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Hemidactylus hunae DERANIYAGALA, 1937

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Spotted Giant Gecko 
SynonymHemidactylus maculatus hunae DERANIYAGALA 1937
Hemidactylus maculatus hunae — TAYLOR 1953: 1550
Hemidactylus maculatus hunae — WERMUTH 1965: 80
Hemidactylus maculatus hunae — ZIESMANN et al. 2007
Hemidactylus maculatus hunae — SOMAWEERA & SOMAWEERA 2009
Hemidactylus hunae — BAUER et al. 2010
Hemidactylus hunae — AMARASINGHE et al. 2021 
DistributionSri Lanka

Type locality: Sri Lanka (Okanda, Eastern Province)  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.8.23.77 (female); many more specimens in BMNH 
DiagnosisOriginal description in Amarasinghe et al. 2009.

Diagnosis. The following combination of characters distinguishes H. hunae from all other congeners: adult males reaching 125.5 mm SVL, adult females 124 mm SVL; dorsal scalation of small heterogeneous, carinate, granules inter- mixed with large, conical, carinate tubercles that form 14–16 irregularly arranged longitudinal rows at midbody; dorsal and lateral tubercles equal sized; dorsal furrow distinct with wider nontubercular space middorsally; 2 pairs of post- mentals, secondary pair 1/2 of the primary pair; throat scales granular; no spine-like tubercles on nape; ventrals larger than dorsals, smooth, short, circular, with 40–43 rows at midbody; 9–11 supralabials at midorbit position; 26–28 femoral pores on each side separated medially by 7–9 nonpored enlarged scales; scales on posterior thigh granular, not enlarged; lamellae divided, 8 or 9 subdigital lamellae below the first and 11 or 12 below the fourth toe; dorsal scales on tail granular, carinate, juxtaposed; tail segmented with whorls of lateral tubercles, each whorl consisting of eight enlarged, conical, carinate tubercles separated from one another by one to three small scales; each whorl separated from its neighbor by about 8–10 scale rows; subcaudal scales at base bluntly pointed or rounded and enlarged; median row enlarged and broad; 2 postcloacal tubercles (spurs) on each side; body dorsum with a series of dark-edged faded saddles from occiput to tail base (Amarasinghe et al. 2021).

Coloration.—After 83 yr in preservative, the holotype of H. hunae has a dorsal pattern of dark brown-edged light saddle-shaped markings on a grayish brown ground color; irregular dark markings on dorsal head; enlarged tubercles within the interrupted edge of saddles dark brown, the rest cream; dark-edged light brown cross stripes on arm, including digits; dark markings on thigh, cross stripes on tibia and digits; first saddle mark on the nape, second, third, and fourth on midbody, fifth on hips; no saddles on the tail, but dark brown cross stripes on each whorl; venter cream, toe pads light or dark brown.
The live coloration (based on live specimens, not collected) may vary from site to site (mostly due to camouflage) and also across age groups, sex, and mood, ranging from grayish purples to browns. The vertebral midline bears a series of W-shape stripes from vent to the tail, with stripes becoming more defined toward the tip. Usually the studded effect that is known as saddles evenly spaced (Amarasinghe et al. 2021). 
CommentReports from India represent H. graniticolus (A. Bauer, pers. comm. 30 Aug 2011). 
EtymologyNamed after the Sinhalese word for gecko = "huna" 
  • 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
  • Amarasinghe, A.A. Thasun; Suranjan Karunarathna, Patrick D. Campbell, Majintha Madawala, Anslem de Silva 2021. A New Species of Hemidactylus Goldfuss, 1820 (Reptilia: Gekkonidae) from Sri Lanka with Redescription of H. hunae Deraniyagala, 1937,. Herpetologica 77 (3): 259-272 - get paper here
  • Batuwita, Sudesh; & Rohan Pethiyagoda 2012. Rediscovery of the Sri Lankan ‘house gecko’ Hemidactylus pieresii Kelaart (Reptilia: Gekkonidae) with a redescription of Hemidactylus depressus Gray. Zootaxa 3359: 17–30 - 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
  • 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.
  • Deraniyagala, P. E. P. 1937. A new gecko Hemidactylus maculatus hunae. Ceylon Journal of Science, 20:185-189.
  • Karunarathna, D.M.S. Suranjan; and A.A. Thasun aMaraSinghe 2011. HEMIDACTYLUS MACULATUS HUNAE (REPTILIA: GEKKONIDAE) PREYS ON BANDICOTA BENGALENSIS (MAMMALIA: RODENTIA) IN THE GALOYA NATIONAL PARK, SRI LANKA. Herpetotropicos 5 (2):111-113 - get paper here
  • Karunarathna, Suranjan D. M. S. and A. A. Thasun Amarasinghe 2011. A PRELIMINARY SURVEY OF THE REPTILE FAUNA IN NILGALA FOREST AND ITS VICINITY, MONARAGALA DISTRICT, SRI LANKA. Taprobanica 3 (2): 69-76 - get paper here
  • Mandawala, D. E. N., & Gunawardana, M. P. 2021. A preliminary survey on the herpetofauna of Rajagala, Ampara, Sri Lanka. Symp. Appl. Sci - get paper here
  • Silva, Anslem de; Aaron M. Bauer, B.J.K. Perera, R.L. Jayaratne, M. Goonasekera, S. Goonawardena, Z. Hawke, V. Vanneck and A. Drion 2005. Some Aspects of the Knowledge of and Attitudes Towards Geckos by Students near the Nilgala Forest, Sri Lanka. Gekko 4 (2): 32-36
  • Somaweera, R. & Somaweera, N. 2009. Lizards of Sri Lanka: a colour guide with field keys. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 304 pp.
  • Taylor, E.H. 1953. A review of the lizards of Ceylon. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 35 (12): 1525-1585 - get paper here
  • Wermuth, H. 1965. Liste der rezenten Amphibien und Reptilien. Gekkonidae, Pygopodidae, Xantusiidae. Das Tierreich (80): 1—246
  • Wickramasinghe, Mendis and Ruchira Somaweera. 2008. Changes in the distribution ranges of the Sri Lankan Hemidactylus species. Gekko 5 (2): 44-60
  • 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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