Tuesday, April 18, 2017

[Herpetology • 2017] Cnemaspis kandambyi • A New Species of Cnemaspis (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Knuckles Range of Sri Lanka

Cnemaspis kandambyi  
  BatuwitaUdugampala, 2017


A new species of Cnemaspis Strauch is described from Knuckles Range of Sri Lanka. This new species had been previously confused with Cnemaspis podihuna Deraniyagala. Cnemaspis kandambyi sp. nov. closely resembles Cpodihuna and Cmolligodai Wickramasinghe & Munindradasa. Cnemaspis kandambyi sp. nov. differs from C. podihuna by having 7–8 (versus 3–6) unpored scales in each side of the precloacal-femoral pores row, lacking (versus having) an internasal scale, body (axilla to groin) relatively long 47.7–48.3 (versus 38.1–38.7)% of SVL and dorsum dark brown (versus bright yellow). Cnemaspis kandambyi sp. nov. also distinguished from C. molligodai by having 4 (versus 5) precloacal pores, 5–6 (versus 7–9) femoral pores on each side, precloacal pores not in an inverted V-shaped arrangement (versus in inverted V-shaped arrangement), lacking (versus having) a distinct black marking on nape and a black lateral stripe begins behind eye extends laterally beyond the origin of forearm (versus not extending beyond the origin of forearm). Additionally, Cnemaspis kandambyi sp. nov. and C. molligodai show discrete distribution: former restricted to Knuckles Range and the latter confined to Lowland wet zone of Sri Lanka. We confirm that, no type material of Cnemaspis podihuna survive in the current collection of the National Museum of Sri Lanka.

Keywords: Reptilia, Cnemaspis molligodai, holotype, Meemure, National Museum

Cnemaspis kandambyi sp. nov., in life, not preserved from Meemure in the Matale District. (Note the flattened tail and black stripe on neck with the NMSL uncatalogued paratype)
photo: S. P. Benjamin
Etymology. The species name is a patronym in the Latin genitive singular, in honour of Dharma Sri Kandamby (Former Curator of the vertebrate section of the National Museum of Sri Lanka [1982-2012]), for his contributions to the herpetology of Sri Lanka and for his guidance to both authors. 

Distribution and natural history. The new species was observed in large trees with epiphytes (Dendrobium sp.) in the Meemure area (~ 450 m msl) in the Knuckles Range (Fig. 3). Cnemaspis kandambyi sp. nov. is an arboreal and diurnal gecko.

 Sudesh Batuwita and Sampath Udugampala. 2017. Description of A New Species of Cnemaspis (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Knuckles Range of Sri Lanka. Zootaxa. 4254(1); 82–90.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4254.1.4


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