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Type: Article
Published: 2022-03-15
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Redescription of Hemidactylus giganteus Stoliczka, 1871 with the description of three new allied species (Squamata: Gekkonidae: Hemidactylus Goldfuss, 1820) from peninsular India

Natural History Museum and Wildlife Biology & Taxonomy Lab, Department of Zoology, University College of Science, Osmania University, Hyderabad, Telangana State–500007, India 2Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Studies (CBCS), #F6, Central Facilities for Research and Development (CFRD), Osmania University, Hyderabad, Telangana State-500007, India
Wildlife Information and Liaison Development (WILD) Society, No. 12, Thiruvannamalai Nagar, Saravanampatti-Kalapatti Road, Saravanampatti, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 641035, India.
Natural History Museum and Wildlife Biology & Taxonomy Lab, Department of Zoology, University College of Science, Osmania University, Hyderabad, Telangana State–500007, India 2Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Studies (CBCS), #F6, Central Facilities for Research and Development (CFRD), Osmania University, Hyderabad, Telangana State-500007, India. Systematics, Ecology & Conservation Laboratory, Zoo Outreach Organization, 12 Thiruvannamalai Nagar, Saravanampatti, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 641035, India
Reptilia Cryptic species Deccan plateau Karnataka leaf-toed gecko species novo Telangana state

Abstract

We revise the systematics of Hemidactylus giganteus—an Indian endemic leaf-toed gecko based on recent collections from the type locality and other localities in peninsular India. We provide a comprehensive redescription of H. giganteus sensu stricto and describe three new allied species from the Karnataka and Telangana states in India. We analysed the phylogenetic relationships between the three new species, H. raya sp. nov., H. saxicolus sp. nov., and H. aemulus sp. nov., and found them to be nested within the H. giganteus sensu lato branch. The pairwise genetic divergence between these new cryptic taxa from H. giganteus sensu stricto ranged from 5.88% to 10.95% for the Cyt b gene. The new species also differ from H. giganteus sensu stricto based on number of femoral pores on each thigh and poreless scales separating them (18–23 femoral pores and seven or eight poreless scales versus 17 femoral pores and seven poreless scales in H. raya sp. nov., 26 or 27 femoral pores and nine poreless scales in H. saxicolus sp. nov., and 22–25 femoral pores and nine to ten poreless scales in H. aemulus sp. nov.), corroborated by linear discriminant analysis based on 29 morphometric and meristic characters. Our species delimitation analysis shows the presence of three additional putative new species awaiting formal description within the H. giganteus sensu lato branch.

 

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