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Cnemaspis kandambyi BATUWITA & UDUGAMPALA, 2017

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos) 
Common Names 
SynonymCnemaspis kandambyi BATUWITA & UDUGAMPALA 2017 
DistributionSri Lanka (Knuckles Range)

Type locality: Meemure, Knuckles Range, 07°26'N, 080°50'E, elevation 450 m msl, Sri Lanka Map legend:
Type locality - Type locality.
TypesHolotype. NMSL WHT 9466, adult male, 21.4 mm SVL. Paratypes. NMSL WHT 9467, adult male, 22.0 mm SVL; same collection data as holotype; NMSL uncatalogued specimen (Fig. 1A), adult male, 23.6 mm SVL; no locality data. 
CommentSimilar species: Cnemaspis podihuna; the record of Cnemaspis podihuna from Pallegama (07°32’N, 080°49’E) by Karunarathna et al. (2011) might belong to C. kandambyi sp. nov.

Sympatry: Three other species of Cnemaspis are known from the Knuckles Range: C. kallima, C. phillipsi and C. punctata (Manamendra-Arachchi et al. 2007).

Diagnosis. Cnemaspis kandambyi sp. nov. (Fig. 1A, B) differs from its peninsular Indian and Sri Lankan congeners by a combination of the following characters: maximum SVL 23.6 mm; three enlarged postmentals; dorsum with homogeneous, unkeeled granular scales; ventral scales smooth, imbricate to subimbricate; gulars, pectoral and abdominal scales smooth; ventral scales across midbody, 16–17; obtuse tubercles on flank; four precloacal pores, 5–6 femoral pores on each side separated from precloacal series by 7–8 unpored scales; subcaudals smooth, median row enlarged, in a regular series (scales subequal in width); supralabials to angle of jaws 7–8; subdigital lamellae on fourth digit of pes, 19–20. Colouration (in life, Fig. 1B) dark brown with diamond shaped dark markings longitudinally on mid-dorsum; lateral sides of neck with distinct black stripes (begin behind eye); ventral side dusky white; ventro-lateral sides of limbs, tail and flanks with blue iridescence.
The new species closely resembles C. podihuna (Fig. 1C) and C. molligodai. From C. podihuna it differs by the presence of 7–8 (versus 3–6) unpored scales separating precloacal and femoral pores, absence (versus presence) of internasal scale, body (axilla to groin) relatively long 47.7–48.3 (versus 38.1–38.7) % of SVL, having dark brown (versus yellowish brown) dorsum colouration and flank, ventro-lateral sides of tail, limbs with blue iridescence (versus bright yellow). Cnemaspis kandambyi sp. nov. further differs from C. podihuna by morphometrically: relatively shorter head length, 23.6–28.0 (versus 28.3–28.8 % of SVL in C. podihuna); relatively long body length, 48.2–48.3 (versus 37.7–38.1) % of SVL; longer tibia length, 16.1–16.7 (versus 14.3– 14.5) % of SVL; and shorter femur length, 17.3–18.7 (versus 19.7–20.6) % SVL.
Cnemaspis kandambyi sp. nov. is distinguished from C. molligodai by the presence of 4 (versus 5) precloacal pores and 4–6 (versus 7–9) femoral pores on each side, precloacal pores not in an inverted V-shaped arrangement (versus in inverted V-shaped arrangement in C. molligodai), and the black lateral stripe on the head and neck begins behind the eye and extends beyond the base of the forearm (versus black lateral stripe not extending beyond the base of the forearm).

Comparisons. Cnemaspis kandambyi sp. nov. differs from following South Asian congeners of Cnemaspis by having homogeneous dorsal scales and presence of unkeeled gular, pectoral and abdominal scales versus having either heterogeneous dorsal scales or/ and keeled ventral scales in Cnemaspis tropidogaster (Boulenger), C. kandiana (Kelaart), C. menikay Manamendra-Arachchi, Batuwita & Pethiyagoda, C. girii Mirza, Pal, Bhosale & Sanap, C. samanalensis Wickramasinghe & Munindradasa, C. retigalensis Wickramasinghe & Munindradasa, C. kumarasinghei Wickramasinghe & Munindradasa, C. latha Manamendra-Arachchi, Batuwita & Pethiyagoda, C. silvula Manamendra-Arachchi, Batuwita & Pethiyagoda, C. upendrai Manamendra-Arachchi, Batuwita & Pethiyagoda, C. pulchra Manamendra-Arachchi, Batuwita & Pethiyagoda, C. pava Manamendra-Arachchi, Batuwita & Pethiyagoda, C. clivicola Manamendra-Arachchi, Batuwita & Pethiyagoda, C. amith Manamendra- Arachchi, Batuwita & Pethiyagoda, C. goaensis Sharma, C. heteropholis Bauer, C. indraneildasii Bauer, C. andersonii (Annandale), C. monticola Manamendra-Arachchi, Batuwita & Pethiyagoda, C. australis Manamendra- Arachchi, Batuwita & Pethiyagoda, C. nilagirica Manamendra-Arachchi, Batuwita & Pethiyagoda, C. wicksii (Stoliczka) and C. gracilis (Beddome). Cnemaspis kandambyi sp. nov. is distinguished from Cnemaspis scalpensis (Ferguson), C. gemunu Bauer, De Silva, Greenbaum & Jackman, C. phillipsi, C. littoralis (Jerdon) and C. rammalensis Vidanapathirana, Rajeev, Wickramasinghe, Fernando & Wickramasinghe by having 4–6 femoral pores and 4 precloacal pores ((versus 12–18 femoral pores and lacking precloacal pores); from Cnemaspis alwisi Wickramasinghe & Munindradasa and C. molligodai by having 4–6 (versus 7–9) femoral pores; and from Cnemaspis punctata Manamendra-Arachchi, Batuwita & Pethiyagoda by lacking spotted dorsal colouration, having precloacal pores and lesser SVL (versus distinctive spotted dorsal colouration, lacking precloacal pores and greater SVL). The new species differs from Cnemaspis podihuna by having 7–8 unpored scales in precloacal- femoral pores scale row (versus 5–6) (see diagnosis). Cnemaspis indica (Gray), C. nairi Inger, Marx & Koshy, C. otai Das & Bauer, C. yercaudensis Das & Bauer, C. sisparensis (Theobald), C. kolhapurensis Giri, Bauer & Gaikwad, and C. wynadensis (Beddome) differ from C. kandambyi sp. nov. by the absence of obtuse tubercles on flank (versus obtuse tubercles present in C. kandambyi sp. nov.). The new species also differs from following species by having both femoral and precloacal pores: Cnemaspis jerdonii (Theobald) (lacks precloacal pores), C. boiei (Gray) (no pores), C. ornata (Beddome) (lacking femoral pores), and C. beddomei (Theobald) (lacking femoral pores). Cnemaspis kandambyi sp. nov. distinguished from C. mysoriensis (Jerdon) in having 5–6 (versus 2–3) femoral pores.

Habitat: The new species was observed in large trees with epiphytes (Dendrobium sp.) in the Meemure area (07°26’N, 80°50’E; ~ 450 m msl) in the Knuckles Range (Fig. 3). Cnemaspis kandambyi sp. nov. is arboreal.

Behavior: diurnal. 
EtymologyThe species name is a patronym in the Latin genitive singular, in honour of Dharma Sri Kandamby (Former Curator of the vertebrate section of the National Museum of Sri Lanka [1982-2012]), for his contributions to the herpetology of Sri Lanka and for his guidance to both authors. 
  • Batuwita, Sudesh; SAMPATH UDUGAMPALA 2017. Description of a new species of Cnemaspis (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Knuckles Range of Sri Lanka. Zootaxa 4254 (1): 082–090 - get paper here
  • Karunarathna, D. M. S. S., A. A. T. Amarasinghe, U. T. I. Abeywardena, M. D. C. Asela, H. B. Jayaneththi and P. L. Madurapperuma 2010. Some observations of Cnemaspis podihuna Deraniyagala, 1944 (Reptilia: Gekkonidae) Sri Lanka. Gekko 6 (1): 23-29 - get paper here
  • Manamendra-Arachchi, Kelum; Batuwita, Sudesh & Pethiyagoda, Rohan 2007. A taxonomic revision of the Sri Lankan day-geckos (Reptilia: Gekkonidae: Cnemaspis), with description of new species from Sri Lanka and southern India. Zeylanica 7 (1): 9-122
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