- Recently, researchers have identified a new colorful species of leopard geckos named Eublepharis pictus, also known as the Painted Leopard Gecko, earlier it was thought to belong to a known species.
- The new species differs from all members of the genus Eublepharis except for E hardwickii.
- Eublepharis is a genus of terrestrial geckos native to eastern and southwestern Asia.
- The new species lives in dry evergreen forests mixed with scrub and meadows. It is strictly nocturnal, actively foraging along trails in the forest after dusk.
- Researchers had initially identified the specimen as an East Indian Leopard Gecko (Eublepharis hardwickii). This new species appears to be common in the forests of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.
- Geographically the two species appear to be separated by the Brahmani River.
- The gecko genus Eublepharis now has 7 species.
- Based on IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) conservation prioritization criteria, the researchers suggested it to list as Near Threatened (NT).
- More research may also encourage better protection of biodiversity in the area. The Eastern Ghats are severely under-surveyed, and dedicated efforts will help recognise it as a biodiversity hotspot.
- Geckos are reptiles and are found on all continents except Antarctica. These colorful lizards have adapted to habitats from rainforests, to deserts, to cold mountain slopes.
- Most geckos are nocturnal, which means they are active at night, but day geckos are active during the day and depend on insects, fruits, and flower nectar.
- Carphodactylidae, Diplodactylidae, Eublepharidae, Gekkonidae, Phyllodactylidae, and Sphaerodactylidae.
SOURCE: THE HINDU,THE ECONOMIC TIMES,MINT