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Cnemaspis salimalii AGARWAL, THACKERAY & KHANDEKAR, 2022

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Salim Ali’s dwarf gecko 
SynonymCnemaspis salimalii AGARWAL, THACKERAY & KHANDEKAR 2022: 1142 
DistributionIndia (Tamil Nadu)

Type locality: vicinity of Nallathambi resort, (11.2865°N, 78.3381°E; ca. 1150 m asl.), Semmedu, Kolli hills, Namakkal district, Tamil Nadu state, India.  
TypesHolotype. NRC-AA-1204 (AK 683), adult male; collected by Akshay Khandekar, Swapnil Pawar and Tejas Thackeray on 28th May 2019.
Paratypes. NRC-AA-1205 (AK 257), NRC-AA-1206 (AK 258), subadult males, NRC-AA-1207 (AK 259), NRC-AA-1208 (AK 261), NRC-AA-1209 (AK 263), adult males, NRC-AA-1210 (AK 265), adult female, same locality as holotype except collected by Akshay Khandekar, Ishan Agarwal, Nikhil Gaitonde, Varad Giri, Chaitanya R, and Aniruddha Dutta-Roy on 20th December 2018; NRC-AA-1212 (AK690), adult male, NRC-AA-1211 (AK 689), adult female, same data as holotype. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A medium-sized Cnemaspis, snout to vent length up to 41.3 mm (n = 9). Dorsal pholidosis heterogeneous; weakly keeled granular scales intermixed with irregularly arranged rows of enlarged, strongly keeled, conical tubercles; last one or two rows of enlarged tubercles on flank weakly keeled, short and spine-like; 11–13 rows of dorsal tubercles at mid-body, 16–18 tubercles in paravertebral rows, paravertebral rows rarely irregular (n = 1/7); ventral scales smooth, subcircular, subimbricate, subequal from chest to vent, 30–33 scales across belly at mid-body, 109–128 longitudinal scales from mental to cloaca; subdigital scansors smooth, unpaired, unnotched; 10–12 lamellae under digit I of manus and pes, 15–18 lamellae under digit IV of manus and 20–24 lamellae under digit IV of pes; males with 3–5 femoral pores on each thigh separated by 5–7 poreless scales from series of 2–4 precloacal pores, precloacal pores separated medially by three or four poreless scales (n = 7/9); tail with enlarged, strongly keeled, pointed, and spine-like tubercles forming whorls; median row of subcaudals smooth, roughly pentagonal, and distinctly enlarged. Dorsum with diffuse light tan blotches including some in a vertebral row and numerous smaller orange blotches; a single black dorsal ocellus on neck, venter off-white with black speckles; original tail in males with eight or nine faint bands, regenerated tail brown. (Agarwal et al. 2022) 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is a patronym honouring the eminent ornithologist Dr. Salim Ali (1896–1987) for his immense contributions to field research and conservation in India. 
  • Agarwal I, Thackeray T, Khandekar A 2022. A multitude of spots! Five new microendemic species of the Cnemaspis gracilis group (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from massifs in the Shevaroy landscape, Tamil Nadu, India. Vertebrate Zoology 72: 1137-1186 - get paper here
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