Researchers discover new gecko species endemic to Mizoram

News Excerpt

Recently, A team of scientists and researchers have discovered a new species of gecko endemic to Mizoram, taking the number of geckos native to the state to 6, and 22 across northeast India.


Key Points

  • The new species has been called 'Cyrtodactylus vairengtensis' after the town in Mizoram where it was discovered, while the common name given for the new species is 'Vairengte bent-toed gecko'.
    • The findings were published in the most recent issue of Zootaxa, a peer-reviewed publication for animal taxonomists.
  • The new species was discovered near human habitation at Vairengte in Mizoram's Kolasib district, according to the researchers. 
  • In June of last year, six specimens - three males and three females - were collected for research. 
  • The new species is a medium-sized gecko, with adults ranging in size from 57.6mm to 73.6mm.
  • This new species is distinguished by the number of femoral pores, which distinguishes it apart from other Cyrtodactylus families.
    • Femoral pores, which are found on the underside of lizards' hind legs and secrete a mixture of lipids and proteins, are considered to be utilized to attract mates and mark territory.
  • The Zootaxa report discovered 9-11 precloacal (also known as femoral) pores in males and 5-9 precloacal pits in females of the specimens collected by the researchers.

Status of New species

  • Since there is no information on the new species' range of distribution, food preferences, breeding behavior, other natural history, population status, or potential threats, the researchers proposed that it be classified as 'data deficient' by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

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