A new species of gecko endemic to the Eastern Ghats, India

Main report: New species of gecko discovered in Andhra Pradesh after 5-year study
Other Reporting: Times of India, Man Without a Past, The Hindu
Scientific Paper: Novataxa    (Plazi Treatment)
New Taxa: Hemidactylus sushilduttai
Common Name: Dutta’s Mahendragiri gecko
Species named for: herpetologist Sushil Kumar Dutta
Categories: New Species | Reptiles
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A new species of gecko was found in the Eastern Ghats in northern Andhra Pradesh, India.  This is the third vertebrate endemic to the Mahendragiri Range, highlighting the significance of this topographically complex region.  The new species was earlier misidentified as the spotted rock gecko (Hemidactylus maculatus) – a large-bodied lizard, endemic to the northern Western Ghats in Maharashtra.  However, after studying its DNA, the authors found that the two species have geographically separated populations that deeply divergent from each other, and morphological characters showed that the new species has many unique, diagnostic characters.

Hemidactylus sushilduttai. Photo: Ishan Agarwal


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