Gecko Species Of the <em>Cyrtodactylus brevipalmatus</em> Group DiscoveredCyrtodactylus thalang Photo by Researchers Nick Poyarkov, Лёша Трофимец, Андрей Брагин, Roman Nazarov, Parinya Herp Pawangkhanant, and Chatmongkon Suwannapoom

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Gecko Species Of the Cyrtodactylus brevipalmatus Group Discovered

A canopy dwelling specialist, Cyrtodactylus thalang has a prehensile tail.

The species name, Cyrtodactylus thalang comes from the ancient name of Phuket Island, with Thalang meaning "cape."

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Researchers Nick Poyarkov, Лёша Трофимец, Андрей Брагин, Roman Nazarov, Parinya Herp Pawangkhanant, and Chatmongkon Suwannapoom in Thailand have discovered and described a new species of bent-toed gecko of the Cyrtodactylus brevipalmatus group on Phuket island in Thailand. The gecko, Cyrtodactylus thalang sp. nov. is a sister species to C. brevipalmatus, which is found in the Thai-Malay Peninsula and C. cf. brevipalmatus which hails from peninsular Malaysia, on Langkawi Island in Kedah State. Cyrtodactylus thalang diverges from C. brevipalmatus by 14.7 percent and C. cf. brevipalmatus by 15.1 percent using the ND2 mitochondrial gene.

Cyrtodactylus thalang literally fell from a tree onto the researchers during a Phuket herpetological survey and expedition in 2022. Thai herpetologist and scientist Parinya Herp Pawangkhanant and his team later found three more specimens, enabling them to describe the new species.

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A canopy dwelling specialist, Cyrtodactylus thalang has a prehensile tail, joining all the other species in the group except C. ngati which lacks the prehensile tail. What is unique about geckos of the C. brevipalmatus group is that they live in the forest canopy, which is unlike other species of the bent-toed geckos, which are found in limestones, rocks, tree trunks or are ground dwellers.


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The species name, Cyrtodactylus thalang comes from the ancient name of Phuket Island, with Thalang meaning “cape.” The researchers believe that the geckos of the Cyrtodactylus brevipalmatus group originated on the Malay Peninsula and then riverside as they dispersed to the mountains of western Thailand then on to Laos and northern Vietnam.

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Females of the species have a snout to vent length of 64.5mm and has a dark ground color of head and body and limbs that are what the researchers describe as a unicolor tan-gold; butterfly marking at the nape and a light brown, and broken postorbital stripe between the eye and ear opening.

The complete paper, “A new species of the Cyrtodactylus brevipalmatus group (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Phuket Island, Thailand with a discussion of the group’s potential biogeography” can be read on the ResearchGate website.