Reptiles

New gecko lives on the beach

New gecko lives on the beach

New Species, Reptiles December 7, 2017 at 1:08 am

Lepidodactylus pantai is a new species of gecko from the Kei Islands, Maluku, Indonesia that is closely associated with intertidal habitats.

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

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

New Species, Reptiles December 7, 2017 at 12:48 am

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,Read More

A new species of Cyrtodactylus gecko from the central highlands of Vietnam

A new species of Cyrtodactylus gecko from the central highlands of Vietnam

New Species, Reptiles December 7, 2017 at 12:28 am

A new species of the genus Cyrtodactylus from Gia Lai Province, Central Highlands of Vietnam. There has been an enormous increase in the number of new species of the genus Cyrtodactylus recently described from Southeast Asia and the Oceanian region, resulting in a total of at least 90 currently recognized species (Ngo & Bauer 2008).

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

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

New Species, Reptiles December 6, 2017 at 11:48 pm

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.  

Legless lizard discovered in Brazil, deemed critically endangered

Legless lizard discovered in Brazil, deemed critically endangered

New Species, Reptiles December 5, 2017 at 10:32 am

After reviewing major herpetological collections conducting fieldwork for more than 2 decades in Brazil, researchers came across a new species of legless lizard.  The authors propose a “Critically Endangered” extinction risk classification should be officially assessed and given to the new species.    

A worm lizard from Malaysia

A worm lizard from Malaysia

New Species, Reptiles December 5, 2017 at 10:10 am

A new species of worm lizard is described from the central highlands of Peninsular Malaysia.  This new member of a little-known and highly illusive genus of legless lizard which first looked like a ‘particularly scaly earthworm’ caught the author’s eye which turned out to be of a new species of worm lizard.  As stated by the author, “a joyful reminder to always take a closer look!”.

A new species of mountain stream snake, from China

A new species of mountain stream snake, from China

New Species, Reptiles December 4, 2017 at 4:40 pm

A new species of natricine snake of the Southeast Asia.

Two new Andean anoles from southern Ecuador

Two new Andean anoles from southern Ecuador

New Species, Reptiles November 27, 2017 at 10:46 am

Individuals of both new species were collected within a protected area in southern Ecuador, Podocarpus National Park, which suggests that at least some populations of these species are well protected.

Golden eyed gecko discovered in wild and gruesome locale

Golden eyed gecko discovered in wild and gruesome locale

New Species, Reptiles November 24, 2017 at 1:45 pm

The golden-eyed gecko was known from a single specimen just sitting in the Queensland Museum, but had never been found in the wild.  The new gecko species is found in central Queensland and is thought to be endemic to the Brigalow Belt region. The species name  trux ” is Latin for wild, savage, harsh and pitiless, including instruments of human savagery, and also of the scene of such cruelty. This name was Chosen in reference to the only location known for Strophurus trux sp. nov. It is in the proximity of the “Marlborough stretch”, a section of the old Bruce Highway inRead More

New Species of Arboreal Lizard, Discovered after Dam Flooding in Amazonas

New Species of Arboreal Lizard, Discovered after Dam Flooding in Amazonas

New Species, Reptiles November 22, 2017 at 3:40 pm

The new species, named Euspondylus excelsum, is arboreal and was discovered when the lizard’s habitat was flooded by a hydroelectric project in the Amazonian slopes of the Andes in Central Peru.  The flooding allowed researchers to access to the canopy of the trees of the area.  Specimens were observed on branches or bromeliads in the canopy that was still above water, suggesting the importance of canopy survey method to properly sample arboreal lizards and other canopy dwelling herpetofauna.

New snake identified on holy mount in Sri Lanka

New snake identified on holy mount in Sri Lanka

New Species, Reptiles November 13, 2017 at 3:47 pm

A New Species of Aspidura is described from Sri Pada Sanctuary (Peak Wilderness), Sri Lanka.  Sri Pada Sanctuary, or Adam’s Peak Wilderness, is a tropical rain forest that spreads over the Sri Pada Peak (Adam’s Peak.)  Adam’s Peak is one of the major ecotourism destinations in the hill country of Sri Lanka.  Its summit is revered by different religions, as a footprint there is believed to have been made by either Buddha, Adam, or St. Thomas.

19 new gecko species discovered in Myanmar

19 new gecko species discovered in Myanmar

New Species, Reptiles October 23, 2017 at 7:56 am

Aided in the search by monks and armed guards, a team of scientists has found an astonishing fifteen, and perhaps nineteen new gecko species in limestone hills in Myanmar.  The geckos all live in the same small area.  The discoveries were made over a two-week period in October 2016, and included 12 new species of bent-toed gecko from the genus Cyrtodactylus and three dwarf geckos from the genus Hemiphyllodactylus.   Author Lee Grismer is currently analyzing another 4 species.  Research was supported by Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum at Brigham Young University.   Forthcoming publication about the bent-toed geckosRead More

A huge new gecko, hiding in plain sight

A huge new gecko, hiding in plain sight

New Species, Reptiles October 21, 2017 at 9:27 am

Growing to over eight inches long, the adult Kanger valley rock gecko is fairly large. The researchers found them in abandoned houses in Kanger Ghati National Park and juveniles on termite mounds and tree trunks. Though several researchers and reptile buffs had spotted the species before, they had mistaken it for the commonly-found rock gecko which it resembles.

Review of a 500 year old field writing results in identification of new species of cobra

Review of a 500 year old field writing results in identification of new species of cobra

New Species, Reptiles, Species Discovery October 18, 2017 at 11:04 am

A cobra snake that was once thought to be an introduced species on Sao Tomé Island in the Gulf of Guinea, is actually a new species.   Herpetologist Luis Ceríaco of Villanova University in Pennsylvania, found a report detailing a visit to the island by a Portuguese explorer in 1506. In that report, the explorer described a black snake that was  “so venomous that when it bites a man, his eyes will explode out of the head and he will die.  Looking more closely into what was thought to be an introduced species, Ceríaco confirmed that cobra-preta, now named Naja peroescobari, is indeed aRead More

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.