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Cnemaspis yelagiriensis AGARWAL, THACKERAY, PAL & KHANDEKAR, 2020

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Yelagiri dwarf gecko 
SynonymCnemaspis yelagiriensis AGARWAL, THACKERAY, PAL & KHANDEKAR 2020: 20 
DistributionIndia (Tamil Nadu)

Type locality: Yelagiri Hills (12.600°N, 78.633°E; ca. 920 m asl.), Vellore District, Tamil Nadu, India  
TypesHolotype: NCBS-BH692 (AK 831), SVL 41 mm, adult male, collected by Akshay Khandekar, Ishan Agarwal, Swapnil Pawar and Tejas Thackeray on 03 June 2019.
Paratypes: NCBS-BH693 (AK 828) SVL 40 mm, NCBS-BH694 (AK 829) SVL 39.2 mm, NCBS-BH695 (AK 832) SVL 40 mm, adult males; NCBS-BH696 (AK 833) SVL 37.6 mm, adult female; NCBS-BH697 (AK 830) SVL 25.7 mm juvenile female, same data as holotype. NCBS-BH698 (AK 673), SVL 43.2 mm, adult female, same locality as holotype except collected by Akshay Khandekar, Ishan Agarwal and Achyuthan Srikanthan on 15 April 2019.
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A medium-sized Cnemaspis, snout–vent length to 43 mm. Dorsal pholidosis heterogeneous, weakly keeled, granular scales intermixed with large, strongly keeled, conical tubercles; eight longitudinal rows of dorsal tubercles, 14–16 tubercles in paravertebral rows; spinelike scales absent on flank. Ventral scales on belly smooth, imbricate, 23 or 24 scales across the belly, 125–141 longitudinal scales between mental to anterior border of cloaca. Subdigital scansors smooth, entire, unnotched; lamellae under digit IV of pes 22–27. Males with three or four femoral pores on each thigh, separated on either side by 9–11 poreless scales from two continuous precloacal pores. Median row of subcaudals smooth, enlarged. Single central black ocellus within an indistinct cross-bar on nape, distal half of tail orange in juveniles, gular region with pair of dark streaks. 
CommentHabitat: The species was first spotted under a concrete culvert and numerous individuals were later encountered during the day (~0930–1130 hr) on granite boulders along the side of a road lined with large avenue trees (Figure 11c). We did not encounter the species in more exposed granite boulders at a similar elevation.

Sympatry: Calodactylodes aureus, Cnemaspis cf. mysoriensis and Hemidactylus cf. graniticolus. 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is a toponym for Yelagiri hills in Vellore District of Tamil Nadu, the type and only known locality for this species. 
  • Agarwal I, Thackeray T, Pal S, Khandekar A. 2020. Granite boulders act as deep-time climate refugia: A Miocene divergent clade of rupicolous Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from the Mysore Plateau, India, with descriptions of three new species. J Zool Syst Evol Res. 00:1–28 - get paper here
  • AGARWAL, ISHAN; TEJAS THACKERAY, AKSHAY KHANDEKAR 2021. A new medium-sized rupicolous Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) of the C. bangara clade from granite boulder habitats in Krishnagiri, Tamil Nadu, India. Zootaxa 4969: 351–366 - get paper here
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