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Cnemaspis ajijae SAYYED, PYRON & DILEEPKUMAR, 2018

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesAjija’s Day Gecko 
SynonymCnemaspis ajijae SAYYED, PYRON & DILEEPKUMAR 2018: 8 
DistributionIndia (Maharashtra)

Type locality: beside a dry stream surrounded by dense forest, at Mahabaleshwar (17.545 N, 73.403 E; 1,377 m elevation), Satara district, Maharashtra, India  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: BNHS 2456, adult male; collected by hand at night on 15 November, 2015, on a tree trunk . Paratypes: ZSI-WRC R/1054, ZSI-WRC R/1056 (male), and ZSI-WRC R/1055 (female) share the same data and same locality as the holotype and ZSI-WRC R/1057 (male) and ZSI-WRC R/1058 (female), in the dense forest at Mahabaleshwar (17.553N, 73.391E; 1,291 m asl), Satara district, Maharashtra, India, collected on 15 November, 2015; ZSI-WRC R/1059, ZSI-WRC R/1060 (male), and BNHS 2457 (female), Panchgani (17.554N, 73.483E; 1,323 m asl), Satara district, Maharashtra, In- dia, collected on 29 October, 2015. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A medium sized Cnemaspis, SVL less than 37 mm. Dorsal scales on trunk heterogeneous; granular, keeled scales intermixed with large keeled, depressed scales; conical and spine-like tubercles absent on flank; ventral scales larger than dorsal, smooth; 29–30 scales across belly between lowest rows of dorsal scales; three pairs of postmentals, primary larger than others, secondary postmentals touching first and second infralabials; third chinshield smaller than second; 7–8 lamellae on digit I of manus and 9–12 on digit IV, 7–8 on digit I of pes and 10–13 on digit IV; males with three or four femoral pores, pre-anal pore absent; median row of subcaudals smooth, imbricate not enlarged; small triangular tubercles along each side present in both sexes; very small acute, prominent tubercles with small keeled scales on dorsal tail.

Remarks: Cnemaspis ajijae is distinguished from C. girii and from C. flaviventralis by several morphological characters. C. ajijae can easily be distinguished from C. girii by having maximum SVL 37 mm (vs. 35 mm); conical and spine-like tubercles absent on flank (vs. large keeled conical tubercles on flank); 29–30 midventrals (vs. 26–28 midventrals); three pairs of postmentals (vs. two pairs of postmentals); very small acute, prominent tubercles dorsally on tail (vs. large tubercles present on dorsal part of tail); from C. flaviventralis by absence of conical and spine-like tubercles on flank (vs. large keeled conical tubercles present on flanks); 29–30 midventrals (vs. 28–29); 7–8 supralabials (vs. 7–9); 10–13 lamellae on digit IV of pes (vs. 10–12); small tubercles on the tail (vs. large tubercles on the tail).

Comparison: Cnemaspis ajijae can be separated from all its Indian congeners based on a combination of characters including: SVL 37 mm maximum in adults (vs. SVL 61 mm in C. anaikattiensis, 50.6 mm in C. beddomei, 45.1 mm in C. heteropholis, 42.3 mm in C. nilagirica, and 42.7 mm in C. sisparensis); males with femoral pores (vs. absent in C. assamensis, C. beddomei, C. nairi, and C. ornata); males with 3–4 femoral pores (vs. six in C. heteropholis, 5–15 in C. jerdonii, and 15–18 in C. littoralis); pre-anal pores absent in males (vs. present in C. adii, C. andersonii, C. australis, C. beddomei, C. goaensis, C. gracilis, C. monticola, C. nairi, C. ornata, C. otai, C. wicksii, and C. yercaudensis); spine-like tubercles absent on flank (vs. present in C. assamensis, C. goaensis, C. gracilis, C. monticola, C. nilagirica, and C. tropidogaster); dorsal scales on trunk heterogeneous (vs. homogenous in C. adii, C. boiei, C. indica, C. jerdonii, C. kolhapurensis, C. littoralis, C. mysoriensis, C. nilagirica, C. sisparensis, and C. wynadensis); sub-caudal scales not enlarged (vs. enlarged in C. kottiyoorensis, C. monticola, and C. wynadensis); 29–30 midventral scales (vs. 26–27 in C. anaikattiensis); dorsal scales on both fore and hind limbs are weakly carinate (vs. dorsal scales on both foreand hind limbs smooth in C. wicksii); 10–13 lamellae on fourth digit of the pes (vs. 20–21 in C. kottiyoorensis); nostril not in contact with supralabial (vs. nostril in contact with the first supralabial in C. anaikattiensis). Cnemaspis ajijae can be distinguished from C. indraneildasii based on a combination of characters including: scales on flank heterogeneous (vs. flank mostly homogenous); spine-like tubercles absent on flank (vs. spinelike tubercles present on flanks); dorsal scales large (vs. small); 29–30 midventrals (vs. 20); nostrils not in contact with supralabial (vs. nostril connects first supralabial); dorsal scales on limbs weakly carinate (vs. not carinate); 7–8 supralabials to angle of jaw (vs. 8–9); very small acute shape, tubercles on the tail (vs. enlarged pointed tubercle); from C. girii by having maximum SVL 37 mm (vs. SVL less than 35 mm); conical and spine-like tubercles absent on flank (vs. large keeled conical tubercles on flank); 29–30 midventrals (vs. 26–28 midventrals) (Table 6); three pairs of postmentals (vs. two pairs of postmentals); very small acute, prominent tubercles dorsally on tail (vs. large tubercles present on dorsal part of tail); from C. flaviventralis by absence of conical and spinelike tubercles on flank (vs. large keeled conical tubercles present on flanks); 29–30 midventrals (vs. 28–29); 7–8 supralabials (vs. 7–9); 10–13 lamellae on digit IV pes (vs. 10–12) (Table 6); small tubercles on the tail (vs. large tubercles on the tail); from C. limayei by having maximum SVL 37 mm (vs. less than 31 mm); 29–30 midventrals (vs. 26–27); three pairs of postmentals (vs. two pairs of postmentals); males with three or four femoral pores (vs. 4–5 femoral pores) (Table 6). 
CommentHabitat: dense evergreen forest, as well as in the human habitation, beside a dry stream surrounded by dense forest

Sympatry: Hemidactylus sp., Trimeresurus mal- abaricus, Trimeresurus gramineus, Boiga trigonata, Ly- codon aulicus, and L. travancoricus. 
EtymologySpecific epithet is a patronym in honor of Mrs. Ajija Sayyed, mother of the first author. 
References
  • Kwet, A. 2019. Liste der im Jahr 2018 neu beschriebenen Reptilien. Elaphe 2019 (3): 52-72
  • Sayyed A, Pyron RA, Dileepkumar R. 2018. Four new species of the genus Cnemaspis Strauch, (Sauria: Gekkonidae) from the northern Western Ghats, India. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 12(2) [General Section]: 1–29 (e157) - get paper here
 
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