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Cnemaspis heteropholis BAUER, 2002

IUCN Red List - Cnemaspis heteropholis - Near Threatened, NT

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymCnemaspis heteropholis BAUER 2002: 161
Cnemaspis heteropholis — MANAMENDRA-ARACHCHI et al. 2007
Cnemaspis heteropholis — KHANDEKAR et al. 2020 
DistributionIndia (Gund, Uttar Kannada, Goa)

Type locality: North Kanara, Karnataka State; Gund (15.167° N, 74.667° E), Uttar Kannada Dis- trict, Karnataka, India, fide Khandekar et al. 2020.  
Reproductionoviparous 
TypesHolotype: ZMH R06158, adult female, collected by G. A. Von Maydell on 20 January 1956. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A medium-sized Cnemaspis, snout-vent length upto 45 mm; dorsal scales on trunk heterogeneous, small, weakly keeled, oval, granular scales intermixed with enlarged, irregularly arranged, strongly keeled, conical tubercles; tubercles on dorsolateral aspect of flank more pronounced and conical than those on paravertebral region; spine-like scales absent on flanks. Ventral scales on belly smooth, subimbricate, 20–25 scales across mid-body, 119–123 longitudinal scales between mental to anterior border of cloaca. Subdigital scansors smooth, entire except for three or four proximal and 1–3 distal scansors on digit I–V of both manus and pes which are divided, unnotched; 20–22 lamellae under digit IV of manus, and 24 or 25 lamellae under digit IV of pes. Males with five or six femoral pores on each thigh, separated by 16–18 poreless scales; precloacal pores absent; dorsal pholidosis of tail homogeneous, composed of small, smooth, flattened, roughly circular, regularly arranged, subimbricate scales; without whorls of enlarge tubercles; median row of sub-caudals smooth, enlarged; enlarged median row is irregularly arranged with a large scale alternating with two slightly smaller scales on the posterior portion of the tail; the larger scales on the anterior portion divided; postcloacal spur small, indistinct, not conical (Khandekar e tal. 2020).

Colouration in life: Dorsal ground colour of head, body, limbs and tail olive brown, speckled with lighter blotches along head and trunk; six or seven black spots longitudinally along mid vertebral from neck to tail base alternated with brown patches, continuing on the tail as light and dark blotches forming obscure broken bands towards the tail end. Head brown with a lighter broken stripe running from the nostril to lower margin of eye, lighter streak continuing backwards from posterior dorsal corner of eye to above ear; supralabials glossy amber with darker edges; a broken pale buff band from last labial to the ear; infralabials amber bordered by greyish band on the top which continues till below the ear. Pupil black outlined by thin, brick red iris. Limbs mottled with lighter blotches and scattered olive yellow scales; digits alternating with light and dark bands. Ventrals pale grey, throat darker, speckled with yellow spots; infralabials, mental, postmentals and two or three rows bordering infralabials dirty yellow. Ventral surface of the tail dirty grey, slightly darker than ventrals.

Comparison with Indian congeners. Cnemaspis heteropholis can be distinguished from all other Indian congeners on the basis of the following differing or non-overlapping characters: a medium-sized Cnemaspis SVL upto 45 mm (versus small-sized Cnemaspis SVL < 37 mm in C. andersonii (Annandale), C. aaronbaueri Sayyed, Grismer, Campbell & Dileepkumar, C. adii Srinivasulu, Kumar & Srinivasulu, C. agarwali Khandekar, C. ajijae Sayyed, Pyron & Dileepkumar, C. amba, Khandekar, Thackeray & Agarwal, C. amboliensis Sayyed, Pyron & Dileepkumar, C. australis Manamendra-Arachchi, Batuwita & Pethiyagoda, C. assamensis Das & Sengupta, C. flaviventralis Sayyed, Pyron & Dahanukar, C. gracilis (Beddome), C. girii Mirza, Pal, Bhosale & Sanap, C. goaensis Sharma, C. indica (Gray), C. koynaensis Khandekar, Thackeray & Agarwal, C. limayei Sayyed, Pyron & Dileepkumar, C. littoralis (Jerdon), C. mahabali Sayyed, Pyron & Dileepkumar, C. monticola ManamendraArachchi, Batuwita & Pethiyagoda, C. mysoriensis (Jerdon), C. otai Das & Bauer, C. avasabinae Agarwal, Bauer & Khandekar, C. shevaroyensis Khandekar, Gaitonde & Agarwal, C. yercaudensis Das & Bauer and C. wicksii (Stoliczka); large-sized Cnemaspis SVL >50 mm in C. anamudiensis Cyriac, Johny, Umesh, & Palot, C. beddomei (Theobald), C. maculicollis Cyriac, Johny, Umesh, & Palot and C. sisparensis (Theobald)); spine-like scales absent on flanks (versus spine-like scales present on flanks in C. andersonii, C. amboliensis, C. anandani Murthy, Nitesh, Sengupta & Deepak, C. assamensis, C. flaviventralis, C. goaensis, C. jerdonii (Theobald), C. koynaensis, C. littoralis, C. monticola, C. mysoriensis, C. nilagirica Manamendra-Arachchi, Batuwita & Pethiyagoda, C. otai, C. wicksii, and C. yercaudensis); scales on dorsal aspect of trunk heterogeneous (versus scales on dorsal aspect of trunk homogeneous in C. adii, C. assamensis, C. boiei (Gray), C. indica, C. jerdonii, C. kolhapurensis Giri, Bauer & Gaikwad, C. littoralis, C. nilagirica, C. sisparensis, and C. wynadensis (Beddome)); dorsal pholidosis of tail homogeneous, lacking enlarged tubercles forming whorls (versus dorsal pholidosis of tail heterogeneous, having enlarged, conical tubercles forming whorls in C. aaronbaueri, C. adii, C. agarwali, C. ajijae, C. amba, C. amboliensis, C. anandani, C. australis, C. flaviventralis, C. girii, C. goaensis, C. gracilis, C. jerdonii, C. koynaensis, C. limayei, C. littoralis, C. mahabali, C. monticola, C. mysoriensis, C. nilagirica, C. ornata (Beddome), C. otai, C. avasabinae, C. shevaroyensis, C. thackerayi Khandekar, Gaitonde & Agarwal, C. yercaudensis); tail with median row of sub-caudal scales smooth, irregularly arranged with a large scale alternating with two slightly smaller scales on the posterior portion of the tail, the larger scales on the anterior portion divided (versus median row of sub-caudal scales smooth and not enlarged in C. amba, C. ajijae, C. flaviventralis, C. girii, C. limayei, and C. koynaensis; median row of subcaudal scales slightly enlarged in C. amboliensis, C. goaensis, C. mahabali, C. mysoriensis, C. otai, C. avasabinae, and C. yercaudensis); median row of sub-caudal scales smooth (versus median row of sub-caudal scales keeled in C. amboliensis, C. australis, C. goaensis and C. monticola); males lacking precloacal pores and having five or six femoral pores on each side, separated by 16–18 poreless scales (versus males with only precloacal pores present in C. aaronbaueri, C. anamudiensis, C. beddomei, C. maculicollis, C. nairi Inger, Marx & Koshy, C. ornata, C. avasabinae; males with both femoral and precloacal pores present in C. andersonii, C. adii, C. agarwali, C. amboliensis, C. australis, C. bangara Agarwal, Thackeray, Pal & Khandekar, C. goaensis, C. gracilis, C. graniticola Agarwal, Thackeray, Pal & Khandekar C. mysoriensis, C. otai, C. shevaroyensis, C. thackerayi, C. yelagiriensis Agarwal, Thackeray, Pal & Khandekar, C. yercaudensis and C. wicksii; males with a continuous series of 26–28 precloacalfemoral pores in C. kolhapurensis; males without femoral and precloacal pores in C. assamensis, C. boiei; males with only femoral pores present, three or four in C. ajijae, two or three in C. amba, three in C. flaviventralis, three or four in C. girii, eight in C. jerdonii, three or four in C. koynaensis, 14–18 in C. littoralis, three or four in C. mahabali and seven or eight in C. sisparensis).
C. heteropholis closely resembles C. kottiyoorensis Cyriac & Umesh, and C. wynadensis. However, it can be distinguished from both by having 20–22 lamellae under digit IV of manus, and 24 or 25 lamellae under digit IV of pes (versus 19 or 20 lamellae under digit IV of manus, and 20 or 21 lamellae under digit IV of pes in C. kottiyoorensis; 15 or 16 lamellae under digit IV of manus, and 18 or 19 lamellae under digit IV of pes in C. wynadensis); males with five or six femoral pores separated by 16–18 poreless scales (versus males with four or five femoral pores separated by 13–15 poreless scales in C. wynadensis); 119–122 longitudinal scales from mental to cloaca (versus 113-118 longitudinal scales from mental to cloaca in C. wynadensis; 138 longitudinal scales from mental to cloaca in C. kottiyoorensis).
Topotypic C. heteropholis can be distinguished from the Cnemaspis heteropholis from Agumbe (Ganesh et al. 2011) by having 20–22 lamellae under digit IV of manus, and 24 or 25 lamellae under digit IV of pes (versus 25–26 lamellae under digit IV of manus, and 31–32 lamellae under digit IV of pes); 119–122 longitudinal scales from mental to cloaca (versus 138 longitudinal scales from mental to cloaca) and 20–25 scales across mid-body (versus 30 scales across mid-body) (Khandekar e tal. 2020). 
CommentKhandekar et al. 2020 restricted Cnemaspis heteropholis to the vicinity of its type locality and expand the morphological description of the species by including first confirmed male from its type locality and one male and two females from additional localities. They then describe the Sakleshpur population as a new species, Cnemaspis magnifica.

Ganesh et al. (2011) provided the first description of a male C. heteropholis from Agumbe (13°50’N, 75°09’E; 557 m asl.), Shimoga district, Karnataka, ca. 200 km south from its type locality. However, Khandekar et al. 2020 state that “the species reported as C. heteropholis by Ganesh at al. (2011) from Agumbe is in fact yet another undescribed species (Pal et al. in prep.).” 
EtymologyNamed after the Greek “heteros” = different and “pholis” = scale, in reference to the strongly heterogenous dorsal scalation typical of this species. 
References
  • Bauer, A.M. 2002. Two new species of Cnemaspis (Reptilia: Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Gund, Uttara Kannada, India. Mitt. Hamburg. Zool. Mus. Inst. 99: 155-167
  • Biswas, Sayantan 2008. A Possible Occurrence of Regional Integumentary Loss in Cnemaspis heteropholis from Southern India. Gekko 5 (2): 28-30
  • Ganesh, S.R., Sreekar, R., Pal, S.P., Ramchandra, G., Srinivasulu, C. & Srinivasulu, B. 2011. Discovery and first description of male Cnemaspis heteropholis Bauer, 2002 (Reptilia: Gekkonidae) from Agumbe, central Western Ghats, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa, 3, 2023–2027 - get paper here
  • KHANDEKAR, AKSHAY; TEJAS THACKERAY, SAUNAK PAL & ISHAN AGARWAL 2020. A new large-bodied, rupicolous Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) allied to Cnemaspis heteropholis Bauer, 2002 from the Central Western Ghats of Karnataka, India. Zootaxa 4801 (1): 057–084 - get paper here
  • Manamendra-Arachchi, Kelum; Batuwita, Sudesh & Pethiyagoda, Rohan 2007. A taxonomic revision of the Sri Lankan day-geckos (Reptilia: Gekkonidae: Cnemaspis), with description of new species from Sri Lanka and southern India. Zeylanica 7 (1): 9-122
  • Sayyed A, Pyron RA, Dileepkumar R. 2018. Four new species of the genus Cnemaspis Strauch, (Sauria: Gekkonidae) from the northern Western Ghats, India. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 12(2) [General Section]: 1–29 (e157) - get paper here
  • 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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