Diversification in the mountains: A generic reappraisal of the Western Ghats endemic gecko genus Dravidogecko Smith, 1933 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) with descriptions of six new species

R. Chaitanya*, Varad B. Giri, V. Deepak, Aniruddha Datta-Roy, B. H.C.K. Murthy, Praveen Karanth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The monotypic genus Dravidogecko, represented by its type-species D. anamallensis, is singular amongst peninsular Indian gekkonid lineages in its endemism to the Western Ghats. Molecular species delimitation approaches reveal at least seven species-level lineages within the genus from its distribution range across the mid–high elevations of the southern Western Ghats of India. These lineages, albeit superficially cryptic, are patently diagnosable from each other by employing a limited but precise set of morphological characters. Six of these lineages that were obscured under the nomen D. anamallensis are herein recognized as distinct species. A reappraisal of the genus Dravidogecko is provided based on external morphology and osteological characters, along with a detailed redescription of the holotype of D. anamallensis. A key to the species based on diagnostic characters is presented. Gene-trees based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA data recovered marginally disparate topologies and were consequently coalesced into a species-tree for phylogenetic inference. Timetree analysis reveals late Miocene cladogenesis in this group and establishes late Palaeocene divergence from its sister genus, Hemidactylus, making Dravidogecko one of the earliest, extant lizard lineages to have colonized peninsular India.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-56
Number of pages56
JournalZootaxa
Volume4688
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 21 Oct 2019

Keywords

  • Biodiversity
  • Divergence dating
  • Gekkoninae
  • Molecular phylogenetics
  • Species delimitation
  • Taxonomy

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Diversification in the mountains: A generic reappraisal of the Western Ghats endemic gecko genus Dravidogecko Smith, 1933 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) with descriptions of six new species'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this