Kozhikode: A team of researchers has identified a new species of large-bodied lizard from Attappady hills in Kerala’s Western Ghats. The rock-dwelling gecko type lizard identified from drier parts of the Ghats is belonging to genus Hemidactylus.
Unlike other geckos, the newly found species has a snout-vent length of around 10 cm. It has dull-brown colour in the dorsal and light-yellow colour in the lower part.
The new species was found in the expedition survey conducted by researchers of Kerala Forest and Research Institute(KFRI), Zoological Survey of India, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), Bombay Natural History Society and Germany’s Senckenberg Natural History Museum. Sandeep Das, Surya Narayanan, Muhammad Jafer Palot, Deepak Veerappan, Saunak Pal and Siddharth were included in the research team.
The team compiled a report based on their findings and it got published in Vertebrate Zoology, an international scientific journal of Germany.
It is learnt that there are around 180 species of lizards under the genus Hemidactylus. In that, 48 species are found in India, while in Kerala there are nine including the latest.
Interestingly, the new species has been christened as Hemidactylus easai as a tribute to former KFRI chief Dr PS Easa.