Vivek Philip Cyriac

Vivek Philip Cyriac
Indian Institute of Science | IISC · Centre for Ecological Sciences

PhD

About

31
Publications
9,321
Reads
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158
Citations
Introduction
I’m an evolutionary ecologist and herpetologist with broad interests in the evolutionary and ecological mechanisms that generate biodiversity patterns. My work is centred around understanding how environmental factors and biotic interactions influence speciation and extinction in different lineages. ​ I'm also interested in understanding how behavioural traits and cognitive flexibility allow species to adapt to rapidly changing environments.
Additional affiliations
August 2014 - present
Indian Institute Of Science Education and Research, Thiruvananthapuram
Position
  • PhD Student
October 2011 - June 2014
Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University
Position
  • Master's Student
Education
October 2011 - March 2014
Centre for Wildlife Studies, Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University
Field of study
  • Wildlife Biology

Publications

Publications (31)
Article
Herpetology in India took off during the British colonial rule with the documentation of herpetofauna. Several studies have outlined the early history of Indian herpetology; however, few have traced the growth of this field since India's independence. We analyse trends in Indian herpetology focusing on taxa, subfields, and authorship over the last...
Article
Many species possess warning colourations that signal unprofitability to predators. Warning colourations are also thought to provide prey with a ‘predator-free space’ and promote niche expansion. However, how such strategies release a species from environmental constraints and facilitate niche expansion is not clearly understood. Fossoriality in re...
Article
Full-text available
Most studies on warning signal theory have focused on aposematic prey, which signal unpalatability through conspicuous signals. Palatable prey that are difficult to capture or process may also use conspicuous signals to advertise unprofitability to predators. Theory predicts that predators should avoid prey with long handling time, especially when...
Preprint
The tree of life is highly asymmetrical in its clade wise species richness and this has often been attributed to variation in diversification rates either across time or lineages. Variations across lineages are usually associated with traits that increase lineage diversification. Certain traits can also hinder diversification by increasing extincti...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding how and why diversification rates vary across evolutionary time is central to understanding how biodiversity is generated and maintained. Recent mathematical models that allow estimation of diversification rates across time from reconstructed phylogenies have enabled us to make inferences on how biodiversity copes with environmental c...
Article
Hemipenial characteristics have historically provided a wealth of comparative morphological characters for the systematic classification of snakes. However, the organs remain poorly known in many groups, particularly tropical and burrowing lineages. Here, we report on hemipenial morphology for 12 species from five genera from the family Uropeltidae...
Article
Predation exerts a strong selective force on prey, and hence prey species have evolved a multitude of ways to escape predation. One strategy by which many mobile species escape predation is by fleeing when approached by predators. However, fleeing too early can have fitness costs. Thus, optimal escape theory suggests that escape behaviour in prey d...
Article
Full-text available
Human-induced alterations have had a profound impact on the environment affecting several species. Many lizards, however, especially members of the gecko genus Hemidactylus, are cosmopolitan and are found living on buildings in urban areas. Nevertheless, how some reptiles colonize and thrive in human-altered habitats remain relatively less explored...
Article
Full-text available
A new species of the genus Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887 is described from the Rajgad fort in the northern Western Ghats of Maharashtra, India. The new species, belonging to the flaviventralis clade, is one of the smallest known Indian Cnemaspis and can be distinguished from other congeners by its genetic distinctiveness and few key morphological chara...
Article
Full-text available
A new species of the uropeltid (shieldtail snake) genus Rhinophis is described based on a type series of seven specimens from the Wayanad region of the Western Ghats of peninsular India. The holotype was collected before 1880 but had been misidentified as the phenotypically similar and parapatric (possibly partly sympatric) R. sanguineus. Rhinophis...
Article
Full-text available
A new cryptic species of the gekkonid genus Cnemaspis is described from the Central Western Ghats of Kerala, India. Cnemaspis palakkadensis sp. nov. is a small-sized (snout-vent length less than 35 mm) Cnemaspis in the littoralis clade. Although the new species superficially resembles C. littoralis, it shows moderate levels of genetic divergence in...
Article
Many species possess warning colourations that signal unprofitability to predators. Warning colourations are also thought to provide prey with a 'predator-free space' and promote niche expansion. However, how such strategies release a species from environmental constraints and facilitate niche expansion is not clearly understood. Fossoriality in re...
Article
A new species of the shieldtail snake genus Rhinophis is described based on a type series of seven recently collected specimens from the Wayanad region of the Western Ghats of peninsular India. Rhinophis melanoleucus sp. nov. is diagnosed based on a combination of 15 dorsal scale rows at (or just behind) midbody, more than 215 ventral scales and a...
Article
Full-text available
Two new species of geckos of the genus Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887 are described from the Western Ghats of Kerala using an integrated taxonomic approach employing phylogenetic and multivariate morphometric methods. We provide a preliminary 16S rRNA tree of the Indian Cnemaspis and ascertain the phylogenetic placement of the two new species within the w...
Article
Full-text available
Uropeltid snakes (Family Uropeltidae) are non-venomous, fossorial snakes that are found above ground occasionally, during which time they are exposed to predation. Many species are brightly coloured, mostly on the ventral surface, but these colours are expected to have no function below the ground. Observations have shown that the cephalic resembla...
Article
Full-text available
Cnemaspis nilagirica was described by Manamendra-Arachchi, Batuwita and Pethiyagoda in 2007 based on a single female specimen that was a syntype of Gonatodes kandianus var. tropidogaster described by Boulenger in 1885. However, a living population of this species has not been reported since its original description by Boulenger. Based on fresh mate...
Article
Full-text available
Does specializing on particular resources restrict an organism’s ability to adapt to changing environments and increase its chances of extinction? Species adapted to living underground (fossoriality) tend to be highly specialized to their fossorial environment at multiple levels, and such specialization could potentially limit their ability to adap...
Article
Full-text available
Two new species of geckos of the genus Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887 are described from the southern Western Ghats of Ker-ala. Both species are medium to large sized Cnemaspis and can be differentiated from all other Indian congeners by a suite of distinct morphological characters. Both species are found in the high elevation forests of the two major mas...
Data
Supplementary information describing the methods used to test for the effect of tip ratio bias on the BiSSE and HiSSE analysis for the snake microhabitat dataset
Article
Full-text available
The tree of life is highly asymmetrical in its clade wise species richness and this has often been attributed to variation in diversification rates either across time or lineages. Variations across lineages are usually associated with traits that increase lineage diversification. Certain traits can also hinder diversification by increasing extincti...
Article
Full-text available
Two new species of rhacophorid bush frogs of the genus Raorchestes are described from the tropical montane wet forests in the Silent Valley National Park in the Nilgiri Hills, a high horst in the Western Ghats, India. Both species can be differentiated from their congeners by morphological and bioacoustic characters as well as differences in the mi...
Article
Full-text available
Raorchestes flaviventris, a species of rhacophorid bush frog described from the Western Ghats by George Albert Boulenger in 1882, has never been reported from the region since its description. However, we herewith report a record of the species after almost 132 years and redescribe the species and also clarify confusions that prevailed over the tax...
Article
Full-text available
The Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot is a recognized center of rhacophorid diversity as demonstrated by several recent studies. The endemic genus Ghatixalus is represented by two species from two separate high-elevation regions within the Ghats. Here, we describe a third species that can be distinguished by morphological and larval characters, as...
Article
Full-text available
A new species of ground dwelling gecko, Cnemaspis kottiyoorensis sp. nov. is described from the hills of Kannur and Wayanad district of Kerala, India. This medium sized, robust Cnemaspis differs from all other Indian con-geners in possessing heterogeneous dorsal scales composed of granular scales with more or less regularly arranged longitudinal ro...
Article
Full-text available
A new species of ground dwelling gecko, Cnemaspis kottiyoorensis sp. nov. is described from the hills of Kannur and Wayanad district of Kerala, India. This medium sized, robust Cnemaspis differs from all other Indian con-geners in possessing heterogeneous dorsal scales composed of granular scales with more or less regularly arranged longitudinal ro...
Article
Full-text available
The gecko Cnemaspis littoralis was described by Jerdon in 1853 from a single specimen found in a warehouse on the sea coast of Malabar. A search of the reptile collection of the ZSI failed to uncover any trace of the type specimen of this species; similar searches of the reptile collections of BMNH also proved abortive. Manamendra-Arachchi et al. (...
Article
Full-text available
Occurrence of the Anaimalai Gecko Hemidactylus anamallensis Gunther, 1875 from Chembra, Wayanad, Kerala

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