Meghalaya : New Bent-Toed Gecko Species Discovered In Ri-Bhoi; Named After Valour Of Indian Army

Posted in Featured, Meghalaya, Northeast


  • NET Web Desk

A team of researchers have recently discovered a new species of gecko or lizard belonging to the family of Cyrtodactylus exercitus (in Latin ‘exercitus’ means army) from Umroi Military station in Ri-Bhoi district of Meghalaya.

Named to honour the valour of Indian Army, these new species of bent-toed gecko was discovered as part of the research team’s efforts to uncover herpetofaunal diversity of North East India.

Published in the European Journal of Taxonomy, the research team comprised of Jayaditya Purkayastha and Sanath Chandra Bohra of Help Earth, Yashpal Singh Rathee of Umroi Military Station, Hmar Tlawmte Lalremsanga, Vabeiryureilai Mathipi, Lal Biakzuala and Lal Muansanga of Department of Zoology, Mizoram University and Beirathie Litho of RMSA School Lobo, Mizoram.

“The name was given to honour Indian army for their services to our motherland. The genus Cyrtodactylus is represented by around 320 species worldwide and is the third most speciose vertebrate genus in the world. The members of the genus range from South Asia to Melanesia with high diversity in south Asia. North East India is now home to 16 species of bent-toed gecko.” – asserted Jayaditya Purkayastha, a herpetalogist and general secretary of Help Earth – an NGO based in Guwahati.

Its worthy to note that recently, a team of researchers from Mizoram University have discovered a new species of bent-toed gecko or Cyrtodactylus belonging to the family of Cyrtodactylus khasiensis from Lunglei District of Mizoram. Named as Cyrtodactylus lungleiensis, one can differentiate these geckos from other such species through a bent toe, which resembles that of a bird’s toe. These bent-toe geckos reside only in the wild amid bushes, rocks and woods.

Published in the International Journal “Zootaxa vol.5093(4)” on January 28, 2022, this is considered to be the third discovery of a Cyrtodactylus species in Mizoram.

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