Friday, January 24, 2014

[Herpetology • 2014] Cnemaspis rammalensis | Rammale Day Gecko | Rammale diva huna | Rammale pahalpalli • Sri Lanka’s largest day-gecko (Sauria: Gekkonidae) from Rammalakanda Man and Biosphere Reserve in southern Sri Lanka

Rammale Day Gecko Cnemaspis rammalensis sp. nov.
Paratype female from Rammalakanda, Hambanthota District, Sri Lanka
photo: M. Wickramasinghe

A new species of rock dwelling gecko belonging to the genus Cnemaspis is described from Sri Lanka based on a suite of morphological features. The species is the largest of its genus described from Sri Lanka so far (snout-vent length 52–54 mm) and is the second largest of the Western Ghats-Sri Lanka Biodiversity Hotspot. It may be diagnosed in details of both scalation (ventrals186–207; mid-subcaudals large; absence of precloacal pores; 15 femoral pores on each side; 22–23 and 23–25 subdigital lamellae on finger IV and on toe IV, respectively; smooth scales on tail dorsum) and colouration (five prominent trilobate shaped cream markings pointing towards head and extending from neck to vent).The species is found in a unique habitat in the Rammalakanda Forest, where it is threatened by deforestation.

Keywords: Cnemaspis, gecko, new species, Rammalakanda, Sri Lanka

Etymology. The species epithet rammalensis is derived from “Rammalakanda” referring to the forest where the species was discovered. The specific name is an adjective derived from the geographical name.

Suggested vernacular names. The vernacular names assigned for the species are Rammale diva hunaRammale pahalpalli and Rammale Day Gecko in Sinhala, Tamil and in English, respectively.

Vidanapathirana, D.R., M.D.G. Rajeev, S.S. Fernando, N. Wickramasinghe and L.J.M. Wickramasinghe. 2014. Cnemaspis rammalensis sp. nov., Sri Lanka’s largest day-gecko (Sauria: Gekkonidae: Cnemaspis) from Rammalakanda Man and Biosphere Reserve in southern Sri Lanka. Zootaxa. 3755(3): 273–286.