A new species of the genus Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from the higher elevations of Tamil Nadu, India

Amit Sayyed, Samson Kirubakaran, Rahul Khot, Thanigaivel A, Satheeshkumar M, Ayaan Sayyed, Masum Sayyed, Jayaditya Purkayastha, Shubhankar Deshpande and Shauri Sulakhe

Asian Journal of Conservation Biology | November 1, 2023

In this study, we present the description of a previously undocumented species of Cnemaspis found in the region of Tamil Nadu, India. Molecular analysis of the species reveals its placement within the Cnemaspis beddomei Theobald, 1876 clade, with a range of genetic divergence on the ND2 gene, spanning from 9.5% to 30.2% in comparison to its congeners. Although bearing a resemblance to the well-known Cnemaspis ornata Beddome, 1870, the new species exhibits a distinct set of non-overlapping morphological characteristics that set it apart. These findings are supported by molecular data, solidifying the distinction between the newly described species and its close relatives.