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Painted Leopard Gecko

  • 03 Jun 2022
  • 3 min read

Why in News?

Recently, researchers have identified a new colorful species of leopard geckos named Eublepharis pictus, also known as the Painted Leopard Gecko, earlier it was thought to belong to a known species.

What are the Findings?

  • The new species differs from all members of the genus Eublepharis except for E hardwickii.
    • Eublepharis is a genus of terrestrial geckos native to eastern and southwestern Asia.
  • The new species lives in dry evergreen forests mixed with scrub and meadows. It is strictly nocturnal, actively foraging along trails in the forest after dusk.
  • Researchers had initially identified the specimen as an East Indian Leopard Gecko (Eublepharis hardwickii). This new species appears to be common in the forests of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.
    • Geographically the two species appear to be separated by the Brahmani River.
  • The gecko genus Eublepharis now has 7 species.
  • Based on IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) conservation prioritization criteria, the researchers suggested it to list as Near Threatened (NT).
  • More research may also encourage better protection of biodiversity in the area. The Eastern Ghats are severely under-surveyed, and dedicated efforts will help recognise it as a biodiversity hotspot.

What are Geckos?

  • About:
    • Geckos are reptiles and are found on all 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: IE

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