Reptiles

Rediscovery of a lizard in Argentina after decades of searching

Rediscovery of a lizard in Argentina after decades of searching

Lazarus Species, Reptiles September 28, 2017 at 8:50 am

Liolaemus rabinoi, a species from Argentina has formerly been considered extinct. It was first found in 1972 on the margins of the El Nihuil dam in San Rafael, Mendoza, Argentina. In November 2010, new specimens of lizards assignable to L. rabinoi were found in an area of large sand dunes, 10 km from where it had been searched for in vain for years.

A second species of the snake genus Blythia

A second species of the snake genus Blythia

New Species, Reptiles August 28, 2017 at 2:22 pm

A second species of the genus Blythia is described, from Mizoram, India.

New subspecies of sea snake is a floating ambush predator

New subspecies of sea snake is a floating ambush predator

New Species, Reptiles August 1, 2017 at 9:22 am

A new subspecies of sea snake has been discovered off the coast of Costa Rica, and it’s got a unique hunting style that’s never been seen before in aquatic reptiles. Hanging from the surface like a coiled spring, it preys upon unsuspecting fish as they swim below. The sea snake “opportunistically” feeds on small fish by hanging upside down in a coiled, or sinusoidal, position just below the water surface, and it only does so only at night. It’s just one of several differences that distinguish it from its closest living relative,  the  yellow-bellied sea snake, which lives in tropical waters throughoutRead More

Three new species of chameleons, from Central Africa

Three new species of chameleons, from Central Africa

New Species, Reptiles, Species Discovery June 22, 2017 at 11:16 am

A team of herpetologists, led by Dr. Eli Greenbaum, associate professor of biological sciences at the University of Texas at El Paso, has discovered three new species of chameleons. The reptile trio, historically thought to be a single species, was found in different parts of the Albertine Rift in Central Africa.  The specimens were collected in the Democratic Republic of the Congo between 2009 and 2014.  There are 206 described species of chameleons. “As chronicled the forthcoming book by the paper’s author, in Eli Greenbaum, Ph.D, “Emerald Labyrinth: A Scientist’s Adventures in the Jungles of the Congo,” the coming years will almost certainlyRead More

Boa not seen for 64 years, rediscovered alive after ‘wanted posters’ posted

Boa not seen for 64 years, rediscovered alive after ‘wanted posters’ posted

Lazarus Species, Reptiles June 20, 2017 at 11:18 am

1953 was the last time any researcher saw a Cropan’s boa (Corallus cropanii) alive, which lives in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest south of São Paulo. Since then, the snake—thought to be the rarest boid in the world—has been recorded by scientists just five times. In January, a 1.7-meter-long female was captured by a group of rural workers in January.  The recently-captured boa is lucky: One of its captors was about to hack it to death, when the other two recalled “wanted signs” that had been posted by researchers from the University of São Paulo’s Museum of Zoology and the Butantan Institute,Read More

Chameleon discovered again, after 180 years

Chameleon discovered again, after 180 years

Lazarus Species, New Species, Reptiles June 20, 2017 at 9:31 am

Distinctive white dots on its shoulders helped researchers realize the new species had been collected before, in the 1830s by a naturalist in the Dutch East Indies government, but never named nor described.    

A wolf snake from Indonesia

A wolf snake from Indonesia

New Species, Reptiles June 20, 2017 at 9:17 am

This new white-ringed snake has sharp, powerful fangs like the venomous snakes, and characteristic of wolf snakes.  

A new lizard endemic to Morocco

A new lizard endemic to Morocco

New Species, Reptiles June 13, 2017 at 11:34 am

A new endemic lizard to Morocco, Acanthodactylus margaritae sp. nov., was described.  The new species is confined to arid and semi-arid bioclimatic areas between the High Atlas and Anti-Atlas Mountains. The southern lineage, A. busacki, is now restricted to the Atlantic Sahara.

New Species of Fijian Iguana

New Species of Fijian Iguana

New Species, Reptiles, Species Discovery June 7, 2017 at 3:35 pm

The new species of lizard, Brachylophus gau, is one of only four living species of South Pacific iguana, and is restricted to the island of Gau, Republic of Fiji.   The first known recording of iguanas on Gau Island dates back to an expedition in the mid-19th century. In 1854, the survey ship HMS Herald carried Scottish naturalist John MacGillivray to the Fiji islands, where he chronicled his encounters with native wildlife in his journal.  MacGillivray’s journal entries were used with live observations and museum specimens to confirm and describe the new species. The discovery of the new species of lizard —Read More

Literally lost in the early 1800’s, a monitor lizard species is rediscovered in Papua New Guinea

Literally lost in the early 1800’s, a monitor lizard species is rediscovered in Papua New Guinea

Lazarus Species, New Species, Reptiles May 9, 2017 at 7:59 am

A monitor lizard lost to science in an 1800s shipwreck has been rediscovered on New Ireland, an island in Papua New Guinea. The medium-size monitor, Varanus douarrha, was first identified by French naturalist René Lesson in 1823. The specimen of the lizard collected by Lesson went down in a shipwreck off the Cape of Good Hope in 1824, however, so the monitor lizard was never systematically studied.  Varanus douarrha is now identified as a distinct from a the common mangrove monitor species (Varanus indicus) found all over New Guinea.  

A new skink described from East Malaysia (Borneo)

A new skink described from East Malaysia (Borneo)

New Species, Reptiles May 8, 2017 at 8:02 am

A new species of the genus Tropidophorus is described from Sarawak, East Malaysia (Borneo).

A new species of Asian rock gecko

A new species of Asian rock gecko

New Species, Reptiles May 3, 2017 at 10:44 am

A new species of Asian rock gecko, genus Cnemaspis, is described from Padawan, western Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. The new species forms a clade with C. paripari and C. nigridia of the C. nigridia group in a mitochondrial DNA phylogeny and is similar to them morphologically in some characters such as caudal scalation.

To new species of geckos in the proposed Lenya National Park, Myanmar

To new species of geckos in the proposed Lenya National Park, Myanmar

New Species, Reptiles April 17, 2017 at 10:42 am

Scientists have discovered two new species of geckos in the proposed Lenya National Park, Thailand — currently the Lenya and Nga Wun Reserve Forests — located in the country’s southern Tanintharyi Region.  Myanmar is currently home to 18 named species of bent-toed geckos, four of which are found in forests located in the Tanintharyi Region and neighboring Mon State.

A new species of gecko from India’s Satpura Tiger Reserve

A new species of gecko from India’s Satpura Tiger Reserve

New Species, Reptiles April 14, 2017 at 1:36 pm

About the size of a human palm, the reptile was not easy to find: It’s active at night, dwells on vertical cliffs, and looks a lot like its close relatives.

Three new species of groundsnake from Ecuador

Three new species of groundsnake from Ecuador

New Species, Reptiles March 22, 2017 at 9:30 am

The newfound species add to Earth’s most diverse snake genus—and one of them is already critically endangered.   Atractus cerberus, lives along the borders of forests within Ecuador’s Pacoche Wildlife Refuge, hiding under rocks and logs.  Just a few miles down the road from the snake’s habitat, within Ecuador’s Pacoche Wildlife Refuge, more than 1,200 acres of forest have been stripped bare—for a massive oil refinery . The denuded landscape reminded the researchers who discovered the snake of the underworld, Cerberus, who “guarded” hell’s gates., giving name to the new snake. See also other recent report of two species of Atractus.  

A review of diminutive day geckos from Sumatra reveals five new species

A review of diminutive day geckos from Sumatra reveals five new species

New Species, Reptiles March 1, 2017 at 1:22 pm

The five new species occur in the Sumatran provinces of Aceh, North Sumatra, and West Sumatra.  Authors also provide a new key and redescriptions for three previously recognized species: Cnemaspis dezwaani ,C. modiglianii, and C. whittenorum, based on recently collected material, and clarify contradictory information concerning their original descriptions and their key under each species account.

New Species of Gecko can Squirm Right Out of its Skin

New Species of Gecko can Squirm Right Out of its Skin

New Species, Reptiles February 7, 2017 at 9:42 am

Fish-scale geckos have large scales that tear away with ease, leaving them free to escape whilst the predator is left with a mouth full of scales. A newly discovered species in Madagascar is the master of this art, possessing the largest scales of any gecko.  Geckolepis megalepis is the first Geckolepis species to be described in 75 years.

Three new species of rock geckos from the Thai-Malay Peninsula

Three new species of rock geckos from the Thai-Malay Peninsula

New Species, Reptiles January 27, 2017 at 3:06 pm

Three new species of Rock Geckos Cnemaspis lineogularis sp. nov., C. phangngaensis sp. nov., and C. thachanaensis sp. nov. of the chanthaburiensis and siamensis groups are described from the Thai portion of the Thai-Malay Peninsula. These new species are distinguished from all other species in their two respective groups based on a unique combination of morphological characteristics, which is further supported by mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from the NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 gene (ND2).

Description of two new Atractus from the Brazilian Amazon

Description of two new Atractus from the Brazilian Amazon

New Species, Reptiles January 27, 2017 at 2:43 pm

The authors describe two new species of Atractus with 15 dorsal scale rows, previously confused with Atractus insipidus, from the eastern and western portions of Brazilian Amazonia, respectively.  

A new day gecko from India

A new day gecko from India

New Species, Reptiles December 27, 2016 at 7:44 pm

Cnemaspis flaviventralis, a new species of day gecko, is described from the forests of Amboli, Sindhudurg District, Maharashtra State, northern Western Ghats, India.