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Cnemaspis limayei SAYYED, PYRON & DILEEPKUMAR, 2018

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

Type locality: “near a dry stream at Marutiwadi (16.221 N, 73.475 E; 132 m asl), near Phondaghat, Sindhudurg district, Maharashtra, India”  
Reproductionoviparous; gravid females were observed in the months of October and November at the study area. 
TypesHolotype: BNHS 2454 (adult male); collected at night on 12 February, 2015 on a tree branch. Paratypes: BNHS 2455 (female), ZSI-WRC R/1051, ZSI-WRC R/1052 (male) and ZSI-WRC R/1053 (fe- male); same locality as holotype on the tree trunk and on the rocks of a dry stream, collected at the same place and time as holotype. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Small-sized Cnemaspis, SVL less than 31 mm. Dorsal scales on trunk heterogeneous; granular, feebly keeled scales intermixed with large keeled depressed scales; conical and spine-like tubercles absent on flank; ventral scales smooth, larger than dorsal; pre-anal scales larger than ventral; 26–27 scales across the belly between lowest rows of dorsal scales; mental posteriorly pointed; two pairs of postmentals, primary larger than secondary, secondary postmentals touching first and second infralabials; nostrils in narrow contact with supralabial I; seven lamellae on digit I of the manus and 9–11 on digit IV, 7–8 on digit I of the pes, and 10–12 on digit IV. Males with 4–5 femoral pores on each side, pre-anal pores absent. Tail base visibly swollen, median sub-caudal scales not enlarged; one triangular, slightly keeled post-anal, very small tubercles along each side present in both sexes; broadly acute, prominent tubercles with small keeled scales dorsally on tail.

Remarks: Cnemaspis limayei is distinguished from C. girii and C. flaviventralis by the absence of conical and spine-like tubercles on flank, having more femoral pores, and pre-cloacal scales larger than ventral body scales (Table 6). Additionally, C. girii and C. flaviventralis are reported from higher elevations (Mirza et al. 2014; Sayyed et al. 2016), whereas C. limayei is reported at lower elevations ~132 m asl. In this study we did not observe C. girii anywhere except from the Kaas plateau and Chalkewadi plateau, Satara district, Maharashtra, India, suggesting it is endemic to Satara.

Comparison: Cnemaspis limayei sp. nov. can be separated from all its Indian congeners based on a combination of characters including: SVL 30.2 mm maximum in adults (vs. SVL 61.0 mm in C. anaikattiensis, 50.6 mm in C. beddomei, 45.1 mm in C. heteropholis, 41.7 mm in C. kottiyoorensis, 42.3 mm in C. nilagirica, and 42.7 mm in C. sisparensis); femoral pores present in males (vs. absent in C. assamensis, C. beddomei, C. nairi, and C. ornata); 4–5 femoral pores on each side (vs. six in C. heteropholis, 5–15 in C. jerdonii, 15–18 in C. littoralis, and 7–8 in C. sisparensis); spine-like tubercles absent on flank (vs. present in C. assamensis, C. gracilis, C. indraneildasii, C. monticola, C. mysoriensis, C. nilagirica, and C. tropidogaster); pre-anal pores absent (vs. present in C. adii, C. andersonii, C. australis, C. beddomei, C. goaensis, C. gracilis, C. monticola, C. nairi, C. ornata, C. otai, C. tropidogaster, C. wicksii, and C. yercaudensis); median sub-caudal scales not enlarged (vs. enlarged in C. adii, C. australis, C. indica, C. littoralis, C. sisparensis, and C. wynadensis); lamellae under fourth digit of pes 10–12 (vs. 12 in C. indraneildasii and 20–21 in C. kottiyoorensis); dorsal scales on trunk heterogeneous (vs. homogeneous in C. adii, C. boiei, C. indica, C. jerdonii, C. kolhapurensis, C. littoralis, C. mysoriensis, C. nilagirica, and C. wynadensis); midventral scales 26–27 (vs. 20–22 in C. heteropholis); two pairs of postmentals (vs. three pairs in C. anaikattiensis); supralabials to angle of jaws 7–9, broadly acute shape, small tubercles intermixed with small keeled scales on tail (vs. supralabials to angle of jaws six, dorsal scales on tail granular and smooth in C. kottiyoorensis).
The new species is similar in general appearance to Cnemaspis girii but differs by absence of conical tubercles on flank (vs. conical tubercles present on flank); forehead, interorbital, and occipital with smaller slightly keeled granular scales, larger tubercles not present (vs. forehead and interorbital region, occipital and temporal region with much smaller, unkeeled, granular scales intermixed with larger tubercles); pre-cloacal scales larger than ventral body scales (vs. pre-cloacal scales and ventral body scales are equal); males with 4–5 femoral pores on each side (vs. males with four femoral pores on each side); nine supralabials to angle of jaws (vs. eight supralabials to angle of jaws); maximum SVL 31 (vs. maximum SVL 35 mm); 10–12 lamellae under fourth digit of pes (vs. 17–20) (Table 6); from C. flaviventralis by having SVL less than 31 mm (vs. maximum SVL 37 mm); conical and spine-like tubercles absent on flank (vs. large keeled conical tubercles present on flanks); 26–27 mid-ventrals (vs. 28–29 midventrals) (Table 6); two pairs of postmentals (vs. three pairs of postmentals); males with 4–5 femoral pores on each side (vs. males with three femoral pores on each side); pre-cloacal scales larger than ventral body scales (vs. pre-cloacal scales same as ventral body scales). 
CommentBehavior: nocturnal (despite its name “Day Gecko”)

Habitat: tree trunks above 1–3 meters above ground, on the rock bed of a dried stream surrounded by forest; walls of houses made of mud and on compound wall structures of stone in Marutiwadi village.

Sympatry: Hemidactylus sp., Eutropis cf. macularia, Ahaetulla nasuta, and Amphiesma beddomei. 
EtymologySpecific epithet is a patronym in honor of Mr. Sunil. B. Limaye, Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) Pune. 
  • 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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