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Cnemaspis sisparensis (THEOBALD, 1876)

IUCN Red List - Cnemaspis sisparensis - Near Threatened, NT

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Sispara Day Gecko 
SynonymGymnodactylus maculatus BEDDOME 1870 (non G. maculatus STEINDACHNER 1867)
Gymnodactylus sisparensis THEOBALD 1876: 86 (nomen novum)
Gonatodes sisparensis – BOULENGER 1885: 66
Gonatodes bireticulatus ANNANDALE 1915: 344
Cnemaspis sisparensis — SMITH 1935: 69
Cnemaspis sisparensis — WERMUTH 1965: 17
Cnemaspis sisparensis — KLUGE 1993
Cnemaspis (Cnemaspis) sisparensis — RÖSLER 2000: 63
Cnemaspis anaikattiensis MUKHERJEE et al. 2005
Cnemaspis anaikattiensis — MANAMENDRA-ARACHCHI et al. 2007 
DistributionIndia (Nilghiri Hills, Kerala)

Type locality: Sholakal, near the bottom of the Sispara Ghat, Nilghiri Hills (fide WERMUTH 1965).

anaikattiensis: India (Tamil Nadu); Type locality: Anaikatti Hills (11°05’30.9’’ N and 76° 47’ 36.2’’ E), Western Ghats, Coimbatore district, Tamil Nadu, India.

bireticulatus: India (Tamil Nadu); Type locality: Kavalai, 30 km east from Chalakudy, Thrissur district  
TypesHolotype: BMNH, ZSI 17970
Holotype: ZSI 25601, Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), Kolkata. Adult male; collected by A.M.A. Nixon and Debanik Mukherjee, 17 September 2003. Paratype: ZSI 25602, female, data as holotype [anaikattiensis] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Cnemaspis sisparensis differs from its peninsular Indian and Sri Lankan congeners by a combination of the following characters. Maximum SVL 42.7 mm; paired postmentals widely separated by two medial scales; each postmental bounded by 4 scales including medial scale; dorsal scales homogeneous, isolated and scattered; spine-like tubercles absent on flank; ventrals smooth, imbricate; supralabials to angle of jaws 7 or 8; no preanal pores, 7 or 8 femoral pores; subcaudals smooth; those on median series enlarged, with individual large scales alternating between pairs of smaller ones. 
CommentSynonymy: the two types of C. anaikattiensis and the holotype of Gonatodes bireticulatus indicate that all three specimens are morphologically indistinguishable and are indeed the same species (Cyriac et al. 2020). C. anaikattiensis (superficially) appears similar to C. sisparensis and C. heteropholis of the Western Ghats. MANAMENDRA-ARACHCHI et al. 2007 synonymized this species with C. sisparensis.

NCBI TaxonID: 2838819 [Cnemaspis anaikattiensis] 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality. 
  • Annandale, N. 1915. Herpetological notes and descriptions. Records of the Indian Museum 11: 341-347 - get paper here
  • Beddome, R. H. 1870. Descriptions of new reptiles from the Madras Presidency. Madras Monthly J. Med. Sci., 2: 169-176 [Reprint.: J. Soc. Bibliogr. Nat. Sci., London, 1 (10): 327-334, 1940]
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1885. Catalogue of the lizards in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) I. Geckonidae, Eublepharidae, Uroplatidae, Pygopodidae, Agamidae. London: 450 pp. - get paper here
  • Cyriac,V.P., Palot,M.J., Deuti,K. and Umesh,P.K. 2020. A preliminary 16S rRNA phylogeny of the Indian Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) with the description of two new cryptic species from the C. wynadensis clade. Vertebrate Zoology 70 (2): 171-193; DOI: 10.26049/VZ70-2-2020-06 - 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
  • Mukherjee, D.; Bhupathy, S.; Nixon, A.M.A. 2005. A new species of day gecko (Squamata, Gekkonidae, Cnemaspis) from the Anaikatti Hills, Western Ghats, Tamil Nadu, India. Current Science 89 (8): 1326-1328
  • Palot, M.J. 2015. A checklist of reptiles of Kerala, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 7(13): 8010–8022 - get paper here
  • Rösler, H. 2000. Kommentierte Liste der rezent, subrezent und fossil bekannten Geckotaxa (Reptilia: Gekkonomorpha). Gekkota 2: 28-153
  • 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.
  • Theobald,W. 1876. Descriptive catalogue of the reptiles of British India. Thacker, Spink & Co., Calcutta: xiii + 238 pp. - get paper here
  • Venugopal, P.D. 2010. An updated and annotated list of Indian lizards (Reptilia: Sauria) based on a review of distribution records and checklists of Indian reptiles. Journal of Threatened Taxa 2 (3): 725-738. - get paper here
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