Researchers have discovered a new gecko species that is so agile it was named after action star Jackie Chan. Jackie’s day gecko (Cnemaspis jackieii
Researchers have discovered a new gecko species that is so agile it was named after action star Jackie Chan.
Jackie’s day gecko (Cnemaspis jackieii) is endemic to the Western Ghats mountain range of India and is one of 12 new species that described from the region this year. The gecko is so agile, the researchers had a difficult time trying to capture it in order to study it.
“Whenever we attempted to catch it, it would spring from one rock to the other, and crawl into the smallest of crevices to escape us,” Saunak Pal of the Bombay Natural History Society in Mumbai told Science News. The little gecko’s fast footed action immediately reminded the researchers of the Hong Kong martial artist.
“Naming a species in this manner helps people connect with it especially when it is a less popular class of animals like reptiles,” co-author Zeeshan Mirza of the National Centre for Biological Sciences in Bangalore said.
Jackie Chan’s Day Gecko
Jackie’s day gecko is small gecko that measures about 31.1mm from snout to vent. A diurnal species, Cnemaspis jackieii features small eyes with round, black pupils. It has yellow coloration at the front of its eyes and is black and yellow along the jaw. The back is white with rust-red spots and the tail alternates with white and black blocks. It is currently only known to exist in Tamil Nadu’s Vairavankulam Reserve Forest in the southern Western Ghats.
Cnemaspis jackieii is just one of 12 gecko species that are described in the researcher’s latest paper, “Diversifying on the Ark: multiple new endemic lineages of dwarf geckos from the Western Ghats provide insights into the systematics and biogeography of South Asian Cnemaspis (Reptilia: Squamata)” which can be read on the Zoological Research website.