Hemidactylus vijayraghavani MIRZA, 2018
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Hemidactylus vijayraghavani?
|Higher Taxa||Gekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)|
|Synonym||Hemidactylus vijayraghavani MIRZA 2018|
Type locality: Bagalkot, Karnataka, India (16.139744° N, 75.672671° E, elevation 590 m a.s.l.)
|Reproduction||oviparous (manual imputation, fide Zimin et al. 2022)|
|Types||Holotype: NCBS BH 643, an adult male, collected by Arya Murthy, Mayuresh Ambekar, and Zeeshan Mirza on 14 April 2018. Paratype: NCBS BH 644, an adult female with same data as holotype.|
|Diagnosis||Defininition. A small, fairly stout gecko, ranging in SVL from 36–38.5 mm. Dorsum light brown with reticulate pattern. Dorsal scalation on trunk granular, homogenous, with irregular row of 8–10 smooth, rounded tubercles. Tubercles subequal to adjacent dorsal granular scales. An angular series of 8 precloacal pores in males.|
Comparisons. Hemidactylus vijayraghavani sp. nov. differs from most Indian congeners in having the following combination of characters: (1) SVL 36–38.5 mm (vs. > 60 mm in H. maculatus Duméril and Bibron, 1836; H. graniticolus Agarwal, Giri, and Bauer, 2011; H. giganteus Stoliczka, 1871; H. gujaratensis Giri, Bauer, Vyas, and Patil, 2009; H. prashadi Smith, 1935; H. acanthopholis Mirza and Sanap, 2014; H. paaragowli Srikanthan, Swamy, Mohan, and Pal, 2018; H. kangerensis Mirza, Bhosale, and Patil, 2017; H. sushilduttai Giri, Bauer, Mohapatra, Srinvasulu, and Agarwal, 2017; H. siva Srinivasulu, Srinivasulu, and Kumar, 2018; H. aaronbaueri Giri, 2008; H. yajurvedi Murthy, Bauer, Lajmi, Agarwal, and Giri, 2015). (2) Tubercles on dorsum not keeled arranged in longitudinal rows (vs. tubercles absent or few or irregularly arranged in H. aquilonius Zug and Mcmahan, 2007; H. flaviviridis Rüppell, 1835; H. frenatus Duméril and Bibron, 1836; H. garnotii Duméril and Bibron, 1836; H. leschenaultii Duméril and Bibron, 1836; H. hemchandrai Dandge and Tiple, 2015). (3) Tubercle rows 8–10 (vs. > 15 in H. gleadowi Murray, 1884; H. kushmorensis Murray, 1884; H. parvimaculatus Deraniyagala, 1953; H. chipkali Mirza and Raju, 2017; H. malcolmsmithi Constable, 1949; H. persicus Anderson, 1872; H. robustus Heyden, 1827; H. turcicus Linnaeus, 1758). (4) Dorsal tubercles smooth and rounded [vs. tubercles trihedral in H. triedrus (Daudin, 1802); H. sahgali Mirza, Gowande, Patil, Ambekar, and Patel, 2018; and sub-trihedral in H. whitakeri Mirza, Gowande, Patil, Ambekar, and Patel, 2018]. (5) Webbing absent on hind feet and a fringe of skin on lateral aspect of tail [vs. present in H. platyurus (Schneider, 1797)]. (6) Digital lamellae divided [vs. undivided in H. anamallensis (Günther, 1875)].
The new species belongs to the grounddwelling clade of Hemidactylus and is compared below with all known members of the clade. The dorsum has reticulate dark markings with white spots in their interspaces, whereas in H. sataraensis, there are four stripes with transversely arranged spots. Hemidactylus gracilis has two stripes with a gray spotted dorsum. The dorsum and tail H. albofasciatus has light streaks. The scales on dorsal aspect of trunk are juxtaposed in the new species, whereas they are imbricate in H. scabriceps.
In general appearance and genetic data, the new species is most similar to H. reticulatus from which it differs in having homogenous granular scales on dorsal aspect of trunk (vs. scales heterogeneous in H. reticulatus). The tubercles in the new species are smaller than the adjacent granular scales (vs. tubercles twice the size of the adjacent granular scales in H. reticulatus). The new species bears 8–10 rows of tubercles on its dorsum (vs. 13–14 in H. reticulatus).
|Comment||Habitat: dry, open scrub and rock terrain. The type locality is a barren hillock adjacent to a seasonal river. The locality is heavily disturbed from activities relating to stone quarrying.|
This species is a member of the ground-dwelling clade which is composed of
Hemidactylus vijayraghavani, H. albofasciatus, H. sataraensis, H. gracilis, H. imbricatus, and H. reticulatus.
Sympatry: Eutropis cf. carinata, Hemidactylus parvimaculatus, Sitana sp.
Behavior: The geckos actively forage between 1900–1945 hr.
|Etymology||The specific epithet is a patronym honoring Prof. K. VijayRaghavan of the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore for his efforts to enhance science research and education in India. Prof. K. VijayRaghavan is a Fellow of the Royal Society (London) and Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India.|
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