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Hemidactylus sirumalaiensis KHANDEKAR, THACKERAY, PAWAR & AGARWAL, 2020

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common Names 
SynonymHemidactylus sirumalaiensis KHANDEKAR, THACKERAY, PAWAR & AGARWAL 2020 
DistributionIndia (Tamil Nadu)

Type locality: Sirumalai massif (10.281944° N, 77.994722° E; ca. 580 m asl.), Dindigul district, Tamil Nadu state, India  
TypesHolotype. NCBS-BH743 (AK 908), adult male, collected by Akshay Khandekar, Ishan Agarwal and Swapnil Pawar on 16 Oct 2019.
Paratypes. NCBS-BH747 (AK 914), NCBS-BH748 (AK 915), NCBS-BH749 (AK 917), adult males, NCBS- BH744 (AK 909), NCBS-BH746 (AK 911), NCBS-BH750 (AK 922), adult females, NCBS-BH745 (AK 910), juvenile, same collection data as holotype. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A medium-sized Hemidactylus, SVL <95 mm (n=8). Dorsal pholidosis heterogeneous, comprising subcircular granular scales intermixed with fairly regularly arranged longitudinal rows of enlarged, strongly keeled, pointed tubercles that are heterogeneous in shape and size, extending from occiput to tail; enlarged tubercles smallest on central two parasagittal rows, gradually increasing in size and becoming conical toward flanks, last two rows on flanks smaller and strongly conical; 17 or 18 dorsal tubercle rows at mid-body, 22–26 tubercles in paravertebral rows. Ventrolateral folds indistinct; about 36–38 ventral scale rows at mid-body. Digits with enlarged scansors, lamellae in straight transverse series, all divided except the apical and a few basal that are undivided, nine or 10 lamellae beneath first digit and 11 or 12 beneath fourth digit of manus and pes. Males with 16–18 femoral pores on each side separated by 13–15 poreless scales. Tail with 4–8 much enlarged, strongly keeled, conical tubercles forming whorls; median row of subcaudal plates large, covering almost entire underside of tail; two (rarely 1) subequal postcloacal spurs on each side that are much smaller than dorsal tubercles at mid-body. Dorsal colouration brown with five transversely arranged dark >0< shaped markings running from occiput to sacrum, tail with alternating light and dark bars, limbs with irregular dark bands (Khandekar et al. 2020: 95).

Comparison with members of the prashadi group. Hemidactylus sirumalaiensis sp. nov. can be distinguished from members of the prashadi group on the basis of the following differing or non-overlapping characters: males with 16–18 FP on each side and 13–15 SBFP (versus males with 19 FP and six SBFP in H. aaronbaueri Giri; 19–21 FP and 13 or 14 SBFP in H. acanthopholis; 15–19 FP and 2–4 SBFP in H. depressus; 23–28 FP and 1–3 SBFP in H. graniticolus Agarwal, Giri & Bauer; 22–24 FP and 3–6 SBFP in H. hunae Deraniyagala; 18–21 FP and four SBFP in H. kangerensis Mirza, Bhosale & Patil; 21–25 FP and two or three SBFP in H. kolliensis; 16–19 FP and 5–9 SBFP in H. maculatus Duméril & Bibron; 10–12 FP and 16–18 SBFP in H. paaragowli; 17–20 FP and 1–3 SBFP in H. pieresii Kelaart; 17–20 FP and three SBFP in H. prashadi Smith; 11–15 FP and three SBFP in H. sahgali Mirza, Gowande, Patil, Ambekar & Patel; 17 or 18 FP and five SBFP in H. siva Srinivasulu, Srinivasulu & Kumar; 20–23 FP and 3–6 SBFP in H. sushilduttai Giri, Bauer, Mohapatra, Srinivasulu & Agarwal; 7–9 FP and 1–3 SBFP in H. triedrus (Daudin); 17–22 FP and 10 or 11 SBFP in H. vanam; seven or eight FP and three SBFP in H. whitakeri Mirza, Gowande, Patil, Ambekar & Patel; FP absent, only precloacal pores present in H. scabriceps); 36–38 MVSR (versus 41–43 MVSR in H. aaronbaueri; 28–36 MVSR H. depressus; 40–46 MVSR in H. graniticolus; 28–30 MVSR in H. kangerensis; 32–34 MVSR in H. kolliensis; 28–34 MVSR in H. maculatus; >30 MVSR in H. sahgali; 27–30 MVSR in H. siva; 30–33 MVSR in H. sushilduttai; 30–32 MVSR in H. triedrus; 28–30 MVSR in H. whitakeri); SVL < 95 mm (versus SVL up to 128 mm in H. aaronbaueri; SVL up to 108 mm in H. acanthopholis; SVL up to 111 mm in H. graniticolus; SVL up to 118 mm in H. maculatus; SVL up to 128 mm in H. paaragowli; SVL up to 105 mm in H. siva and H. sushilduttai; SVL up to 112 mm in H. vanam) (Khandekar et al. 2020: 96).

Colouration in life (Figure 7A). Dorsal ground colour of head, body, limbs, and tail brown. A preorbital light yellow streak flanked by black borders runs from anterior of eye to nostril and continues as a postorbital streak till above tympanum. Labials dark grey with some lighter yellow spots. Head with indistinct dark brown and yellow markings. Dorsal pattern of dark transverse >0< shaped markings, single indistinct band on nape, three bands on back, and one indistinct band on tail base. Tail with 10 light and 10 or 11 dark bands. Dorsum of limbs and digits with irregular dark bands. Ventral surfaces dirty white, with faint pale saffron-yellow speckles, most prominent and mixed with dark markings underside of tail; palm and sole grey (Khandekar et al. 2020: 97). 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is a toponym for the Sirumalai Massif, the only known locality of the species. 
  • KHANDEKAR, AKSHAY; TEJAS THACKERAY, SWAPNIL PAWAR, ISHAN AGARWAL 2020. A new medium-bodied rupicolous Hemidactylus Goldfuss, 1820 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from the Sirumalai massif, Tamil Nadu, India. Zootaxa 4852 (1): 83–100 - get paper here
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