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Hemidactylus graniticolus AGARWAL, GIRI & BAUER, 2011

IUCN Red List - Hemidactylus graniticolus - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymHemidactylus graniticolus AGARWAL, GIRI & BAUER 2011 
DistributionIndia (S Karnataka, N Tamil Nadu, S Andhra Pradesh)

Type locality: hills near Harohalli, Bangalore Rural District, Karnataka, India (12°40’57.97’’N, 77°29’21.30’’E, 913 m elevation) Map legend:
Type locality - Type locality.
TDWG region - Region according to the TDWG standard, not a precise distribution map.

NOTE: TDWG regions are generated automatically from the text in the distribution field and not in every cases it works well. We are working on it.
 
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: BNHM 1850, adult female, Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS); collected on 9 June 2008 by I. Agarwal, V. Mistry, N. Page and P. Chanchani.
Paratypes. BNHS, BMNH 
CommentDiagnosis. A large sized Hemidactylus, snout-vent to at least 110.6 mm. Dorsal pholidosis heterogeneous, with 16–18 fairly regularly arranged longitudinal rows of subtrihedral, striated tubercles at midbody (Fig. 1). First supralabial in broad contact with nasal. Two well-developed pairs of postmentals, the inner pair longer than the outer pair and mental, and in broad contact behind the mental. Ventrolateral folds distinct, about 40–46 scale rows across venter. 12–13 enlarged, divided scansors beneath fourth digit and 9–10 (rarely 11) beneath first digit of both manus and pes. 23–28 femoral pores on each side separated by one to three poreless scales in males. Original tail depressed, oval in transverse section with a median dorsal furrow; scales on the tail slightly larger than dorsals of body, striated, imbricate, with a longitudinal series of two enlarged, weakly keeled, striated, flattened tubercles on either side of the median dorsal furrow. Body dorsum with a series of pale saddles from occiput to sacrum, tail with distinct alternating light and dark bands. Hemidactylus graniticolus sp. nov. may be distinguished from all other Indian and Sri Lankan congeners on the basis of (taxa with differing or non-overlapping character states indicated parenthetically): dorsum with coni- cal, granular, striated scales intermixed with enlarged, fairly regularly arranged, longitudinal rows of 16–18 sub-tri- hedral, weakly keeled, striated tubercles (dorsum with small granules usually intermixed with scattered, rounded, feebly keeled or conical tubercles in H. frenatus Schlegel; enlarged dorsal tubercles usually few or sometimes absent in H. leschenaultii Duméril & Bibron; dorsum with very few enlarged tubercles, more often absent alto- gether in H. flaviviridis; small, uniform, granular dorsal scales except along the sides where they may form a single line of larger rounded tubercles in H. garnotii Duméril & Bibron; no enlarged dorsal tubercles in H. anamallensis (Günther), H. giganteus Stoliczka, H. platyurus (Schneider) and H. aquilonius McMahan & Zug; dorsum with uni- form, imbricate, scales in H. scabriceps (Annandale) and H. imbricatus (Bauer, Giri, Greenbaum, Jackman, Dharne & Shouche), 23–28 femoral pores on each side in males (9–13 precloacal pores in H. persicus Anderson; angular series of 6 precloacal pores in H. porbandarensis Sharma; 6 precloacal pores in H. gracilis Blanford; 6-12 precloa- cal pores in H. reticulatus Beddome; 7–10 precloacal pores in H. albofasciatus Grandison & Soman; and 4–6 pre- cloacal pores in H. sataraensis Giri & Bauer, 7–16 femoral pores on each side in H. brookii Gray and parvimaculatus Deraniyagala; 6–14 femoral pores on each side in H. lankae Deraniyagala, H. subtriedrus Jerdon and H. triedrus (Daudin); 14 femoral pores in H. treutleri Mahony; 12–14 femoral pores on each side in H. gujarat- ensis Giri, Bauer, Vyas & Patil; 16–19 femoral pores on each side in H. depressus Gray). Hemidactylus graniticolus sp. nov. may also be distinguished from all the above mentioned species on the basis of its large size (adult SVL to at least 110.6 mm). The only four Indian and Sri Lanka congeners that grow beyond 100 mm SVL are H. aaronbaueri Giri, H. prashadi, H. maculatus and H. hunae. H. aaronbaueri can be distinguished from Hemidactylus graniticolus sp. nov. by the presence of 15–19 femo- ral pores on each side separated by 6 poreless scales in males (vs. 23–28 femoral pores on each side separated by 1–3 poreless scales in males) and 18–20 rows of irregularly arranged, enlarged, rounded and feebly keeled tuber- cles on dorsum (vs. 16–18 rows of fairly regularly arranged sub-trihedral, weakly keeled, striated tubercles on dor- sum). H. prashadi can be distinguished from the new species by the presence of 17–20 femoral pores separated by 3 poreless scales in H. prashadi (vs. 23–28 femoral pores on each side separated by 1–3 poreless scales in males) and lamellae beneath first toe 8 and fourth toe 10 (vs. lamellae beneath first toe 9–11 and fourth toe 12–13). The new species is similar in size and general appearance to Hemidactylus maculatus, but differs with respect to (H. maculatus versus H. graniticolus sp. nov.): dorsal pholidosis (back with small juxtaposed, conical, granular scales and large trihedral tubercles arranged in 20 fairly regular longitudinal rows versus back with conical, granu- lar, striated scales intermixed with enlarged, fairly regularly arranged, longitudinal rows of 16–18 sub-trihedral, weakly keeled, striated tubercles (Fig. 2)); dorsal pholidosis of tail (small, irregular, more or less pointed, keeled scales and a series of six or eight large, keeled, trihedral tubercles versus small, imbricate, striated scales and a series of four enlarged, keeled and weakly striated and flattened tubercles (Fig. 3)); femoral pores in males (16–19 femoral pores on each side with a gap of 5 to 9 scales versus 23–28 femoral pores on each side separated by 1–3 scales (Fig. 4)); colouration (brown above with darker spots, dorsal pattern with a series of dark, transverse undulating crossbars versus dorsal pattern with a series of alternating broad pale saddle-markings and narrower, darker, interspaces; no scattered dark spots. The new species most closely resembles the Sri Lankan Hemidactylus hunae, but differs with respect to (H. hunae versus H. graniticolus sp. nov.): dorsal pholidosis of tail (a series of six large, keeled, pointed/recurved tubercles, dorsolateral rows largest versus a series of four enlarged, keeled, weakly striated and flattened tubercles, dorsolateral row absent; femoral pores in males (22–24 femoral pores on each side with a gap of 3–6 scales versus 23–28 femoral pores on each side separated by 1–3 scales) [from AGARWAL et al. 2011]. 
EtymologyThe species is named for the conspicuous granite rock formations upon which it lives. The specific epithet is a masculine adjective. 
References
  • AGARWAL, ISHAN;VARAD B. GIRI & AARON M. BAUER 2011. A new cryptic rock-dwelling Hemidactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from south India. Zootaxa 2765: 21–37 - get paper here
  • Ganesh, S. R.; M. Arumugam 2016. Species Richness of Montane Herpetofauna of Southern Eastern Ghats, India: A Historical Resume and a Descriptive Checklist Russ. J. Herpetol. 23 (1): 7-24
 
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