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Hemidactylus sataraensis GIRI & BAUER, 2008

IUCN Red List - Hemidactylus sataraensis - Vulnerable, VU

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesSatara gecko 
SynonymHemidactylus sataraensis GIRI & BAUER 2008 
DistributionIndia (SC Western Ghats of Maharashtra)

Type locality: under a rock near Chalakewadi, Satara District, Maharashtra, India (17°34’40” N, 73°49’28” E)  
Reproductionoviparous 
TypesHolotype: BNHM 1743, adult female, Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai (BNHS); 22 January, 2006. Collected by Varad Giri, Dilipkumar Dongare and Rajan More. 
CommentDiagnosis—A small sized Hemidactylus, snout-vent length at least 46.4 mm. Back with small, keeled and granular scales, intermixed with irregularly arranged, enlarged keeled tubercles. First supralabial touching nasal. Two well developed postmentals, the inner pair is larger and in extensive contact behind the mental. Ventrolateral folds very feebly developed, about 26–28 scale rows across venter between lowest rows of tubercles. Free distal phalanx of all digits short and about half as long as its lamellar pad (dilated portion); ten to eleven enlarged scansors beneath fourth toe of pes, of which the penultimate and two more proximal plates are notched but undivided. Original tail depressed, oval in transverse section, constricted at base, swollen distal to constriction, then tapering to a fine point, with a median dorsal furrow; scales on the tail much larger than dorsals of body, smooth, strongly imbricate, with a series of two or four longitudinal series of enlarged, keeled scales on either side of the median dorsal furrow. Coloration highly distinctive, dark background colour with pale yellow to bright white paravertebral and lateral stripes and orangish-red to brown or buff oval spots on the head, dorsum, flanks and limbs. Venter white with pronounced blackish longitudinal stripes and throat and chin markings.
Hemidactylus sataraensis may be distinguished from all other mainland Indian congeners on the basis of (sympatric taxa with differing or non-overlapping character states indicated parenthetically): free distal pha- lanx of all digits short, less than half as long as corresponding dilated portion of subdigital pad, subdigital lamellae undivided except for the penultimate and two or three more proximal plates which are notched (sub-digital lamellae undivided in H. anamallensis; free distal phalanx of all digits at least half as long as subdigital pad, subdigital lamellae divided in H. maculatus, H. persicus, H. porbandarensis, H. triedrus, H. subtriedrus, H. brookii, H. prashadi, H. leschenaultii, H. flaviviridis, H. giganteus, H. aaronbaueri, H. bowringii; only dis- tal phalanx of digit I short, lamellae divided in H. frenatus, H.garnotii, H. karenorum), back with small, keeled and granular scales, intermixed with irregularly arranged, enlarged keeled tubercles, smaller than those on belly (back with uniform, imbricate, slightly elongated, striated and feebly keeled scales, a little larger than those on the belly in H. scabriceps; back with small irregular scales and 10 to 20 longitudinal series of more or less oval, strongly keeled tubercles in H. gracilis; with small, more-or-less erect, keeled granules, intermixed with larger pointed, keeled tubercles in H. reticulatus).
This new species is most similar in general appearance to Hemidactylus albofasciatus, but differs with respect to (H. albofasciatus versus H. sataraensis): maximum size (36 versus 46 mm maximum SVL), tail (round in section, tapering, verticillate, covered above with faintly keeled, pointed, imbricate scales, two lon- gitudinal rows of larger, pointed, keeled scales on either side of median furrow versus smooth, pointed, strongly imbricate scales, two to four rows of much larger, pointed, keeled scales on either side of median fur- row), scansors beneath the fourth toe (9 versus 10–11). The new species also differs markedly from T. albofasciatus in dorsal and ventral colour pattern. Hemidactylus sataraensis sp. nov. is similar in colour pattern to the Pakistani species Teratolepis fasciata (currently under taxonomic revision and known to be embedded within Hemidactylus, Bauer et al. 2008), but differs from this species in its less broadly-dialated and more finely-scaled tail, absence of imbricating scales on the dorsum and flanks, and more vibrant coloration [from GIRI & BAUER 2008]. 
Etymologynamed after its type locality. 
References
  • Bansal, Rohini; K. Praveen Karanth 2010. Molecular phylogeny of Hemidactylus geckos (Squamata: Gekkonidae) of the Indian subcontinent reveals a unique Indian radiation and an Indian origin of Asian house geckos. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 57 (1): 459-465 - get paper here
  • Bauer, Aaron M.; Todd R. Jackman, Eli Greenbaum, Varad B. Giri, Anslem de Silva 2010. South Asia supports a major endemic radiation of Hemidactylus geckos. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 57 (1): 343-352 - get paper here
  • Giri, Varad B.; Bauer, Aaron M. 2008. A new ground-dwelling Hemidactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Maharashtra, with a key to the Hemidactylus of India. Zootaxa 1700: 21-34 - get paper here
  • Mirza, Zeeshan A., Harshal Bhosale and Rajesh Sanap. 2013. First description of male Hemidactylus sataraensis Giri & Bauer 2008 (Sauria: Gekkonidae) with notes on its natural history, distribution and conservation status. Hamadryad 36 (2): 177-180
  • 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
 
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