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| Last Updated:: 20/04/2015

New species of gecko found


Zoologists say Hampi and surrounding areas are potentially rich in biodiversity and needs research to identify new species of smaller creatures.


A new species of the day gecko, a type of lizard usually found in warm climates, has been spotted at the ruins of the World Heritage Site of Hampi in Karnataka. The gecko has been named Cnemaspis adii after a young herpetology researcher from Hyderabad, Aditya Srinivasulu.


The discovery of the gecko and its name were published in the journal Zootaxa this month by researchers Chelmala Srinivasulu, G. Chethan Kumar and Bhargavi Srinivasulu from the zoology wing of Osmania University in Hyderabad.


The lizard belongs to the family of day geckos characterised by round pupils unlike regular geckos which have vertical pupils. The zoologists say Hampi and surrounding areas are potentially rich in biodiversity and not much research has been done to identify new species of smaller vertebrate and invertebrates.


“The discovery is significant because other species of day geckos have been, so far, reported only from the Western Ghats and southern Eastern Ghats in peninsular India. This is the first time that day geckos have been found in the central regions of peninsular India between Eastern and Western Ghats,” lead author Dr. Srinivasulu said.


The trio felt that presence of day geckos between Western and Eastern Ghats is interesting, indicating the need for more efforts to document the biological diversity, understanding habitat conditions, threats and diversity of local species.


The discovery and subsequent validation in Zootaxa did not happen overnight. The new day gecko species was first discovered by Dr. Bhargavi Srinivasulu in 2012 while they were doing research on bats in the Hampi complex.


Later, the zoologists studied the photographs of live animals and researched on known species of day geckos reported from other parts of India, which ultimately confirmed that the specimens belonged to a hitherto undescribed type. They managed to collect three specimens of the lizard that formed the basis of the scientific description of the lizard.