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Cnemaspis tropidogaster (BOULENGER, 1885)

IUCN Red List - Cnemaspis tropidogaster - Data Deficient, DD

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Rough-bellied Day Gecko 
SynonymGonatodes kandianus forma tropidogaster BOULENGER 1885: 70
Cnemaspis tropidogaster — TAYLOR 1953: 1541
Cnemaspis kandiana – WERMUTH 1965: 14
Cnemaspis tropidogaster — INGER, MARX & KOSHY 1984
Cnemaspis tropidogaster — KLUGE 1993
Cnemaspis (Cnemaspis) tropidogaster — RÖSLER 2000: 63
Cnemaspis tropidogaster — KARUNARATHNA & AMARASINGHE 2011 
DistributionSri Lanka, SW India (Kerala), elevation up to 1300 m.

Type locality: restricted to Ceylon (= Sri Lanka)  
TypesLectotype: BMNH; Syntypes: BMNH; NMSL (fide MENDIS WICKRAMASINGHE & MUNINDRADASA 2007, but the NMSL types are invalid, fide T. Amarasinghe, pers. comm., 20 Oct 2014) 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A small-sized Cnemaspis (snout to vent length 28–33 mm in an adult males), which can be distinguished from all known congeners by the following combination of characters: postmentals separated by a small scale; nostrils are not in contact with first supralabial; 5–6 supra labials to angle of mid-orbit position and end of jaw at 8–9 supra labials; 36–38 interorbitals; throat scales keeled; 72–78 dorsal tubercles; dorsal tubercles small, rounded, pentagonal or hexagonal; intermixed with groups of large (3–4 in a transverse row), slightly carinated tubercles at the mid region of the body; lower part of flank with spine-like tubercles; upper part of flank with subconical scales; gular scales keeled; 28 midventrals; ventral keeled and imbricate; mid subcaudals small; 3–5 preanal pores; 4–5 femoral pores on each side; 11–12 subdigital lamellae and 4 basal lamellae in the 4th finger; 11–13 subdigital lamellae and 5 basal lamellae in the 4th toe.

Comparisons: C. tropidogaster is congener with C. samanalensis sp. nov. from morphological characters. However, C. tropidogaster can easily be distinguished from C. samanalensis by the SVL, presence of groups of large scales (3–4) in transverse rows in dorsal body; of presence of non-prominent spine-like tubercles, the intraorbital, dorsal tubercle and ventral counts, and also from morphometric analysis.

Original description reprinted in Amarasinghe et al. 2009. 
CommentGroup: The C. tropidogaster group within Cnemaspis (7 species: Cnemaspis tropidogaster, C. clivicola , C. pava , C. pulchra, C. samanalensis, C. silvula and C. upendrai), is characterized by the presence of both femoral and precloacal pores, mid subcaudal scales large, and rough abdominal scales (Wickramasinghe et al. 2016).

Distribution: C. tropidogaster sensu stricto, earlier reported from India is currently believed to be a Sri Lankan endemic known only from the type specimens (Ganesh et al. 2011).

Phylogenetics: The imprecise type locality of Cnemaspis tropidogaster (Boulenger), the fact that the type series includes a number of different Indian species, and that no extant Sri Lankan populations have been recently assigned to this species mean that Agarwal et al. 2017 were are unable to confirm if any of the Cnemaspis spp. in their phylogeny represent true C. tropidogaster, hence its status remains unclear. 
EtymologyNamed after Greek tropis, tropidos = keel, and gaster = belly, venter, for the keeled throat scales and the lower part of flank with spine-like tubercles. 
  • Amarasinghe, A. A. T., A. M. Bauer, I. Ineich, J. Rudge, M. M. Bahir & D. E. Gabadage 2009. The original descriptions and figures of Sri Lankan gekkonid lizards (Squamata: Gekkonidae) of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Taprobanica 1 (2): 83-106 - get paper here
  • Amarasinghe, A.A. THASUN; PATRICK D. CAMPBELL, MAJINTHA B. MADAWALA, W. MADHAVA S. BOTEJUE, DINESH E. GABADAGE, ANSLEM DE SILVA, D.M.S. SURANJAN KARUNARATHNA 2016. The Re-discovery of live populations of Cnemaspis tropidogaster (Boulenger, 1885) (Sauria, Gekkonidae) from Sri Lanka after 120 years. Zootaxa 4200 (3): - get paper here
  • 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
  • Das, Indraneil & Abhijit Das 2017. A Naturalist’s Guide to the Reptiles of India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. John Beaufoy Publishing Ltd., Oxford, 176 pp.
  • Inger R F; Marx H; Koshy M 1984. An undescribed species of gekkonid lizard (Cnemaspis) from India with comments on the status of C. tropidogaster. Herpetologica 40 (2): 149-154 - get paper here
  • Inger, Robert F.;Shaffer, H. Bradley;Koshy, Mammen;Bakde, Ramesh 1984. A report on a collection of amphibians and reptiles from the Ponmudi, Kerala, South India. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 81 (3): 551-570 - get paper here
  • Karunarathna, Suranjan D. M. S. and A. A. Thasun Amarasinghe 2011. A PRELIMINARY SURVEY OF THE REPTILE FAUNA IN NILGALA FOREST AND ITS VICINITY, MONARAGALA DISTRICT, SRI LANKA. Taprobanica 3 (2): 69-76 - get paper here
  • Karunarathna, Suranjan; Nikolay A. Poyarkov, Anslem de Silva, Majintha Madawala, Madhava Botejue, Vladislav A. Gorin, Thilina Surasinghe, Dinesh Gabadage, Kanishka D.B. Ukuwela & Aaron M. Bauer 2019. Integrative taxonomy reveals six new species of day geckos of the genus Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887 (Reptilia: Squamata: Gekkonidae) from geographically-isolated hill forests in Sri Lanka. Vertebrate Zoology 69 (3): 247–298 - 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
  • Rathnayake, Nimal D. 2004. The Sri Lankan Day-Geckos of the Genus Cnemaspis. Gekko 4 (1): 39-44
  • Rösler, H. 2000. Kommentierte Liste der rezent, subrezent und fossil bekannten Geckotaxa (Reptilia: Gekkonomorpha). Gekkota 2: 28-153
  • Somaweera, R. & Somaweera, N. 2009. Lizards of Sri Lanka: a colour guide with field keys. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 304 pp.
  • Taylor, E.H. 1953. A review of the lizards of Ceylon. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 35 (12): 1525-1585 - 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
  • VIDANAPATHIRANA, DULAN RANGA; M. D. GEHAN RAJEEV, NETHU WICKRAMASINGHE, SAMANTHA SURANJAN FERNANDO & L. J. MENDIS WICKRAMASINGHE & L. J. MENDIS WICKRAMASINGHE 2014. Cnemaspis rammalensis sp. nov., Sri Lanka’s largest day-gecko (Sauria: Gekkonidae: Cnemaspis) from Rammalakanda Man and Biosphere Reserve in southern Sri Lanka. Zootaxa 3755 (3): 273–286 - get paper here
  • Wermuth, H. 1965. Liste der rezenten Amphibien und Reptilien. Gekkonidae, Pygopodidae, Xantusiidae. Das Tierreich (80): 1—246
  • WICKRAMASINGHE, L. J. MENDIS; DULAN RANGA VIDANAPATHIRANA, R. M. GAYAN PRIYANKARA RATHNAYAKE 2016. Cnemaspis rajakarunai sp. nov., a rock dwelling day-gecko (Sauria: Gekkonidae: Cnemaspis) from Salgala, an unprotected lowland rainforest in Sri Lanka. Zootaxa 4168 (1): 092–108 - get paper here
  • Wickramasinghe, L.J. MENDIS; & D. A. I. MUNINDRADASA 2007. Review of the genus Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887 (Sauria: Gekkonidae) in Sri Lanka with the description of five new species. Zootaxa 1490: 1-63 - get paper here
  • Ziesmann, S.; Janzen, P. & Klaas, P. 2007. Die Vielfalt der Geckos [Sri Lankas]. Draco 7 (30): 38-44 - get paper here
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