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Cnemaspis magnifica KHANDEKAR, THACKERAY, PAL & AGARWAL, 2020

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

Type locality: Mookanana resort campus, Hongadahalla village, Sakleshpur (12.781°N, 75.708°E; ca. 570 m asl.), Hassan District, Karnataka, India  
TypesHolotype. NCBS-BH699 (AK 857), SVL 50.7 mm, adult male, collected by Akshay Khandekar, Swapnil Pawar and Tejas Thackeray on 05 June 2019.
Paratypes. NCBS-BH701 (AK 858), SVL 54.2 mm, NCBS-BH702 (AK 859), SVL 47.1 mm, BNHS 2545 (AK 860), SVL 48.5 mm, and BNHS 2546 (AK 861), SVL 58.0 mm, adult males; NCBS-BH700 (AK 856), SVL 56.7 mm, BNHS 2547 (AK 855), SVL 52.8 mm, adult females; same data as holotype. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A large-sized Cnemaspis, snout-vent length upto 58 mm. Dorsal scales on trunk heterogeneous, smooth, oval, granular scales intermixed with enlarged, irregularly arranged, weakly keeled, conical tubercles; tubercles on dorsolateral aspect of flanks more pronounced and conical than those on vertebral and paravertebral rows; spine-like scales absent on flanks. Ventral scales on belly smooth, imbricate, 24–26 scales across the belly, 133–160 longitudinal scales between mental to anterior border of cloaca. Subdigital scansors smooth, entire except for 2–4 proximal scansors on digit I–V of both manus and pes which are divided, unnotched; 22–25 lamellae under digit IV of manus and 24–28 lamellae under digit IV of pes. Males with six or seven femoral pores on each thigh separated by 15 or 16 poreless scales; dorsal pholidosis of tail homogenous, composed of small, smooth, regularly arranged, flattened, subimbricate scales, without whorls of enlarge tubercles; median row of sub-caudals smooth, enlarged, irregularly arranged with few large scales alternating with smaller scales; postcloacal spur either indistinct or absent. 
CommentActivity period: The new species seems be nocturnal as Khandekar et al. did not find any individuals during daytime (12:00 to 16:00). They observed individuals of the new species emerging from rocky crevices in the evening (18:30) and they were completely out and active by (19:30).

Habitat: All the type specimens were collected from large vertical rocks (~4–6 m in height) along the stream, approximately ~2 m above the ground.

Sympatry: Cnemaspis sp., Eutropis carinata Schneider, Eutropis macularia Blyth. 
EtymologyThe epithet is derived from the Latin magnifico (=magnificent) and is given to this striking species for its large size and conspicuous colour pattern. 
  • KHANDEKAR, AKSHAY; TEJAS THACKERAY, SAUNAK PAL & ISHAN AGARWAL 2020. A new large-bodied, rupicolous Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) allied to Cnemaspis heteropholis Bauer, 2002 from the Central Western Ghats of Karnataka, India. Zootaxa 4801 (1): 057–084 - get paper here
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