: 2014

We describe a new species of the genus Cyrtodactylus based on two adult specimens from Khammouane Province, Laos. Cyrtodactylus jaegeri sp. nov. is distinguished from the remaining Indochinese bent-toed geckos by a combination of the following characters: a moderately sized Cyrtodactylus with a maximum SVL reaching 68.5 mm; dorsal pattern consisting of a dark nuchal loop and four narrow brown body bands between limb insertions; dorsal tubercles in 15-17 irregular rows; ventrals in 31-32 longitudinal rows at midbody; lateral skin folds present with interspersed tubercles; precloacal-femoral pores 44 in the male, in a continuous series; enlarged femoral scales and precloacal scales present; postcloacal tubercles 3-6; subcaudals transversely enlarged. Cyrtodactylus jaegeri sp. nov. is the ninth species of Cyrtodactylus known from Laos. Copyright © 2014 Magnolia Press.


Eva B.,SPYGEN | Harmony P.,Griffith University | Thomas G.,WWF Greater Mekong | Francois G.,WWF Laos | And 3 more authors.
Global Ecology and Conservation | Year: 2016

Pressures on freshwater biodiversity in Southeast Asia are accelerating, yet the status and conservation needs of many of the region's iconic fish species are poorly known. The Mekong is highly species diverse and supports four of the six largest freshwater fish globally, three of which, including Mekong giant catfish (Pangasianodon gigas), are Critically Endangered. Emerging environmental DNA (eDNA) techniques have potential for monitoring threatened freshwater biodiversity, yet have not been applied in complex and biodiverse tropical ecosystems such as the Mekong. We developed species-specific primers for amplifying Mekong giant catfish DNA. In situ validation demonstrated that the DNA amplification was successful for all samples taken in reservoirs with known presence of Mekong giant catfish independent of fish density. We collected water samples from six deep pools on the Mekong, identified through Local Ecological Knowledge, in Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Thailand. DNA was extracted and amplified from these samples using the designed primers and probes. Mekong giant catfish DNA was detected from one sample from the species' presumed spawning grounds on the Mekong mainstream, near the border between northern Thailand and Lao PDR. eDNA sampling using species-specific primers has potential for surveying and monitoring poorly known species from complex tropical aquatic environments. However accounting for false absences is likely to be required for the method to function with precision when applied to extremely rare species that are highly dispersed within a large river system. We recommend that such approach be utilised more widely by freshwater conservation practitioners for specific applications. The method is best suited for baseline biodiversity assessments or to identify and prioritise locations for more rigorous sampling. Our methods are particularly relevant for systems or species with limited baseline data or with physical characteristics that logistically limit the application of conventional methods. Such attributes are typical of large tropical rivers such as the Mekong, Congo, or Amazon. © 2016.


Luu V.Q.,University of Cologne | Luu V.Q.,AG Zoologischer Garten Cologne | Calame T.,WWF Greater Mekong | Nguyen T.Q.,Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology | And 4 more authors.
Zootaxa | Year: 2014

A new species of the Gekko japonicus group is described from Khammouane Province, central Laos, based on distinct morphological and molecular features. Gekko thakhekensis sp. nov. is distinguished from the remaining congeners by a combination of the following characters: size moderate (SVL 67.6-79.2 mm); nares in contact with rostral; internasals absent; postmentals enlarged; interorbital scales between anterior corners of the eyes 22-26; dorsal tubercles absent; ventral scales between mental and cloacal slit 165-174; midbody scale rows 110-116; ventral scale rows 32-40; subdigital lamellae on first toe 11-13, on fourth toe 14-15; finger and toe webbing present at base, about one fifth of length of digits; tubercles on upper surface of fore and hind limbs absent; precloacal pores 1-5 in males; postcloacal tubercles two; tubercles absent on dorsal surface of tail base; subcaudals enlarged; dorsal surface of body with greyish brown blotches. In molecular analyses, the new species is recovered as a sister taxon to G. scientiadventura, but the two species are separated by approximately 12% divergence as shown by the partial mitochondrial ND2 gene. Copyright © 2014 Magnolia Press


Luu V.Q.,University of Cologne | Calame T.,WWF Greater Mekong | Nguyen T.Q.,Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology | Bonkowski M.,University of Cologne | And 2 more authors.
Zootaxa | Year: 2015

We describe a new species of the genus Cyrtodactylus on the basis of three specimens from Khammouane Province, Laos. Cyrtodactylus soudthichaki sp. nov. is distinguished from the remaining congeners by the combination of the following characters: adult SVL 69.2-70.0 mm; dorsal head and neck with dark blotches; nuchal loop present; dorsum with five brown bands between limb insertions; 19 or 20 irregular rows of dorsal tubercles; 32 or 33 ventral scale rows; ventrolateral folds present, with distinct tubercles; dorsal surface of hind limbs with tubercles; 29 precloacal and femoral pores in a continuous row in males, precloacal pores absent in the female; enlarged femoral and precloacal scales present; 4 or 5 postcloacal tubercles; and subcaudals transversely enlarged. The new species most closely resembles Cyrtodactylus jae-geri and Cyrtodactylus roesleri in overall coloration and pattern. However, they can be clearly distinguished from each other in the number of dorsal tubercle rows, ventral scales, and femoral and precloacal pores. Cyrtodactylus soudthichaki is the 16th species of Cyrtodactylus known from Laos. Copyright © 2015 Magnolia Press.


Luu V.Q.,University of Cologne | Luu V.Q.,AG Zoologischer Garten Cologne | Calame T.,WWF Greater Mekong | Nguyen T.Q.,Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology | And 4 more authors.
Zootaxa | Year: 2016

We describe a new species of the gekkonid genus Cyrtodactylus from Khammouane Province, central Laos based on morphological and molecular data. Morphologically, Cyrtodactylus rufford sp. Nov. differs from its congeners by a unique combination of the following characters: medium size, SVL reaching 72.5 mm; dorsal pattern with three or four light transverse bands between limb insertions; one intersupranasal; 14-16 irregular dorsal tubercle rows at midbody, weakly developed in the paravertebral region; 27-29 ventral scale rows between ventrolateral folds; 42-43 precloacal and femoral pores in a continuous row in males, enlarged femoral and precloacal scales present; 4 or 5 postcloacal tubercles on each side; dorsal tubercles present at base of tail; medial subcaudal scales enlarged. Molecular analyses show that the new species is closely related to C. khammouanensis, which was originally described from Khammouane Province. Copyright © 2016 Magnolia Press.

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