Villanova Biologists Part of Research Team to Discover New Species of Gecko from Western India

Villanova Biologists Part of Research Team to Discover New Species of Gecko from Western India

Villanova, Pa. - Two Villanova University biologists are part of a research team that discovered a new species of gecko in western India. Dr. Ishan Agarwal, a post-doctoral research fellow in Biology, was the lead author of an article published in the scientific journal, Zootaxa, describing the new species. Dr. Aaron Bauer, Professor of Biology and the Gerald M. Lemole Endowed Chair in Integrative Biology at Villanova University, was among the paper’s authors.

With over 200 described species, Cyrtodactylus is the most speciose gekkonid genus. Geckoella is a subgenus within Cyrtodactylus, endemic to peninsular India and Sri Lanka. The article notes that this distinctive new species of Cyrtodactylus (Geckoella)—named Cyrtodactylus varadgirii—“is the first new species of Geckoella to be described from India in over 130 years.”

"The discovery of this species is of note as it is found in the suburbs of Mumbai (formerly Bombay), which is one of the oldest Indian cities," said Dr. Agarwal. "The species can be diagnosed by its distinct colour pattern and a patch of enlarged scales below the angle of the jaw."

To read more about the discovery, visit: http://mapress.com/j/zt/article/view/zootaxa.4170.2.7