FunNature & AnimalA colorful species of gecko discovered in India

A colorful species of gecko discovered in India

This gecko belongs to the genus Eublepharis which contains 44 species in six genera distributed in parts of North and Central America, West and East Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Malay Archipelago.

Currently this genus, which was described for the first time in 1827 , is represented by seven species, five of which are known from India.

The newly discovered species, named Eublepharis pictus, is found in the Indian states of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. It is 11.7 cm long and prefers dry green forests mixed with scrub and grasslands.

Eublepharis pictus is strictly nocturnal and has been observed actively foraging along forest paths after dark,” commented Zeeshan Mirza of the National Center for Biological Sciences in Bangalore and Chandrashekaruni Gnaneswar of Madras Crocodile Bank Trust in their study published in the Evolutionary Systematics journal.

According to the researchers, this new and colorful species of gecko is found outside of protected areas. “Most leopard geckos die when encountered and the awareness that the species is harmless would be beneficial to the species. Based on the IUCN conservation prioritization criteria, we propose listing Eublepharis pictus and Eublepharis hardwickii as Near Threatened status pending further information on local population estimates, especially in protected areas.”

According to the researchers, this species is often illegally hunted for the pet trade and even for smuggling. It is vital to limit the illegal trade in this species.

Referencia: Z.A. Mirza & C. Gnaneswar. 2022. Description of a new species of leopard geckos, Eublepharis Gray, 1827 from Eastern Ghats, India with notes on Eublepharis hardwickii Gray, 1827. Evolutionary Systematics 6 (1): 77-88; doi: 10.3897/evolsyst.6.83290

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