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Large Gecko Species Discovered In The Eastern Ghats Of India

October 17, 2017

Researchers in India have discovered and described a new species of gecko that hails from the Eastern Ghats mountains of India. The lizard's suggested common name is the Kanger valley rock gecko. Its scientific name, Hemidactylus kangerensis, is named after the valley in which the holotype was located.

The researchers, led by Zeeshan Mirza of the National Centre for Biological Sciences, collected the lizard in 2016 during surveys of reptiles and arachnids while at the Kanger Ghati National Park. A paper on the lizard is published in Science Direct.

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“The lizard grows to over eight inches in length and is found on trees and walls of old houses in Kanger Ghati National Park,” Mirza told the Bangalore Mirror. “The new species resembles the rock gecko (Hemidactylus maculatus) with which it was confused with by researchers in the past. The gecko however differs in a distinct banded patters and the number of pore less scales separating femoral pores on the thigh. A short segment of the mitochondrial gene Cytochrome B was compared across related species and the new species was found to differ in showing 10 per cent divergence from the related rock gecko.” 

The gecko is a dark beige-light brown in coloration with around 10 light stripes accented by dark lines that start at the neck area and go down to the tail. Hemidactylus kangerensis  is the sixth lizard species described by Zeeshan and his colleagues in the last four years.

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