New Gecko Species: Odisha | 17 Jul 2021

Why in News

Recently, Odisha's forest officials have announced measures to preserve the newly discovered tiny gecko species of the genus Hemiphyllodactylus.

Key Points

  • About:
    • This was first spotted in Ganjam district, Odisha in 2014. The new species of Hemiphyllodactylus minimus is the smallest member of the genus with a maximum body size of little over six cm.
    • It is called Ganjam Slender Gecko.
    • The new species is the seventh Indian species of the genus, the second from the northern Eastern Ghats and 41st globally. It is the first non-island species of the genus which is distributed in lowland habitats.
  • Geckos:
    • Geckos are reptiles and are found on all the continents except Antarctica. These colorful lizards have adapted to habitats from rainforests, to deserts, to cold mountain slopes.
    • Most geckos are nocturnal, which means they are active at night, but day geckos are active during the day and depend on insects, fruits, and flower nectar.
    • Geckos are spread across six families: Carphodactylidae, Diplodactylidae, Eublepharidae, Gekkonidae, Phyllodactylidae, and Sphaerodactylidae.
  • Other Species of Gecko in India:
    • Indian Golden Gecko (family Gekkonidae) is native to India (Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh). It is listed in Schedule 1 of WPA (Wildlife Protection Act).
    • Tokay Gecko (family Gekkonidae) is widespread in the Indo-Malayan region Protection Status:
      • Schedule 4 of WPA.
      • IUCN Red List: Least Concern (LC).

Source: DTE