A karst loving gecko from New Guinea revealed. Locals don’t like them at all.

Main report: Cyrtodactylus tanim sp. nov. - Morphological and Genetic Evidence for A New Karst Specialist Lizard from New Guinea (Cyrtodactylus: Gekkonidae)
(Herpetological taxonomy, phylogeny and systematics)

Scientific Paper: Royal Society Open Science   
New Taxa: Cyrtodactylus tanim
Species named for: ‘Tanim’, ‘Tanem’ or ‘Tanemkan’ is the ‘tokples’ name that Faiwol speakers from western Papua New Guinea
Categories: New Species | Reptiles
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The incredible eyes are adapted to the limestone landscape in which this new species thrives.  Authors combine morphological and genetic data to test whether a newly discovered gecko from an extremely rugged karst area in New Guinea shows morphological trends matching those observed in other lizards associated with complex rock habitats such as karst and caves. Consistent with predictions, the new species’ head is flatter and narrower than similar-sized relatives, and it has proportionally larger eyes and longer limbs.  The new gecko is given the local name for these kinds of lizards.  For some reason several local people including experienced hunters, showed distaste for Cyrtodactylus geckos, and were reluctant to touch, hold, or in the case of large specimens even look at them.

Phot: Paul M Oliver

Cyrtodactylus tanim. Photographs: Paul M. Oliver.

 

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