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Dravidogecko anamallensis (GÜNTHER, 1875)

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Anamalay gecko, Anaimalai Dravidogecko 
SynonymGecko anamallensis GÜNTHER 1875: 226
Hoplodactylus anamallensis GÜNTHER 1875 (fide BAUER & RUSSELL 1995)
Hoplodactylus anamallensis — BOULENGER 1885: 175
Dravidogecko anamallensis — SMITH 1935: 82
Dravidogecko anamallensis — WERMUTH 1965: 27
Dravidogecko anamallensis — KLUGE 1993
Hemidactylus anamallensis — BAUER & RUSSELL 1995
Dravidogecko anamallensis — RÖSLER 2000: 78
Hemidactylus anamallensis — GIRI et al. 2008
Dravidogecko anamallensis — BANSAI & KARANTH 2013 
DistributionS India (Valparai Plateau in Coimbatore District, Tamil Nadu)

Type locality: Anamalay Hills, Southern India. Restricted to Valparai town in Coimbatore district, Tamil Nadu, by Chaitanya et al. 2019.  
TypesType: BMNH 1946.8.23.61, male 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): Small sized geckos (average SVL 48.0 mm ± 6.2) that are dorsoventrally compressed (Fig 4A)and elongate (average TRL/SVL 0.47); dorsal pholidosis homogenous and de- void of enlarged tubercles—composed of small, rounded granules throughout; scales on snout and canthus rostralis larger than rest of head; eye with a vertical pupil possessing crenulated margins; ear opening elliptical or sometimes round; internasals divided by one or two smaller scales; two postnasals on either side; rostral wider than deep, usually without a median groove; supralabials 8–12 and infralabials 7–10 on each side, roughly rectangular; ventral scales flat, weakly pointed and sub-imbricate, 24–35 when counted at midbody; mental wider than long, triangular; two pairs of well-developed postmentals, inner pair usually longer than the outer and in strong contact with each other behind the mental; digits moderately short with relatively long, strongly clawed terminal phalanges that are curved and arise angularly from the distal portion of expanded lamellar pad; scansors beneath each digit undivided throughout (Fig 4C), in a straight transverse series, 7–10 under digit IV of manus and 9–13 under digit IV of pes; an uninterrupted series of 35–56 precloacofemoral pores that usually extends up to the knee (Fig 4B); females with enlarged lymphatic sacs [from Chaitanya et al. 2019: 11].

Diagnosis (anamallensis): Snout-vent length up to 54 mm (n=3); rostral groove indistinct; two pairs of well-developed postmentals, inner pair much longer than the mental and outer postmentals, in strong con- tact behind the mental, bordered by infralabial I, mental, outer postmentals and 2 or 3 gular scales; ventral scales counted at midbody, 25–28; precloacofemoral pores, 45 or 46 (n=2); subdigital lamellae under digit IV of manus, 8–10 and under digit IV of pes, 11 or 12; supralabials, 9–12 and infralabials, 7 or 8 on each side.
Dravidogecko anamallensis can be distinguished easily from other congeners by the presence of 45 or 46 pre- cloacofemoral pores and a pair of distinctly longer postmentals (longer than mentals ML/1PML 0.74–0.81) [from Chaitanya et al. 2019: 14]. 
CommentSynonymy: BAUER & RUSSELL 1995 placed Dravidogecko in the synonymy of Hemidactylus. BANSAI & KARANTH 2013, as well as Chaitanya et al. 2019 suggested to resurrect Dravidogecko because it forms a clearly separate sister clade of Hemidactylus (although the latter authors included only 11 species of Hemidactylus in their molecular analysis). Shameer et al. 2021 coined the name Dravidogecko coonoorenis for a clade outside other species. However, they did not provide a description or other details, so this name remains a nomen nudum for the time being. Shameer et al. 2021 mentioned Dravidogecko coonoorensis (also misspelled coonoorenis in the same paper) without diagnosis or type specimens, hence Chaitanya 2022 considered this name as unavailable.

Type species: Gecko anamallensis GÜNTHER 1875 is the type species of the genus Dravidogecko SMITH 1933.

Key to species: Chiatanya et al. 2019: 43.

Habitat: The Valparai Plateau is dominated by monoculture plantations such as tea, coffee and Eucalyptus that are sparsely interspersed with natural evergreen and riparian fragments. The natural vegetation in the region is classified as mid-elevation tropical wet evergreen forest of the Cullenia-Mesua-Palaquium type (Pascal 1988). Specimens of Dravidogecko anamallensis were chiefly found in abandoned buildings that were amidst natural vegetation.

Distribution: restricted by Chaitanya et al. 2019; reports from Kerala likely represent other species. 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality. 
  • Bansal R, Karanth KP 2013. Phylogenetic Analysis and Molecular Dating Suggest That Hemidactylus anamallensis Is Not a Member of the Hemidactylus Radiation and Has an Ancient Late Cretaceous Origin. PLoS One 8 (5): e60615. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0060615 - get paper here
  • Bansal, Rohini; K. Praveen Karanth 2010. Molecular phylogeny of Hemidactylus geckos (Squamata: Gekkonidae) of the Indian subcontinent reveals a unique Indian radiation and an Indian origin of Asian house geckos. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 57 (1): 459-465 - get paper here
  • Bauer, AARON M. & ANTHONY PATRICK RUSSELL 1995. The systematic relationships of Dravidogecko anamallensis (Günther 1875). Asiatic Herpetological Research 6: 30-35. - get paper here
  • Bauer, Aaron M.; Todd R. Jackman, Eli Greenbaum, Varad B. Giri, Anslem de Silva 2010. South Asia supports a major endemic radiation of Hemidactylus geckos. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 57 (1): 343-352 - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1885. Catalogue of the lizards in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) I. Geckonidae, Eublepharidae, Uroplatidae, Pygopodidae, Agamidae. London: 450 pp. - get paper here
  • Chaitanya, R. 2022. Another new, unavailable nomen (Squamata, Gekkonidae) from Indian herpetological taxonomy Bionomina 26: 59–61 - get paper here
  • CHAITANYA, R.; VARAD B. GIRI, V. DEEPAK, ANIRUDDHA DATTA-ROY, B.H.C.K MURTHY, PRAVEEN KARANTH 2019. Diversification in the mountains: a generic reappraisal of the Western Ghats endemic gecko genus Dravidogecko Smith, 1933 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) with descriptions of six new species. Zootaxa 4688 (1): 001–056; erratum in Zootaxa 4743 (4): 600 - get paper here
  • Giri, Varad B.; Bauer, Aaron M. 2008. A new ground-dwelling Hemidactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Maharashtra, with a key to the Hemidactylus of India. Zootaxa 1700: 21-34 - get paper here
  • Günther,A. 1875. Second report on collections of Indian Reptiles obtained bv the British Museum. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1875: 224-234 - get paper here
  • Kumar, A. Biju; Kate L. Sanders , Sanil George & John C. Murphy 2012. The status of Eurostus dussumierii and Hypsirhina chinensis (Reptilia, Squamata, Serpentes): with comments on the origin of salt tolerance in homalopsid snakes. Systematics and Biodiversity 10 (4): 479-489 - get paper here
  • Mahony, Stephen 2009. A New Species of Gecko of the Genus Hemidactylus (Reptilia: Gekkonidae) from Andhra Pradesh, India. Russ. J. Herpetol. 16 (1): 27-34 - get paper here
  • Palot, M.J. 2015. A checklist of reptiles of Kerala, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 7(13): 8010–8022 - get paper here
  • Rösler, H. 2000. Kommentierte Liste der rezent, subrezent und fossil bekannten Geckotaxa (Reptilia: Gekkonomorpha). Gekkota 2: 28-153
  • Shameer, Thekke Thumbath et al. 2021. Consequences of climate change in allopatric speciation and endemism: modeling the biogeography of Dravidogecko. Modeling Earth Systems and Environment - get paper here
  • Smith, M.A. 1935. The fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Reptiles and Amphibia, Vol. II. Sauria. Taylor and Francis, London, 440 pp.
  • 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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