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Cnemaspis scalpensis (FERGUSON, 1877)

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Ferguson’s Day Gecko 
SynonymGymnodactylus scalpensis FERGUSON 1877: 13
Cnemaspis jerdoni scalpensis — DERANIYAGALA 1953: 39
Cnemaspis jerdoni scalpensis — WERMUTH 1965: 14
Cnemaspis jerdoni scalpensis — DE SILVA et al. 2000
Cnemaspis jerdoni scalpensis — RATHNAYAKE 2004
Cnemaspis ranwellai MENDIS WICKRAMASINGHE 2006
DistributionSri Lanka (hills around Kandy)

Type locality: mountains of Ceylon (fide Wermuth 1965); type locality of neotype: Agarapatana, Hatton, Sri Lanka, (N 06° 50’ 58.1” E 080° 40’ 35.0”, elevation 1524 m).

ranwellai: Sri Lanka; Type locality: Gannoruwa (Gonnaruwa?), Kandy, Sri Lanka, ( N 07° 16’ 56.7” E 080° 35’ 54.0”, elevation 576 m).  
TypesNeotype. NMSL 20061101, Adult male, 33.48 mm SVL, 17.09.2006, collected by L . J. Mendis Wickramasinghe and D. A. I. Munindradasa.
Holotype: NMSL2004.1.1 (Adult male), 27.12.2003, collected by L . J. Mendis Wickramasinghe [ranwellai] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A medium-sized Cnemaspis (snout to vent length 30–35 mm in adults), which can be distinguished from all known congeners by the following combination of characters: postmentals separated by a small scale; nostrils not in contact with first supralabial; seven supra labials to angle of mid-orbit position and end of jaw at nine supra labials; 26 interorbitals; throat scales smooth; 74–76 dorsal tubercles; dorsal tubercles small, rounded, pentagonal or hexagonal; absence of groups of carinated large scales in dorsal body; spinelike tubercles present on flanks; 20 midventrals; ventral scales smooth and imbricate; mid-subcaudals large; no preanal pores; 13–14 femoral pores on each side; 10 subdigital lamellae and 4–5 basal lamellae in the 4th finger; 11 subdigital lamellae and 6 basal lamellae in the 4th toe; dorsal part of tail with large flushed and smooth scales, lower border with elongated diamonds.

C. scalpensis is congener with C. ranwellai very closely and C. alwisi sp. nov. from morphological characters. However, C. scalpensis can easily be distinguished from both by interorbital and supralabial counts, and from C. ranwellai by throat colour, infralabial and dorsal tubercle counts and lamellae formulae and from C. alwisi by internasal, dorsal tubercle, ventral subcaudal, femoral pores and loreal counts and lamellae formulae.

Diagnosis (ranwellai): A medium-sized Cnemaspis (average snout to vent length 31 mm in an adult male, and 37 mm in an adult female), which can be distinguished from all known congeners in showing the following combination of characters: nostrils are not in contact with first supralabial; nostrils smaller than the ear opening, eight supra labials to angle of mid-orbit position and end of jaw at 12–13 supra labials; dorsal tubercles 56–58; dorsal tubercles small, rounded, pentagonal or hexagonal; with spine-like tubercles on flanks; midventrals 22; ventral smooth; subcaudals enlarged; no preanal pores; 12–15 femoral pores on each side; 13–15 subdigital lamellae and 5–6 basal lamellae in the 4th digit; a dorsally prominent narrow black stripe on the neck, with a sharp yellowish margin; throat of males bright yellow, with small black stripes and / or spots; infra-labial margins of males with black stripes; tail cylindrical, with spine-like tubercles on the dorsal and lateral sides. 
CommentGroup: The C. scalpensis group (3 species: Cnemaspis scalpensis, C. gemunu and C. phillipsi), is characterized by femoral pores present while precloacal pores are absent, mid subcaudal scales extremely large, and smooth abdominal scales (Wickramasinghe et al. 2016).

Synonymy: C. ranwellai is a synonym of C. scalpensis fide MANAMENDRA-ARCHCHI et al. 2007.

Original description in Amarasinghe et al. 2009.

Similar species: The records of Cnemaspis scalpensis from Udamaliboda forest and vicinity by Peabotuwage et al. (2012) represent Cnemaspis anslemi sp. nov. 
  • Agarwal, I., Biswas, S., Bauer, A.M., Greenbaum, E., Jackman, T.R., De Silva, A. & Batuwita, S. 2017. Cryptic species, taxonomic inflation, or a bit of both? New species phenomenon in Sri Lanka as suggested by a phylogeny of dwarf geckos (Reptilia, Squamata, Gekkonidae, Cnemaspis). Systematics and Biodiversity, 15, 427–439 - get paper here
  • Amarasinghe, A. A. T., A. M. Bauer, I. Ineich, J. Rudge, M. M. Bahir & D. E. Gabadage 2009. The original descriptions and figures of Sri Lankan gekkonid lizards (Squamata: Gekkonidae) of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Taprobanica 1 (2): 83-106 - get paper here
  • Deraniyagala, P.E.P. 1953. A coloured atlas of some vertebrates from Ceylon. Vol. 2. Tetrapod Reptilia. Govt. Press, Colombo, 101 pp.
  • Ferguson, W. 1877. Reptile fauna of Ceylon. Letter on a collection sent to the Colombo Museum. Herbert, Ceylon
  • Karunarathna S, Ukuwela KDB. 2019. A new species of dwarf day gecko (Reptilia: Gekkonidae: Cnemaspis) from lower-elevations of Samanala Nature Reserve in Central massif, Sri Lanka. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 13(2) [General Section]: 14–27 (e187) - get paper here
  • 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
  • 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
  • Rathnayake, Nimal D. 2004. The Sri Lankan Day-Geckos of the Genus Cnemaspis. Gekko 4 (1): 39-44
  • Silva, Anslem de; Molur, Sanjay; Walker, Sally (eds.) 2000. Conservation assessment and management plan. Camp Report for amphibians and selected taxa of reptiles of Sri Lanka. Conservation breedings specialist group, Sri Lanka, 220 pp. - get paper here
  • Somaweera, R. & Somaweera, N. 2009. Lizards of Sri Lanka: a colour guide with field keys. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 304 pp.
  • VIDANAPATHIRANA, DULAN RANGA; M. D. GEHAN RAJEEV, NETHU WICKRAMASINGHE, SAMANTHA SURANJAN FERNANDO & L. J. MENDIS WICKRAMASINGHE & L. J. MENDIS WICKRAMASINGHE 2014. Cnemaspis rammalensis sp. nov., Sri Lanka’s largest day-gecko (Sauria: Gekkonidae: Cnemaspis) from Rammalakanda Man and Biosphere Reserve in southern Sri Lanka. Zootaxa 3755 (3): 273–286 - get paper here
  • Wermuth, H. 1965. Liste der rezenten Amphibien und Reptilien. Gekkonidae, Pygopodidae, Xantusiidae. Das Tierreich (80): 1—246
  • WICKRAMASINGHE, L. J. MENDIS; DULAN RANGA VIDANAPATHIRANA, R. M. GAYAN PRIYANKARA RATHNAYAKE 2016. Cnemaspis rajakarunai sp. nov., a rock dwelling day-gecko (Sauria: Gekkonidae: Cnemaspis) from Salgala, an unprotected lowland rainforest in Sri Lanka. Zootaxa 4168 (1): 092–108 - get paper here
  • Wickramasinghe, L.J. MENDIS; & D. A. I. MUNINDRADASA 2007. Review of the genus Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887 (Sauria: Gekkonidae) in Sri Lanka with the description of five new species. Zootaxa 1490: 1-63 - get paper here
  • Wickramasinghe, L.J.M. 2006. A new species of Cnemaspis (Sauria: Gekkonidae) from Sri Lanka. Zootaxa 1369: 19-33 - get paper here
  • Wickramasinghe, Mendis & Ruchira Somaweera 2002. Distribution and Current Status of the Endemic Geckos of Sri Lanka. Gekko 3 (1): 2-13
  • Ziesmann, S.; Janzen, P. & Klaas, P. 2007. Die Vielfalt der Geckos [Sri Lankas]. Draco 7 (30): 38-44 - get paper here
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