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Type: Article
Published: 2019-01-17
Page range: 389–407
Abstract views: 82
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Description of a new species of the genus Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887 (Reptilia: Squamata: Gekkonidae) from the Nilgala Savannah forest,
Uva Province of Sri Lanka

Nature Explorations and Education Team, No: B-1 / G-6, De Soysapura Flats, Moratuwa 10400, Sri Lanka
Department of Biology, Villanova University, 800 Lancaster Avenue, Villanova, PA 19085, USA
Amphibia and Reptile Research Organization of Sri Lanka, 15/1, Dolosbage Road, Gampola, Sri Lanka
Department of Biological Sciences, Bridgewater State University, Bridgewater, MA 02325, USA
Natural History Section, Department of National Museum, Colombo 07, Sri Lanka
South Australian Herpetology Group, South Australian Museum, North Terrace, Adelaide, SA, Australia
Biodiversity Conservation Society, 150/6, Stanley Thilakaratne Mawatha, Nugegoda 10250, Sri Lanka
Central Environmental Authority, 104, Denzil Kobbekaduwa Mawatha, Battaramulla 10120, Sri Lanka
Department of Biological & Environmental Sciences, Longwood University, Farmville, USA
Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Rajarata University, Mihintale, Sri Lanka
Reptilia Autecology Conservation Microendemic Reproduction Systematics Threats


A new species of Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887 is described from Nilgala Savannah Forest in Sri Lanka. The new species is diagnosed from all other congeners by the following suite of characters: small body size (SVL< 33 mm), dorsal scales on trunk homogeneous, one pair of post mentals separated by a single small chin scale, ventral scales on trunk smooth, subimbricate, 17–19 scales across the belly. Subdigitals scansors smooth, entire, unnotched; lamellae under digit IV of pes 17 –18. Males with femoral pores on each thigh but lacking precloacal pores. Median row of subcaudals smooth, subimbricate, enlarged and in an irregular series of subhexagonal scales. This new species had been previously confused with Cnemaspis alwisi Wickramasinghe & Munidradasa, 2007. The new species differs from Cnemaspis alwisi by having 122–129 ventral scales (versus 146–152), 7–8 supralabials (versus 8–10), and relatively shorter SVL ranging between 31.5–32.9 mm (versus 37.8–39.9 mm). Further, the new species is genetically divergent from Cnemaspis alwisi, the species that it closely resembles by 13.5% and 7.8% from its sister species in the ND2 gene. The present discovery highlights the need for dedicated herpetofaunal explorations in Sri Lanka, especially the intermediate bioclimatic zone and associated cave systems and rock outcrops.



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