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New Parachuting Gecko Species From India Described

The nocturnal gecko was found in India's Mizoram state.

Gekko mizoramensis is genetically similar to G. popaensis.

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Researchers have described a new species of parachute gecko that hails from South and Southeast Asia. The gecko, Gekko mizoramensis was found during a gecko surveying trip in northeastern India.

Gekko mizoramensis is a gray to grayish brown in coloration with black irregular lines on the head and back. The feet are webbed to help with climbing. The tail is ridged on the sides. It is genetically similar to G. popaensis and is separated geographically by the Arakan Hill Range.

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Specimens were found in the Lawngtlai town area during the April to October monsoon season. They were all collected at night, about 150 to 360cm above the ground. They were observed eating beetles, roaches, moths and other insects that were attracted by light. When handled, the geckos would attempt to bite aggressively, the researchers wrote. When left undisturbed, they remained motionless.

They were found in a settlement with homestead gardens surrounded by secondary tropical evergreen forest that was changed by people. Some of the tree specie sin the vicinity included Crataegus monogyna, Ficus geniculata, Mangifera indica and Schima wallichi, and other lizard species included forest agamas (Calotes irawadi), Tokay gecko (Gekko gecko) and the common house gecko (Hemidactylus frenatus). Gekko mizoramensis appears to be sparsely distributed throughout India’s Mizoram state, the researchers wrote.

The complete paper, A new species of Parachute Gecko of the subgenus Ptychozoon (Sauria: Gekkonidae: Gekko) from the Indo-Burma region can be read on Salamandra, the German Journal of Herpetology.

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