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Cnemaspis anslemi KARUNARATHNA & UKUWELA, 2019

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Anslems’ Day Gecko
Sinhala: nslemge divaseri hoona
Tamil: Anslemvin pahalpalli 
SynonymCnemaspis anslemi KARUNARATHNA & UKUWELA 2019 
DistributionSri Lanka (Samanala Nature Reserve)

Type locality: home garden (bordering forest) in Udamaliboda, Kegalle District, Sabaragamuwa Province, Sri Lanka (6.859728°N, 80.448736°E, WGS1984; elevation 485 m,  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: NMSL.2019.14.01, adult male, 34.4 mm SVL (Fig. 2 in Karunarathna & Ukuwela 2019), collected from a tall, straight tree with good canopy cover around 16.00 hrs) on 25 March 2019 by Suranjan Karunarathna and Kanishka Ukuwela.
Paratypes. NMSL.2019.14.02, adult female, 32.5 mm SVL collected from an old clay house wall (bordering forest) in Udamaliboda, Kegalle District, Sabaragamuwa Province, Sri Lanka (6.869611°N, 80.457069°E, WGS1984; elevation 634 m, around 10.00 hrs) on 26 March 2019 by Suranjan Karunarathna and Kanishka Ukuwela, and NMSL.2019.14.03, adult female, 30.0 mm SVL (Fig. 3) collected from a tall, straight tree with good canopy cover in a home garden (bordering the forest) in Udamaliboda, Kegalle District, Sabaragamuwa Province, Sri Lanka (6.859728°N, 80.448736°E, WGS1984; elevation 485 m, around 14.00 hrs), on 27 March 2019 by Suranjan Karunarathna and Kanishka Ukuwela. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Cnemaspis anslemi sp. nov. can be readily distinguished from its Sri Lankan congeners by a combination of the following morphological and meristic characteristics, and also color pattern: maximum SVL 34.4 mm; dorsum with homogeneous, smooth granular scales; 2/2 supranasals, one internasal, and 1/1 postnasal present; three enlarged postmentals; postmentals bounded by five chin scales; chin and gular scales smooth, granular, juxtaposed; pectoral and abdominal scales smooth and subimbricate; 3–5 well developed tubercles on posterior flank; 118–122 paravertebral granules linearly arranged; 19–21 belly scales across venter; precloacal pores absent in males, 14–15 femoral pores on each side in males separated by 9–11 unpored interfemoral scales in males, and 2–3 unpored posterior femoral scales in males; 111–117 ventral scales; 87–91 midbody scales; subcaudals smooth, subhexagonal, enlarged, subequal, forming a regular median row; 8–9 supralabials; 8–9 infralabials; 16–17 total lamellae on digit IV of manus, and 20–21 total lamellae on digit IV of pes (Table 1). Dorsal body reticulated brown, black, and white; two large oval patches present on the neck; chin and gular with bright yellow, and femur dirty yellow.

Comparisons with other species. Based on the presence of enlarged hexagonal subcaudal scales C. anslemi sp. nov. can be assigned to the C. podihuna clade sensu Agarwal et al. (2017). However, the new species may be readily differentiated from congeners in this clade as follows: from C. kandambyi Batuwita and Udugampala, 2017, C. molligodai Wickramasinghe and Munindradasa, 2007, and C. podihuna Deraniyagala, 1944 by absence (versus presence) of precloacal pores; from C. alwisi Wickramasinghe and Munindradasa, 2007, C. godagedarai de Silva et al. 2019, C. hitihami Karunarathna et al. 2019, C. kohukumburai Karunarathna et al. 2019, C. phillipsi Manamendra-Arachchi et al. 2007, C. punctata Manamendra-Arachchi et al. 2007, C. rajakarunai Wickramasinghe et al. 2016, and C. rammalensis Vidanapathirana et al. 2014 by the presence of fewer ventral scales (111–117 versus 145–153, 133– 137, 132–135, 131–134, 128–143, 129–137, 146–186, and 186–207, respectively); from C. nilgala Karunarathna et al. 2019 by the presence of more femoral pores (14– 15 versus 7–9); from C. gemunu Bauer et al. 2007 by the presence of a greater number of belly scales (19–21 versus 13–16) and by presence of more paravertebral granules (118–122 versus 79–93); and from C. scalpensis (Ferguson, 1877) by the presence of fewer tubercles on posterior flank (3–5 versus 9–11) and a greater number of paravertebral granules (118–122 versus 102–112).
Among species of the C. kandiana clade sensu Agarwal et al. (2017), C. anslemi sp. nov. differs by the absence (versus presence) of precloacal pores and the presence (versus absence) of clearly enlarged, hexagonal, or subhexagonal subcaudal scales from the following species: C. amith Manamendra-Arachchi et al. 2007, C. butewai Karunarathna et al. 2019, C. gotaimbarai Karunarathna et al. 2019, C. ingerorum Batuwita et al. 2019, C. kallima Manamendra-Arachchi et al. 2007, C. kandiana (Kelaart, 1852), C. kivulegedarai Karunarathna et al. 2019, C. kumarasinghei Wickramasinghe and Munindradasa, 2007, C. latha Manamendra-Arachchi et al. 2007, C. menikay Manamendra-Arachchi et al. 2007, C. nandimithrai Karunarathna et al. 2019, C. pava Manamendra-Arachchi et al. 2007, C. pulchra Manamendra-Arachchi et al. 2007, C. retigalensis Wickramasinghe and Munindradasa, 2007, C. samanalensis Wickramasinghe and Munindradasa, 2007, C. silvula Manamendra-Arachchi et al. 2007, C. tropidogaster (Boulenger, 1885) and C. upendrai Manamendra-Arachchi et al. 2007.

 
CommentHabitat: This species was restricted to tall straight trees with smooth bark and thick canopy cover, and houses with tall clay walls with crevices. These geckos could climb up to 7 m on vertical surfaces of trees (Fig. 5). They were active during the day time (08.00–17.00 h) and, when disturbed, sought ref- uge in tree tops with crevices.

Sympatry: Cnemaspis samanalensis, Cnemaspis sp., Cyrtodactylus triedrus, Cyrtodactylus sp., Gehyra mutilata, Hemidactylus depressus, H. pieresii, H. frenatus, H. parvimaculatus, and Hemiphyllodactylus typus.

Similar species: C. gemunu, C. godagedarai, C. phillipsi, and C. scalpensis. 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is an eponym Latinized (anslemi) in the masculine genitive singular, honoring the veteran Sri Lankan herpetologist Kongahage Anslem Lawrence de Silva (the father of modern herpetology in Sri Lanka) for his valuable contributions to Sri Lankan herpetology and for inspiring the next generation of herpetologists, including the authors. 
References
  • Karunarathna S, Ukuwela KDB. 2019. A new species of dwarf day gecko (Reptilia: Gekkonidae: Cnemaspis) from lower-elevations of Samanala Nature Reserve in Central massif, Sri Lanka. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 13(2) [General Section]: 14–27 (e187) - get paper here
 
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