22 August 2022.
A group of researchers has recently discovered a new species of bent-toed gecko from the Agasthyamalai hills in the Western Ghats.
- The name of this new gecko has been given in the name of well-known malacologist N.A. Arvind as Aravind’s ground gecko. The new species has been described based on its distinctness in the morphological and molecular DNA data.
- Its scientific name is Cyrtodactylus aravindi. It is distinguished from all species of the Cyrtodactylus collegalensis species complex in colour pattern and resembles the Srilankan endemic C. yakhuna in overall colouration.
- Currently, Aravind’s ground gecko has so far been found only at two locations, Muppanddal and Thuckalay, in Kanyakumari district falling within the Agasthyamalai biosphere reserve in Tamil Nadu.
- Geckos are reptiles, that are found on all continents except Antarctica.
- These colourful lizards have adapted to habitats ranging from rainforests, deserts, to cold mountain slopes.
- Most of the geckos are nocturnal, i.e., they are active at night.
- However, day geckos are active during the day.
- They depend on fruits, flower nectar and insects.
What is unique about Gecko?
- Geckos are unique among lizards.
- They are unique for their vocalisation.
- They use chirping and clicking sounds for their social interactions.
- They make hissing sounds when threatened or alarmed.
Family of Geckos
Geckos are spread across six families namely Carphodactylidae, Diplodactylidae, Gekkonidae, Eublepharidae, Sphaerodactylidae and Phyllodactylidae.
Species of Gecko in India
- Indian Golden Gecko, belonging to family Gekkonidae, is native to India states of Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh. It is listed in Schedule 1 of Wildlife Protection Act. In IUCN list, it is categorised as Least Concern (LC) species.
- Tokay Gecko belonging to family Gekkonidae is widespread in Indo-Malayan region It is a schedule 4 species of wild life protection act and Least Concern (LC) species of IUCN list.