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Cnemaspis bangara AGARWAL, THACKERAY, PAL & KHANDEKAR, 2020

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Golden banded dwarf gecko 
SynonymCnemaspis bangara AGARWAL, THACKERAY, PAL & KHANDEKAR 2020: 11 
DistributionIndia (Karnataka)

Type locality: near Aadima Theatre, Paparajanahalli village, near Kolar (13.135 N 78.093 E; ca. 1,050 m asl.), Kolar District, Karnataka, India.  
TypesHolotype: BNHS 2584 (AK 292) SVL 39.5 mm, adult male, collected by Akshay Khandekar, Nikhil Gaitonde and Tejas Thackeray on 15 January 2019.
Paratypes: BNHS 2585 (AK 293) SVL 44.0 mm, adult female, BNHS 2586 (AK 294) SVL 31.2 mm, BNHS 2587 (AK 295) SVL 25.7 mm, subadult females, same data as holotype.
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A medium-sized Cnemaspis, snout–vent length up to 44 mm. Dorsal pholidosis heterogeneous, weakly keeled, granular scales intermixed with large, strongly keeled, irregularly arranged conical tubercles; 7–9 tubercles in paravertebral rows; spine-like scales absent on flank. Ventral scales on belly smooth, imbricate, 20 scales across the belly; 116–120 longitudinal scales between mental and anterior border of cloaca; subdigital scansors smooth, entire, unnotched; lamellae under digit IV of pes 19–23. Males with two femoral pores on each thigh, separated by 11 poreless scales on either side from two precloacal pores. Median row of subcaudals smooth, enlarged. Single central black ocellus outlined by orange tubercles on nape, flanked by orange ocellus on either side, tail tip yellow, gular region with pair of dark streaks.

Coloration in life: Dorsal ground color of head, body, limbs and tail gray; head with nu- merous orange blotches, brille dull yellow (Figure 5a). Orange preor- bital streak runs from nostril to orbit; labials dull white without any markings. Two postorbital streaks, upper one light orange, merg- ing with its counterpart from the other orbit to form an indistinct W-shaped zig-zag band on occiput; lower one dark, passing through dark ocellus on lateral side of neck to axilla, a pair of orange blotches on occiput. A single large central black ocellus outlined by orange tubercles at anterior of forelimb insertion which is flanked by or- ange ocellus on either side. Dorsum with four orange midvertebral spots from axilla to tail base which are flanked by four spots of same color on either side to form four indistinct bands; two smaller orange spots on rest of flank. Dorsum of forelimbs with few dark tubercles, hindlimbs with light brown bands, digits with alternating dark and light bands; dorsum of tail with 11 alternating brown and light gray bands, tail tip yellow. Ventral surfaces dull white, mottled with brown under limbs, gular region with a pair of dark streaks below the chin, no dark markings on belly and underside of tail. Pupil black, iris golden.
CommentHabitat: rocky granite hillock with large boulders, pre- dominantly covered by sparse scrub vegetation. The species seems to prefer cooler and shaded areas where the temperature was ~5°C lower than ambient temperature (~30°C).

Sympatry: Cnemaspis mysoriensis, Hemidactylus graniticolus, Hemidactylus giganteus, Hemiphyllodactylus jnana, Eutropis carinata, Eutropis macularia, Lygosoma punctata, Ophisops leschenaultii, Psammophilus dorsalis and Calotes versicolor. 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is the Kannada word for gold, used as a noun in apposition. The name is given for the yellow tail tip of the species and that the type locality of the species is just 27 km straight-line distance from the largest gold mine in India, Kolar Gold Fields. 
  • Agarwal I, Thackeray T, Pal S, Khandekar A. 2020. Granite boulders act as deep-time climate refugia: A Miocene divergent clade of rupicolous Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from the Mysore Plateau, India, with descriptions of three new species. J Zool Syst Evol Res. 00:1–28 - get paper here
  • AGARWAL, ISHAN; TEJAS THACKERAY, AKSHAY KHANDEKAR 2021. A new medium-sized rupicolous Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) of the C. bangara clade from granite boulder habitats in Krishnagiri, Tamil Nadu, India. Zootaxa 4969: 351–366 - get paper here
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