Dravidogecko smithi CHAITANYA, GIRI, DEEPAK, DATTA-ROY, MURTHY & KARANTH, 2019
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Dravidogecko smithi?
|Higher Taxa||Gekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)|
|Common Names||E: Smith’s Dravidogecko|
|Synonym||Dravidogecko smithi CHAITANYA, GIRI, DEEPAK, DATTA-ROY, MURTHY & KARANTH 2019: 27|
Type locality: Ponmudi Hills (8.7570 °N, 77.1145 °E; ca. 920 m asl.), Tiruvananthapuram District, Kerala
|Types||Holotype: ZSI-WGRC 3084 (Kozhikode, given as ZSIK or BNHS 2350), an adult male, collected by Jafer Palot and RC on 25th November, 2017.|
Paratypes. Details of collection same as the holotype. ZSIK 2981, adult female.
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis: Snout-vent length up to 49.1 mm (n=2); one scale between interna-|
sals; two pairs of well-developed postmentals, inner pair longer than the outer but shorter than mental, bordered posteriorly by 2 or 3 gular scales; ventral scales counted at midbody, 29–32; precloacofemoral pores, 48 (n=1); subdigital lamellae under digit IV of manus, 8 or 9 and under digit IV of pes, 10 or 11; supralabials, 9 or 10 and infralabials, 7 or 8 on each side.
Dravidogecko smithi sp. nov. can be distinguished from other congeners based on the following characters: number of precloacofemoral pores (PcFP 48 versus 45 or 46 in D. anamallensis, 52–56 in D. septentrionalis sp. nov., 36–38 in D. meghamalaiensis sp. nov. & 42 or 43 in D. douglasadamsi sp. nov.); postmentals shorter in length than mental (ML/1PML 1.07–1.12 versus longer, 0.74–0.81 in D. anamallensis); one scale separating internasals (versus two in D. septentrionalis sp. nov.).
|Comment||Genetic divergence (p-distance). Dravidogecko smithi sp. nov. exhibits 0.2% intraspecific variation for the mi- tochondrial ND2 gene, while it is 10.8% –17.0% divergent from all other congeners. Despite the proximity in range with D. douglasadamsi sp. nov. (straight line distance of ca. 50 kms), D. smithi sp. nov. exhibits 11.3% divergence from the former (Table 9 in Chaitanya et al. 2019).|
Habitat: The type-series of Dravidogecko smithi sp. nov. was collected in the Ponmudi Hills at an altitude of ca. 900 m asl. These geckos are found occupying human structures that are scattered along the road to the Ponmudi Hills.
Sympatry: Hemidactylus cf. frenatus, Cnemaspis sp., Eutropis cf. carinata.
|Etymology||The specific epithet is an eponym honouring British herpetologist Malcolm Arthur Smith (1875-1958) for establishing the genus Dravidogecko in the year 1933. His seminal work on Indian herpetology, resulting in the text “The fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma” in three volumes, is still considered the bedrock of reptilian taxonomy in India.|
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