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Cnemaspis yercaudensis DAS & BAUER, 2000

IUCN Red List - Cnemaspis yercaudensis - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Yercaud Day Gecko 
SynonymCnemaspis yercaudensis DAS & BAUER 2000
Cnemaspis yercaudensis — MANAMENDRA-ARACHCHI et al. 2007
Cnemaspis yercaudensis — KHANDEKAR et al. 2019 
DistributionSE India (Tamil Nadu)

Type locality: Yercaud Town (11°48'N; 78°14'E), in the Shevaroyan (Shevroy) Range, Salem District, Tamil Nadu, SW India, 1515 m elevation  
TypesHolotype: ZRC 2.4709, sub-adult male; also given as AMB 5748 (A. M. Bauer private collection). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis and comparison with Indian congeners: A small-sized Cnemaspis, snout to vent length less than 30 mm. Dorsal pholidosis heterogeneous; weakly keeled, granular scales in the vertebral and paravertebral region with a few scattered enlarged keeled tubercles, intermixed with about three rows of large, strongly keeled, conical scales on the flanks, five or six rows of dorsal scales, spine-like scales absent on flank. Ventral scales smooth, subimbricate, 18–20 scales across belly, 90–105 longitudinal scales from mental to cloaca. Subdigital scansors smooth, entire, unnotched; lamellae under digit IV of pes 15–19. Males with three femoral pores on each thigh, separated on either side by five or six poreless scales from two continuous precloacal pores. Tail with enlarged, strongly keeled, conical scales forming whorls; a median row of sub-caudals smooth, slightly enlarged. Dorsum grayish-brown with light vertebral stripe from occiput to tail base, throat yellow, unpatterned; original tail bluish-gray in males, regenerated tail light brown.
Cnemaspis yercaudensis can be distinguished from all other Indian congeners on the basis of the following differing or non-overlapping characters: spine-like scales absent on flanks (versus spine-like scales present on flanks in C. amboliensis, C. assamensis Das & Sengupta, C. flaviventralis, C. goaensis, C. jerdonii (Theobald), C. littoralis (Jerdon), C. monticola Manamendra-Arachchi, Batuwita & Pethiyagoda and C. nilagirica Manamendra-Arachchi, Batuwita & Pethiyagoda); scales on dorsal aspect of trunk heterogeneous (versus scales on dorsal aspect of trunk homogeneous in C. adii, C. assamensis, C. australis Manamendra-Arachchi, Batuwita & Pethiyagoda, C. boiei (Gray), C. indica (Gray), C. jerdonii, C. kolhapurensis, C. littoralis, C. nilagirica and C. sisparensis (Theobald) ); tail with median row of sub-caudal scales smooth and slightly enlarged (versus median row of subcaudal scales smooth and not enlarged in C. ajijae, C. flaviventralis, C. girii, C. limayei; C. monticola, C. australis with keeled sub-caudals); absence of keeled scales on the venter or gular regions (versus keeled scales on the venter or gular region in C. beddomei (Theobald) and C. goaensis); males with three femoral pores on each thigh, separated on either side by five or six poreless scales from two continuous precloacal pores (versus precloacal pores absent, femoral pores present in C. ajijae, C. anaikattiensis, C. flaviventralis, C. girii, C. indica, C. jerdonii, C. kottiyoorensis Cyriac & Umesh, C. limayei, C. littoralis, C. mahabali, C. sisparensis, C. heteropholis, C. wynadensis (Beddome); only precloacal pores present in C. anamudiensis Cyriac, Johny, Umesh, & Palot, C. beddomei, C. maculicollis Cyriac, Johny, Umesh, & Palot, C. nairi Inger, Marx & Koshy, C. ornata (Beddome); both femoral and precloacal pores absent in C. boiei, C. assamensis; three femoral and four precloacal pores present in C. otai; two femoral and two precloacal pores present in C. adii; 4–6 femoral and two precloacal pores on each side separated by a single poreless scales in C. agarwali; four or five femoral and three precloacal pores in C. australis; 2–4 femoral and three precloacal pores in C. goaensis; 3–5 femoral pores and two precloacal pores separated by two or three poreless scales C. mysoriensis; a continuous series of 26–28 precloacal-femoral pores in C. kolhapurensis). Cnemaspis yercaudensis is 19.9–21.9% divergent in ND2 sequences from all sampled congeners (Table 2). Diagnoses against the new species are provided after their descriptions.  
CommentSympatry: Yercaud: Hemidactylus frenatus, Hemidactylus parvimaculatus , Hemiphyllodactylus aurantiacus, Cnemaspis thackerayi sp. nov., Eutropis carinata, Eutropis macularia, Lygosoma albopunctata, and Calotes versicolor. Kollimalai include Hemidactylus frenatus, Hemidactylus parvimaculatus, Hemiphyllodactylus kolliensis, Cnemaspis sp., Eutropis carinata, Eutropis macularia, Eutropis sp., Lygosoma albopunctata and Calotes versicolor. 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality. 
  • Das, I & A. M. Bauer 2000. Two new species of Cnemaspis (Sauria: Gekonidae) from Tamil Nadu, southern India. Russ. J. Herpetol. 7 (1): 17-28 - get paper here
  • Das, Indraneil & Abhijit Das 2017. A Naturalist’s Guide to the Reptiles of India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. John Beaufoy Publishing Ltd., Oxford, 176 pp.
  • Ganesh, S. R.; M. Arumugam 2016. Species Richness of Montane Herpetofauna of Southern Eastern Ghats, India: A Historical Resume and a Descriptive Checklist. Russ. J. Herpetol. 23 (1): 7-24 - get paper here
  • KHANDEKAR, AKSHAY 2019. A new species of rock-dwelling Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Tamil Nadu, southern India. Zootaxa 4571 (3): 383–397 - get paper here
  • KHANDEKAR, AKSHAY; NIKHIL GAITONDE, ISHAN AGARWAL 2019. Two new Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from the Shevaroy massif, Tamil Nadu, India, with a preliminary ND2 phylogeny of Indian Cnemaspis. Zootaxa 4609 (1): 68-100 - get paper here
  • KHANDEKAR, AKSHAY; TEJAS THACKERAY, ISHAN AGARWAL 2020. A new cryptic Cnemaspis Strauch (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from an isolated granite hill on the Mysore Plateau, Karnataka, India. Zootaxa 4845 (4): 509–528 - 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
  • 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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