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Cnemaspis boulengeri STRAUCH, 1887

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Con Dao round eyed gecko, Boulenger's Rock Gecko 
SynonymCnemaspis boulengerii STRAUCH 1887
Gonatodes glaucus SMITH 1921 (fide SMITH 1935)
Cnemaspis boulengeri — M. A. SMITH 1935: 76
Cnemaspis boulengerii — KLUGE 1993
Cnemaspis (Cnemaspis) boulengerii — RÖSLER 2000: 62
Cnemaspis boulengerii — NGUYEN et al. 2009 
DistributionVietnam (Poulo Condor), Cochinchina, S Chinese Sea

Type locality: Poulo Condore Island in the South Chinese Sea.  
TypesHolotype: unknown (fide NGUYEN et al. 2009) 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): Cnemaspis is characterized by having slender digits with recurved clawed; two distal phalanges which are compressed, forming an angle with the basal portion of the digits, the lower surface having rows of plates; body more or less depressed; scales granular or tubercular above; tail is more or less cylindrical; pupils rounded; eyelid distinct all around the eye; males with or without precloacal or femoral pores; a well developed hypoischium, post-anal bones and sacs, and a reduced hyoid apparatus, with only one pair of basibranchials; the presence of three or four sternal ribs; interclavicles well developed and cruciform (in the Oriental species) or much reduced and with only a very small transverse arm (in the African species); adhesive toe pads absent (in the Oriental species) or present (in the African species); leaf toes and paraphalanges absent, having diurnal habits predominantly (Smith 1935; Gamble et al. 2012, Sayyed et al. 2019).

Diagnosis: Maximum SVL 69.0 mm; 8–10 supralabials; six or seven infralabials; smooth ventral scales; no precloacal pores; 32–38 paravertebral tubercles; tubercles linearly arranged especially on upper flanks; lateral caudal furrows absent, dorsal caudal furrow weak; caudal tubercles restricted to a single paravertebral row; subcaudals smooth, bearing a medial row of enlarged scales; one postcloacal tubercle on each side; smooth, enlarged, plate-like femoral and subtibial scales; enlarged submetatarsal scales on first toe; 25–32 subdigital fourth toe lamellae; dorsal surfaces unicolor tan; large, subcircular black spots on shoulders and nape; and thin, yellow reticulation on side of neck (Tables 6,7 in Grismer et al. 2014). 
CommentType species: Cnemaspis boulengerii STRAUCH 1887 is the type species of the genus Cnemaspis STRAUCH 1887. “The genus Cnemaspis... the members of which are distinguished from other gekkonids in possessing a suite of characteristics, including round pupil, non-dilated clawed digits, a distinct eye-lid-structure around the eyes and diurnal habits.” (DAS 1993). Note that this diagnosis is only valid in Southeast Asia.

Characters: Karunarathna et al. 2019 provide a table of characters of all 36 Sri Lankan species. See Murthy et al. 2019 for a table of Femoral and Preanal Pore patterns, as well as dorsal scalation and spinal tubercles in the genus.

Behavior: While most Cnemaspis species are diurnal some are nocturnal (Nguyen et al. 2020).

Key: Amarasinghe & Karunarathna 2020, and Amarasinghe et al. 2021 provide a key to diminutive day geckos of the genus Cnemaspis in Sri Lanka. Karunarathna et al. 2021: 203 provide a table or morphological characters across Sri Lankan Cnemaspis. Iskandar et al. 2017 have a key to the “diminiutive” Cnemaspis from South-East Asia.

Groups: Cnemaspis has been divided into several groups, including the siamensis group which had 13 species in 2022 (Rujirawan et al. 2022) and 14 species listed by Ampai et al. 2023 (see C. siamensis for details). Agarwal et al. 2017 defined the kandiana and podihuna clades in Sri Lanka. Cyriac et al. 2020 found 7 clades among Indian Cnemaspis: the goaensis, gracilis, indica, giri, littoralis, wynadensis, and the “Southern Western Ghats” clades.

Habitat: for habitat data across species of the genus Cnemaspis in Sri Lanka see Amarasinghe et al. 2021: Table 4. 
EtymologyNamed after George Albert Boulenger (1858-1937), herpetologist at the British Museum of Natural History, London. 
  • Amarasinghe, A. T., Karunarathna, S., Madawala, M., & de Silva, A. 2021. TWO NEW RUPICOLOUS DAY GECKOS OF THE Cnemaspis alwisi GROUP (REPTILIA: GEKKONIDAE) FROM SRI LANKA. TAPROBANICA, 10 (1): pp. 23–38 - get paper here
  • Amarasinghe, A.A.T. & S. Karunarathna 2020. A new diminutive day gecko species of the genus Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887 (Reptilia: Gekkonidae) from Pilikuttuwa, near the capital of Sri Lanka. TAPROBANICA 9 (1): 71-82 - get paper here
  • Ampai N, Rujirawan A, Yodthong S, Termprayoon K, Stuart BL, Wood Jr PL, Aowphol A 2022. Hidden diversity of rock geckos within the Cnemaspis siamensis species group (Gekkonidae, Squamata): genetic and morphological data from southern Thailand reveal two new insular species and verify the phylogenetic affinities of C. chanardi and C. kam ZooKeys 1125: 115–158 - get paper here
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Bobrov V.V., Semenov D.V. 2008. Lizards of Vietnam [in Russian]. Moscow, 236 pp.
  • Bobrov, V. V. 1995. Checklist and bibliography of lizards of Vietnam. Smithsonian Herp. Inf. Serv. (105): - get paper here
  • Das I 1994. Cnemaspis gordongekkoi, a new gecko from Lombok, Indonesia, and the biogeography of oriental species of Cnemaspis (Squamata: Sauria: Gekkonidae). Hamadryad 18: 1-9 [1993] - get paper here
  • Das, I. 2005. Revision of the Genus Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887 (Sauria: Gekkonidae), from the Mentawai and Adjacent Archipelagos off Western Sumatra, Indonesia, with the Description of Four New Species. Journal of Herpetology 39 (2): 233–247 - get paper here
  • Das, I. & Grismer, L.L. 2003. Two new species of Cnemaspis Strauch 1887 (Squamata, Gekkonidae) from the Seribuat Archipelago, Pahang and Johor States, West Malaysia. Herpetologica 59 (4): 544-552 - get paper here
  • Grismer, J.L.; Grismer, L.L. & Chav T. 2010. New Species of Cnemaspis Strauch 1887 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Southwestern Cambodia. Journal of Herpetology 44 (1): 28–36 - get paper here
  • Grismer, L. Lee; Chan K. Onn; Nasir, N. & Sumontha, M. 2008. A new species of karst dwelling gecko (genus Cnemaspis Strauch 1887) from the border region of Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia. Zootaxa 1875: 51–68 - get paper here
  • GRISMER, L. LEE; MONTRI SUMONTHA, MICHAEL COTA, JESSE L. GRISMER, PERRY L. WOOD, JR., OLIVIER S. G. PAUWELS & KIRATI KUNYA 2010. A revision and redescription of the rock gecko Cnemaspis siamensis (Taylor 1925) (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Peninsular Thailand with descriptions of seven new species. Zootaxa 2576: 1–55 - get paper here
  • Grismer, L.L. & Das, I. 2006. A new species of gekkonid lizard of the genus Cnemaspis STRAUCH 1887 from Pulau Pemanggil, Johor, West Malaysia. Herpetological Natural History 10 (1): 1-7 - get paper here
  • Grismer, L.L. & Ngo, V.T. 2007. Four new species of the gekkonid genus Cnemaspis Strauch 1887 (Reptilia: Squamata) from Southern Vietnam. Herpetologica 63 (4): 482-500 - get paper here
  • Grismer, L.L.; PERRY JR L. WOOD, SHAHRUL ANUAR, AWAL RIYANTO, NORHAYATI AHMAD, MOHD A. MUIN, MONTRI SUMONTHA, JESSE L. GRISMER, CHAN KIN ONN, EVAN S. H. QUAH, OLIVIER S. A. PAUWELS 2014. Systematics and natural history of Southeast Asian Rock Geckos (genus Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887) with descriptions of eight new species from Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia. Zootaxa 3880 (1): 001–147 - get paper here
  • Karunarathna S, de Silva A, Botejue M, Gabadage D, Somaratna L, Hettige A, Aberathna N, Madawala M, Edirisinghe G, Perera N, Wickramaarachchi S, Surasinghe T, Karunarathna N, Wickramasinghe M, Ukuwela KDB, Bauer AM. 2019. Three new species of day geckos (Reptilia: Gekkonidae: Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887) from isolated granite cave habitats in Sri Lanka. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 13(2) [General Section]: 323–354 (e216)
  • Karunarathna, S., De Silva, A., Gabadage, D., Botejue, M., Madawala, M., & Ukuwela, K. D. 2021. A new species of day gecko (Reptilia, Gekkonidae, Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887) from Sri Lanka with an updated ND2 gene phylogeny of Sri Lankan and Indian species. Zoosystematics and Evolution, 97: 191-209 - get paper here
  • Nguyen, H.N., Hung, C., Yang, M. et al. 2020. Sympatric competitors have driven the evolution of temporal activity patterns in Cnemaspis geckos in Southeast Asia. Sci Rep 10: 27 - get paper here
  • Nguyen, S.V., Ho, C.T. and Nguyen, T.Q. 2009. Herpetofauna of Vietnam. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 768 pp.
  • Rösler, H. 2000. Kommentierte Liste der rezent, subrezent und fossil bekannten Geckotaxa (Reptilia: Gekkonomorpha). Gekkota 2: 28-153
  • SAYYED, AMIT; L. LEE GRISMER, PATRICK D CAMPBELL, RAVEENDRAN DILEEPKUMAR 2019. Description of a cryptic new species of Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from the Western Ghats of Kerala State of India. Zootaxa 4656 (3): 501–514 - get paper here
  • Smith, M.A. 1921. Reptiles and Batrachians collected on Pulo Condore. J. Nat. Hist. Soc. Siam 4: 93-97 [1920] - get paper here
  • Smith, M.A. 1935. The fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Reptiles and Amphibia, Vol. II. Sauria. Taylor and Francis, London, 440 pp.
  • Strauch, A. A. 1887. Bemerkungen über die Geckoniden-Sammlung im zoologischen Museum der kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu St. Petersburg. Mém. Acad. Impér. Sci. St.-Pétersbourg, ser. 7, 35 (2): 1-72 - get paper here
  • WOOD, PERRY JR. L.; EVAN S.H. QUAH, SHAHRUL ANUAR M.S., MOHD ABDUL MUIN 2013. A new species of lowland karst dwelling Cnemaspis Strauch 1887 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from northwestern Peninsular Malaysia. Zootaxa 3691 (5): 538–558 - get paper here
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