A team of researchers has identified a new gecko species from the hills of Attappady, in the Western Ghats, Kerala.
About the new gecko species
- The new large species of gecko belonging to the genus Hemidactylus goldfuss was found close to human habitation — in tribal settlements and rock formations in the region.
- The team was on an expedition surveying amphibian reptiles in the forest areas of Attappady.
- The new species, named Hemidactylus easai after former director of the Kerala Forest and Reasearch Institute (KFRI) and wildlife conservationist PS Easa, was found in the drier parts of the region.
- The gecko measures 105 mm from snout to vent (10.5 cm) and is a light brown to grey in colour.
- The genus Hemidactylus goldfuss has 180 species of geckos distributed across the globe and India has 48.
- Kerala has over 30 species of gecko and with this new addition, there are nine under the Hemidactylus genus.
- Geckos don’t pose a threat to human habitation and they play an important role in controlling the insect population. Though their relevance to humans may seem negligible, it is still significant.
- The forests of Attappady hold huge potential for those interested in the scientific study of reptiles and amphibians.
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