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Cyrtodactylus srilekhae AGARWAL, 2016

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Bangalore Geckoella 
SynonymCyrtodactylus srilekhae AGARWAL 2016
Cyrtodactylus srilekhae — NARAYANAN et al. 2022 
DistributionIndia (Karnataka)

Type locality: near Thathaguni, Bangalore Urban District, Karnataka, India  
TypesHolotype: NCBS AQ740, adult male; collected by Seema Shenoy, Arjuna Shankar and Ishan Agarwal, 25 May 2013. Paratypes. ESV 101, adult male; BNHS 2325, adult female; same data as holotype except, collected by Ishan Agarwal, 23 March 2013 & 24 May 2013. NCBS AQ427, adult female, same data as holotype except, collected by Shreya Yadav and Ishan Agarwal, 07 December 2015. ESV 102, adult male, Nandi Hills, Chikkaballapur District, Karnataka, India collected by Saunak Pal, 01 August 2013. CES09/1538 tissue sample and photographs only; Devarayandurga, Tumkur District, Karnataka, India, collected by Aniruddha Datta-Roy, 10 March 2015. NCBS AQ510, juvenile, Savandurga, Ramanagara District, Karnataka, India; collected by Akshay Khandekar, 31 July 2016. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Cyrtodactylus srilekhae sp. nov. can be distinguished from all congeners, excluding other members of the C. collegalensis complex by the following characters: adult SVL up to 50.0 mm; homogeneous dorsal scalation of small, rounded, granules; absence of femoral and precloacal pores; absence of enlarged precloacal or femoral scales, no precloacal groove; 3 rows of dark markings on dorsum between hindlimb insertions, the first and third consisting of paired irregular blotches and the second row broken into three spots; post-occipital collar broken into a pair of spots, and five separated spots on the crown. Cyrtodactylus srilekhae sp. nov. can be differentiated from the Sri Lankan C. yakhuna Deraniyagala by dorsal colour pattern (3 pairs of spots from behind occiput to between hindlimb insertion, the central pair broken into three spots vs. 1–2 rows of spots/bands) and dorsal scalation (entirely homogeneous vs. presence of few enlarged scales near hindlimbs). The new species is most closely related to C. collegalensis, C. speciosus, C. varadgirii, and the new form from Andhra Pradesh, described below. Cyrtodactylus srilekhae sp. nov has a dorsal pattern of three rows of spots from behind occiput to between hindlimb insertion, which separates it from C. speciosus (2 bands on dorsum) and C. varadgirii (4–6 pairs of spots on dorsum). The new species can also be differentiated from Cyrtodactylus speciosus by its shorter forelimbs (FL/ SVL 0.164 ± 0.001 vs. 0.153 ± 0.001), and from C. varadgirii by the absence of a patch of enlarged roughly hexagonal scales on the canthus rostralis and beneath the angle of the lower jaw (vs. the presence of these enlarged scales in C. varadgirii). Cyrtodactylus srilekhae sp. nov shares a dorsal colour pattern of three rows of spots with C. collegalensis, but can be distinguished from C. collegalensis by the second row of dorsal spots usually broken into a small central spot with two or more indistinct blotches laterally (vs. two relatively symmetric spots in second dorsal row), second row of spots opening onto flanks (vs. second row of spots closed on dorsum or above flanks), the occipital collar (usually divided medially into two small spots or deeply notched, usually separated from postocular streak vs. notched or incompletely divided, usually connected to postocular streak in C. collegalensis). Cyrtodactylus srilekhae sp. nov also has slightly longer forelimbs (FL/SVL 0. 164 ± 0.002 vs. 0.152 ± 0.015), and the nostril relatively closer to the tip of the snout (NE/SE 0.739 ± 0.015 vs. 0.696 ± 0.015; Fig. 3). Cyrtodactylus srilekhae sp. nov is genetically most similar to the new species from Andhra Pradesh, comparisons between the two follow the species description of the latter.
CommentSympatry: Cnemaspis mysoriensis, Hemidactylus frenatus, H. parvimaculatus, H. leschenaultii, H. triedrus..

Habitat: deciduous and scrub forest habitats along the southern edge of the Mysore Plateau. 
EtymologyThe species is named after the author’s mother, Srilekha Agarwal (pronounced Sree-lay-khaa), “for inspiring and nurturing my interest in the natural world. It is also fitting that I first saw this new species at her house, which is at the type locality.” The specific epithet is used as a noun in the genitive case. 
  • Agarwal I, Thackeray T, Khandekar A 2023. Two new spotted species of the Cyrtodactylus (Geckoella) collegalensis (Beddome, 1870) complex from the south-eastern coast of India (Reptilia: Squamata). Vertebrate Zoology 73: 475-498 - get paper here
  • AGARWAL, ISHAN 2016. Two new species of ground-dwelling Cyrtodactylus (Geckoella) from the Mysore Plateau, south India. Zootaxa 4193 (2): 228-244 - get paper here
  • Ganesh, S.R.; A. Kalaimani, P. Karthik, N. Baskaran, R. Nagarajan & S.R.Chandramouli 2018. Herpetofauna of Southern Eastern Ghats, India – II From Western Ghats to Coromandel Coast. Asian Journal of Conservation Biology, July 2018. Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 28-45 - get paper here
  • Grismer, L. L., Wood, P. L., Poyarkov, N. A., Le, M. D., Kraus, F., Agarwal, I., ... & Grismer, J. L. 2021. Phylogenetic partitioning of the third-largest vertebrate genus in the world, Cyrtodactylus Gray, 1827 (Reptilia; Squamata; Gekkonidae) and its relevance to taxonomy and conservation. Vertebrate Zoology 71: 101–154 - get paper here
  • Narayanan, S., Das, S., Balan, A., Tom, R., Divakar, N., Kp, R., Hopeland, P. & Deepak, V. 2022. A new species of Cyrtodactylus (Reptilia: Gekkonidae) from the southern Western Ghats of India. Vertebrate Zoology, 72: 729-743 - get paper here
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