Monday, December 21, 2020

[Herpetology • 2020] Hemiphyllodactylus nilgiriensis & H. peninsularis • Two New Hemiphyllodactylus Bleeker, 1860 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Tamil Nadu, India

Hemiphyllodactylus nilgiriensis  H. peninsularis 
Agarwal, Bauer, Pal, Srikanthan & Khandekar, 2020

Two new species of the gekkonid genus Hemiphyllodactylus are described from mountains of the Western Ghats in Tamil Nadu, southern India. Hemiphyllodactylus nilgiriensis sp. nov. and H. peninsularis sp. nov. are > 5 % divergent in the mitochondrial ND2 gene from each other and members of the H. aurantiacus complex and differ from each other and members of the H. aurantiacus complex in several meristic characters and colouration. The description of these two new species takes the number of Indian Hemiphyllodactylus to six and the number of endemic geckos from Tamil Nadu to 15.

Keywords: Reptilia, Biodiversity hotspot; cryptic species, Gekkonidae, massif, peninsular India, taxonomy, Western Ghats

Hemiphyllodactylus nilgiriensis sp. nov. in life, female paratype, CESL 467; 
H. peninsularis sp. nov. in life, male holotype, BNHS 2633.

Hemiphyllodactylus nilgiriensis sp. nov.
 Etymology. The specific epithet is a toponym for the Nilgiri mountain range or Nilgiris, to which the new species is restricted. 
Suggested Common Name. Nilgiris slender gecko

Hemiphyllodactylus peninsularis sp. nov.  

Etymology. The specific epithet comes from the Latin paene (almost) and insula (island), reflecting the isolated nature of the montane type locality of the new species at the southern extreme of the Indian peninsula. 

Suggested Common Name. Kalakkad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve slender gecko


Ishan Agarwal, Aaron M. Bauer, Saunak Pal, Achyuthan N. Srikanthan and Akshay Khandekar. 2020. Two More New Hemiphyllodactylus Bleeker, 1860 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Tamil Nadu, India. Zootaxa. 4729(2); 249–265. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4729.2.6