Arunachal Pradesh : New Skink Species ‘Protoblepharus apatani’ Discovered In East Kameng

Posted in Arunachal Pradesh, Featured, Northeast


  • NET Web Desk

A team of researchers from India and Russia have recently discovered a new genus belonging to the family of skink from Talle Wildlife Sanctuary in East Kameng district, Arunachal Pradesh.

Named as ‘Protoblepharus apatani‘, the skinks are small and active lizards, incorporating of a dark brown body and two faint stripes with a brilliant iridescent sheen to their scales. Such species usually are more elongate and glossy with distinctly shorter legs.

This species has been discovered by the team who earlier discovered ‘Salazar pit viper’ and several other new species of snakes and lizards from the state, unearthed during their expedition in 2019.

According to Deccan Herald report, the team comprised of researchers from the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore (NCBS), Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai (BNHS), Abasaheb Garware College, Pune (AGC) and Veer Narmad South Gujarat University, Surat (VNSGU) and Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow (LMSU).

However, this expedition team was led by Zeeshan A. Mirza (NCBS), Harshal Bhosale (BNHS) and Gaurang Gowande (AGC), who travelled across Arunachal Pradesh for a month and a half during the months of June to August 2019.

Screengrab from PeerJ Journal
Screengrab from PeerJ Journal

Discovered under fallen longs in Talle Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, ‘Protoblepharus apatani‘ has been named after the Apatani tribe of Arunachal Pradesh’s Ziro valley, whose recommended English name is Apatani East-Himalayan Skink.

Its shape and minute details have been mentioned into a joint paper which was published in the current issue of the international multidisciplinary journal PeerJ.

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