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Cnemaspis vijayae KHANDEKAR, THACKERAY, & AGARWAL, 2022

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common Names 
SynonymCnemaspis vijayae KHANDEKAR, THACKERAY, & AGARWAL 2022 
DistributionIndia (Karnataka)

Type locality: Honey Valley Estate (12.2146°N, 75.6586°E; elevation ca. 1250 m) near Byllikere peak, Kodagu district, Karnataka state, India.  
ReproductionOviparous; 2-3 eggs per clutch (Khandekar et al. 2022) 
TypesHolotype: NRC-AA-1188 (AK-R 839), adult male, collected by Ishan Agarwal on 2nd December 2018.
Paratypes: NRC-AA-1186 (AK-R 837), BNHS 2815 (AK 599), adult males, NRC-AA-1185 (AK-R 836), NRC-AA-1187 (AK-R 838), adult females, same locality data as holotype except collected by Akshay Khandekar, Ishan Agarwal and Swapnil Pawar on 2nd December 2021. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A small-sized Cnemaspis, snout to vent length less than 36 mm (n=5). Dorsal pholidosis heterogeneous; weakly keeled, granular scales, intermixed with irregularly arranged rows of large, keeled, tubercles on the body; two or three rows of enlarged tubercles on each flank weakly keeled and spine-like; 9–11 rows of dorsal tubercles at mid-body, irregularly arranged rows of paravertebral tubercles between forelimb and hindlimb insertions; ventral scales smooth (rarely keeled n=1), subimbricate, 26–30 scales across belly at mid-body, 118–127 longitudinal scales from mental to cloaca; subdigital scansors smooth, entire, unnotched; 10 or 11 lamellae under digit I of manus and pes, 15 or 16 lamellae under digit IV of manus and 17–19 lamellae under digit IV of pes; males (n=3/5) with three or four femoral pores on thigh, separated by seven or eight poreless scales on either side from three discontinuous precloacal pores, a single precloacal pore on left and two on right side, separated by one or two poreless scale (n=2/3); precloacal pores sometime continuous (n=1/3); each femoral pore bearing scale flanked posteriorly with enlarged spine-like scale; tail with enlarged, strongly keeled, distinctly pointed, conical tubercles forming whorls; median row of sub-caudal scales slightly enlarged, smooth only at anterior half of the tail, rest weakly keeled.
Dorsal ground colour dirty brown with a bright straw-coloured mid-dorsal stripe that extends from occiput to tail in some specimens; dark blotch on nape forming indistinct collar and smaller ocellus just anterior to forelimb insertions; dark markings and light grey blotches on dorsum; original tail with thick mid-dorsal stripe. (KHANDEKAR et al. 2022) 
CommentNatural history: A few individuals were observed during sunny weather between ~0800–1400 hrs at a height of 2–4 m on the walls of a few buildings. The new species is sympatric with two congeners, C. cf. schalleri and C. cf. wynadensis. During the second trip to the type locality in late November, we observed new species in good numbers, predominantly on the building walls above 2–4 m height and sympatric with C. cf. schalleri. (KHANDEKAR et al. 2022) 
EtymologyNamed after late Jagannathan Vijaya (1959–1987), India’s first women herpetologist, for her inspiring contribution towards ecology of rare Indian turtles. 
  • Khandekar A, Thackeray T, Agarwal I 2022. Three new cryptic species of South Asian Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887 (Squamata, Gekkonidae) from Karnataka, India. Vertebrate Zoology 72: 115-142 - get paper here
  • Kwet, A. 2023. Liste der im Jahr 2022 neu beschriebenen Reptilien. Elaphe 2023 (3): 48-73
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