Wednesday, September 14, 2016

[Herpetology • 2016] Cnemaspis rajakarunai • A Rock Dwelling Day-Gecko (Gekkonidae: Cnemaspis) from Salgala, an unprotected Lowland Rainforest in Sri Lanka

Rajakaruna’s Day Gecko  |  Cnemaspis rajakarunai  
Wickramasinghe, Vidanapathirana & Rathnayaka, 2016


Abstract

A new species of Cnemaspis, Cnemaspis rajakarunai sp. nov. is described and is the fourth rock dwelling species belonging to the genus known from Sri Lanka. The new species is readily distinguished from all other congeners by the following combination of characters: adult snout–vent length 36–40 mm; precloacal pores absent, large femoero-precloacal scales 22; femoral pores 7–8, enlarged femoral scales 6; ventral scales 146–186; supralabials (to midorbital position) 7; supralabials (to angle of jaws) 9; total lamellae on finger IV 19–22, shape of the basal lamellae on toe IV elliptical; and its unique colour pattern. The new species is recorded from Salgala Forest an unprotected lowland rain forest.

Keywords: Reptilia, Endemic, new taxa, old world gecko, Sri Lanka


Cnemaspis rajakarunai sp. nov. (Holotype male, 38.1 mm SVL).
photo: Mendis Wickramasinghe 

Diagnosis. Cnemaspis rajakarunai sp. nov., was compared with all 22 extant species of the genus Cnemaspis known from Sri Lanka and the species can be readily distinguished from all known congeners by the following combination of characters: adult snout–vent length 36–40 mm (Table 1); precloacal pores absent, large femoero-precloacal scales 22; femoral pores 7–8, enlarged femoral scales 6; ventral scales 146–186; supralabials (to midorbital position) 7; supralabials (to angle of jaws) 9 (Table 2); total lamellae on finger IV 19–22 (4–5: 14–17), shape of the basal lamellae on toe IV elliptical (Table 3); and colouration prominent crown shaped off white markings on mid body from neck to tail base, pointing towards head.

Etymology. The species is named in honor of Henry Rajakaruna, one of the grandmasters in Sri Lankan photography, in recognition of his services to promote Fine Art Photography, in Sri Lanka for over half a century. The species epithet rajakarunai is a noun in the genitive case. Suggested vernacular names. The vernacular names assigned for the species are Rajakarunage diva huna, Rajakaruna pahalpalli and Rajakaruna’s Day Gecko in Sinhala, Tamil and in English, respectively.

Cnemaspis rajakarunai sp. nov. (Paratype male, 36.2 mm SVL).
photo: Mendis Wickramasinghe  


L. J. Mendis Wickramasinghe, Dulan Ranga Vidanapathirana and R. M. Gayan Priyankara Rathnayaka. 2016. Cnemaspis rajakarunai sp. nov., A Rock Dwelling Day-gecko (Sauria: Gekkonidae: Cnemaspis) from Salgala, an unprotected Lowland Rainforest in Sri Lanka.  Zootaxa.  4168(1); 92–108. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4168.1.4

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