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Thread: New species of rock-dwelling lizard discovered

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    Default New species of rock-dwelling lizard discovered

    New species of rock-dwelling lizard discovered
    Oct 1, 2015, 12.42 PM IST

    A new species of rock-dwelling lizard at Kanker district of Chhattisgarh.

    The new species has been named Hemidactylus yajurvedi (Kanker Rock Gecko). The large-sized lizard having a snout-vent length (SVL) of up to 98mm is the 27th Hemidactylus species known in India.

    The team which made the discovery included Aaaron Bauer, department of biology, Villanova University, USA; Aparna Lajmi, Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore; Ishan Agarwal, National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Bangalore; and Varad B Giri, Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai.

    The team of scientists was headed by B H Channakeshava Murthy of the Western Ghats Regional Centre, Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), Kozhikode.

    He said "The team, while investigating the collections at the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), Kolkata, came across lizard specimens labelled as Hemidactylus giganteus, collected from Kanker district of then Madhya Pradesh (now Chhattisgarh) state way back in 1979. However, a detailed examination raised doubts that the ZSI specimens could be of an undescribed lizard species and that they were wrongly assigned to this species due to their large size and superficial similarity in colouration.

    The team visited areas around Kanker to establish the distinctiveness of the new species and collected additional specimens and tissue samples. Morphological and molecular examination revealed a distinct new species. The species has been spotted at five localities in Chhattisgarh in habitats mainly consisting of a mixture of dry deciduous forest and scrub vegetation."

    The new species has been named in honour of Hanumanth Narasimhachar Yajurvedi, professor, department of studies and research in Zoology at Manasagangotri, University of Mysore, for his contribution to the field of reproductive biology of reptiles and mammals.

    A record image from the net is attached for reference.
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    Mrudul Godbole

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