Monday, May 15, 2023

[Herpetology • 2023] Cnemaspis reticulata • A New rupicolous Day Gecko Species (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Tamil Nadu, South India


 Cnemaspis reticulata
Sayyed, Kirubakaran, Khot, Abinesh, Harshan, Sayyed, Sayyed, Adhikari & Purkayastha, 2023

We here describe a new rupicolous day gecko species nested within the C. gracilis clade from Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India. The new species differs with a combination of morphological characters and molecular phylogenetics, from other closely related congeners. The sequence divergence of the new species in comparison with the congeners from the gracilis clade is 6.1–15.2% for the ND2 gene. The new species can also be differentiated from the congeners based on the following combination of morphological characters: conical and spine-like tubercles absent on flanks; adult SVL less than 35.0 mm; two precloacal pores; precloacal pores separated medially by two poreless scales; four femoral pores; number of mid-ventral scales 110–120; and a small black colour spot on the occiput.

Key words: dwarf geckos, gracilis clade, molecular phylogeny, ND2, rock-dwelling, systematics

 Cnemaspis reticulata sp. nov.

Diagnosis. A small-bodied Cnemaspis with adult SVL less than 35.0 mm; 7 supralabials; 7 or 8 infralabials; dorsal scales heterogeneous; dorsal scales small, granular, weakly keeled, intermixed with randomly arranged, weakly keeled, slightly larger tubercles; conical and spine-like tubercles absent on either side of the flanks; paravertebral scales 91–95; mid-dorsal scales 75–77; scales on snout, dorsal head, neck and body small, granular, juxtaposed, not keeled; scales on ventral surface of head, neck, pectoral, abdominal region, under limbs, and tail smooth; mid-ventral scales 110–120; ventral scales across midbody 28–30; subdigital lamellae under fourth digit of manus 13–14, under fourth digit of pes 17; males with 4 femoral pores on each thigh, 2 precloacal pores separated medially by 2 poreless scales, 9–10 poreless scales on either side between precloacal and femoral pores; dorsal scales of limbs granular, weakly keeled; a single enlarged postcloacal spur on each side. dorsal scales on tail keeled, granular, sub imbricate posteriorly, intermixed with enlarged, strongly keeled tubercles forming whorls; scales on ventral aspect of original tail imbricate, smooth, a series of enlarged sub-caudal scales; a single enlarged postcloacal spur on each side.

Etymology. The specific epithet reticulata is an adjective in feminine referring to the netlike dorsal colour pattern of the gecko. 
Suggested English Name: Reticulated dwarf Gecko.

Amit Sayyed, Samson Kirubakaran, Rahul Khot, Anbazhagan Abinesh, Shiva Harshan, Ayaan Sayyed, Masum Sayyed, Omkar Adhikari and Jayaditya Purkayastha. 2023. A New rupicolous Day Gecko Species (Squamata: Gekkonidae: Cnemaspis) from Tamil Nadu, South India. TAPROBANICA. 12(1); 5–13. DOI: 10.47605/tapro.v12i1.295