This discovery has been published in the prestigious journal Zootaxa this month by Chelmala Srinivasulu, G Chethan Kumar and Bhargavi Srinivasulu of Wildlife Biology and Taxonomy Lab, Department of Zoology, Osmania University. The species was first observed by Dr Bhargavi in 2012 while surveying bats in the Hampi complex. Careful observations of the photographs of live animals and researching the known species of day geckos reported from India led to confirmation that the specimens belonged to a hitherto undescribed type.
Three voucher specimens later collected formed the basis of scientific description of this lizard. “These lizards were found to be active during the day time, seen on boulders and walls of temples and other ruins” informed Dr Bhargavi. These lizards feed on insects. Day geckos have been mostly reported from the Western Ghats and southern Eastern Ghats in peninsular India.
“Detection of the presence of day geckos in central regions of the peninsular India between the Eastern Ghats and Western Ghats is interesting and points to the fact that these regions are neglected with respect to documenting biological diversity, understanding habitat conditions and threats to habitats and species diversity dwelling therein,” opined Dr Chelmala Srinivasulu, the lead author of the research paper.
“Majority of research efforts in India are centred around biodiversity hotspots – the Western Ghats and the Himalayas. The so called species-poor regions of peninsular India are home to many Gondwana-relict and ancient lineages of life forms. Our efforts are on to contribute to better understanding the biological diversity in such areas,” he added