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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Gotaimbaras’ day gecko
Sinhala: Gotaimbarage diva-seri hoona 
DistributionSri Lanka (Ampara District)

Type locality: granite cave in Kokagala, Padiyatalawa in Ampara District, Eastern Province, Sri Lanka (7.439517° N, 81.207967° E, WGS1984; elevation 292 m  
TypesHolotype. NMSL.2019.04.01, adult male, 32.9 mm SVL (Fig. 7),
collected around 14.00 hrs) on 22 October 2018 by Suranjan Karunarathna and Anslem de Silva.
Paratypes. NMSL.2019.04.02, adult male, 32.1 mm SVL, and
NMSL.2019.04.03, adult female, 33.7 mm SVL, collected from
granite caves in Kokagala, Padiyatalawain Ampara District, Eastern Province, Sri Lanka (7.413086° N, 81.210161°E, WGS1984; elevation 306 m; around 12.00 hrs) on 22 October 2018 by Suranjan Karunarathna and Anslem de Silva. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Cnemaspis gotaimbarai sp. nov., can be readily distinguished from its Sri Lankan congeners by a combination of the following morphological and meristic characteristics and color pattern: maximum SVL 33.7 mm; dorsum with homogeneous, smooth granular scales; 2/2 supranasals, 1 internasal and 2/2 postnasals present; 2 enlarged postmentals; postmentals bounded by 5 chin scales; chin, gular, pectoral and abdominal scales smooth, subimbricate; 23 – 25 belly scales across venter; 5 – 6 weakly developed tubercles on posterior flank; 117 – 121 paravertebral granules linearly arranged; 2 – 4 precloacal pores, 3 femoral pores on each side in males, on each side separated by 10 – 13 unpored anterior femoral scales, 1 – 5 unpored posterior femoral scales; 129 – 138 ventral scales; 72 – 79 midbody scales; subcaudals smooth, median row tiny, in an irregular series of subrhomboidal scales; 7 – 8 supralabials; 8 – 9 infralabials; 16 – 17 total lamellae on fourth digit of manus, and 19 – 20 total lamellae on fourth digit of pes.

Comparisons: The new species, C. gotaimbarai sp. nov. differs from species of the C. kandiana clade sensu Agarwal et al. (2017) in having smooth ventral scales versus keeled in C. pava, C. pulchra, C. samanalensis, C. silvula, C. tropidogaster, and C. upendrai, and in also having smooth gular scales versus keeled gular scales in C. amith. It can be diagnosed from C. ingerorum, C. kallima, C. kandiana, C. menikay, and C. retigalensis by having homogeneous (versus heterogeneous) dorsal scales. The new species differs from C. kumarasinghei and C. latha by having a greater number of belly scales (23 – 25 versus 17 – 21 and 13 – 15, respectively), having greater number of paravertebral granules (117 – 121 versus 61 – 68 and 72 – 79, respectively), and also having greater number of interorbital scales (34 – 36 versus 24 – 26 and 22 – 25, respectively). Further, it can be differentiated from C. nandimithrai sp. nov. by having more supralabial scales (7 – 8 versus 5 – 6), more paravertebral granules (117 – 121 versus 95 – 99), and more ventral scales (129 – 138 versus 108 – 112). The new species also clearly differs from the following species of the C. podihuna clade sensu Agarwal et al. (2017): C. alwisi, C. gemunu, C. godagedarai, C. kandambyi, C. molligodai, C. nilgala, C. phillipsi, C. podihuna, C. punctata, C. rajakarunai, C. rammalensis, and C. scalpensis by having small and irregular shaped subcaudal scales (versus clearly enlarged hexagonal or subhexagonal scales), and by the presence (versus absence) of precloacal pores, except in C. kandambyi, C. molligodai and C. podihuna, which differ from C. gotaimbarai sp. nov. by having a lower number of belly scales (16 – 17, 15 – 19 and 13 – 20 versus 23 – 25). 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is an eponym Latinized (gotaimbarai) in the masculine genitive singular, honouring ‘Gotaimbara Yodaya’ (a gladiator, one of the ten giant warriors of King Dutugemunu’s army) for his valiant services to his king and country. 
  • Karunarathna, Suranjan; Nikolay A. Poyarkov, Anslem de Silva, Majintha Madawala, Madhava Botejue, Vladislav A. Gorin, Thilina Surasinghe, Dinesh Gabadage, Kanishka D.B. Ukuwela & Aaron M. Bauer 2019. Integrative taxonomy reveals six new species of day geckos of the genus Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887 (Reptilia: Squamata: Gekkonidae) from geographically-isolated hill forests in Sri Lanka. Vertebrate Zoology 69 (3): 247–298 - get paper here
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