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Satpura Leopard Gecko: Range extension record of a newly described species, Eublepharis satpuraensis from Bhoramdeo Wildlife Sanctuary, Chhattisgarh, central India.

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  • Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change

Abstract and Figures

Leopard gecko or eyelid gecko belongs to Eublepharidae family which has sporadic distribution across Eurasia, Africa and North America and is surviving with six genera and 31 species worldwide. Among these six genera, Genus Eublepharis had distribution records from Turkmenistan, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India to Bangladesh. Across India Eublepharid lizards are represented only by a single genus Eublepharis Gray, 1827, and previously known to be comprised of three different species; Eublepharis fuscus Börner, 1981, E. hardwickii Gray, 1827 and E. macularius Blyth, 1854. The new addition to this list was E. satpuraensis which was recently discovered from Satpura Hills, Central India based on detailed comparison of morphological parameters with congeners by Mirza et al (2014). The distribution range of E. satpuraensis was described as Satpura Hills which included Panchmari and surrounding areas of Satpura Tiger Reserve, Bhopal, Melghat Tiger Reserve, Pench Tiger Reserve, Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve and Jabalpur. In the recent past, a herpetological investigation and other relevant studies reported thirteen species of gecko in Chhattisgarh. As a part of that herpetological investigation, the present study confirmed occurrence of Eublepharis satpuraensis and describe the species from Bhoramdeo Wildlife Sanctuary and its adjacent forest patches in Chhattisgarh.
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Zoo’s Print Vol. 32 | No. 6 34
REPTILE RAP # 173
21 June 2017
SATPURA LEOPARD GECKO
Reptilia
[Class of Reptiles]
Squamata
[Order of scaled reptiles]
Eublepharidae
[Family of eyelid geckos
or leopard geckos]
Eublepharis
satpuraensis
[Satpura Leopard gecko]
Species described by
Mirza, Sanap, Raju,
Gawai & Ghadekar in
2014
Range extension record of a newly described species,
Eublepharis satpuraensis from Bhoramdeo Wildlife
Sanctuary, Chhattisgarh, central India
Leopard gecko or eyelid gecko belongs to Eublepharidae family which has sporadic
distribution across Eurasia, Africa and North America (Ota et al. 1999) and is surviving
with six genera and 31 species (Grismer 1988, 1989; Uetz & Hošek 2016) worldwide.
Among these six genera, Genus Eublepharis had distribution records from Turkmenistan,
Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India to Bangladesh (Smith 1935; Grismer 1988;
Szczerbak & Golubev 1996; Moradi & Shaei 2011; Mirza et al. 2014). Across India
Adult and juvenile
Eublepharis satpuraensis
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REPTILE RAP # 173
21 June 2017
Global Distribution :
Endemic to Central
India. Recently reported
from Madhya Pradesh,
Maharashtra and
Chhattisgarh
Eublepharid lizards are represented only by a single genus
Eublepharis Gray, 1827, and previously known to be comprised
of three dierent species; Eublepharis fuscus Börner, 1981,
E. hardwickii Gray, 1827 and E. macularius Blyth, 1854.
The new addition to this list was E. satpuraensis which was
recently discovered from Satpura Hills, Central India based on
detailed comparison of morphological parameters with congeners by Mirza et al (2014).
The distribution range of E. satpuraensis was described as Satpura Hills which included
Panchmari and surrounding areas of Satpura Tiger Reserve, Bhopal, Melghat Tiger
Reserve, Pench Tiger Reserve, Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve and Jabalpur. In the recent
past, a herpetological investigation and other relevant studies reported thirteen species
of gecko in Chhattisgarh (Chandra & Gajbe 2005; Murthy et al. 2015; Ahmed et al. 2015).
As a part of that herpetological investigation, the present study conrmed occurrence of
Eublepharis satpuraensis and describe the species from Bhoramdeo Wildlife Sanctuary
and its adjacent forest patches in Chhattisgarh.
In total, eight individuals of Eublepharis satpuraensis were observed in Bhoramdeo
Wildlife Sanctuary (Pratapgarh Beat) and its adjacent forest areas (Diyabar and Kesda-
West), and out of them, six specimens (three males and three females) were collected
for the present study (Table 1). All the sampling locations were on and adjacent to the
roads which passed through the hilly clis ranges between 490 - 645 m above sea level
of Bhoramdeo Wildlife Sanctuary. The vegetation type was dry mixed deciduous type
with available tree species like Sterculia urens, Boswellia serrate, Lagerstroemia parviora,
Anogeissus latifolia etc. The sampling was done during night after 20:00hr and continued
till 24:00hr, preferably after rain when the weather was humid and insects emerged en
masse. All collected specimens were kept alive; photographed and measured after
Sl.
No.
Sample
ID
Sex Geographical location Elevation
(m)
Date Time
1. FM 1 Female 220 07’ 48.6”N 810 09’ 05.1”E 575 17.vi.16 23:15hr
2. FM 2 Female 220 07’ 41.8”N 810 09’ 03.0”E 545 17.vi.16 23:40hr
3. M 1 Male 220 07’ 35.7”N 810 09’ 05.4”E 490 17.vi.16 23:45hr
4. FM 3 Female 220 07’ 35.7”N 810 09’ 05.4”E 490 17.vi.16 23:45hr
5. M 2 Male 210 58’ 45.4”N 810 03’ 59.0”E 645 26.vi.16 20:00hr
6. M 3 Male 210 58’ 30.4”N 810 04’ 18.0”E 570 26.vi.16 20:15hr
Table 1. Specimen collection details of Eublepharis satpuraensis from Bhoramdeo Wildlife Sanctuary,
Chhattisgarh, Central India (June, 2016)
Zoo’s Print Vol. 32 | No. 6 36
REPTILE RAP # 173
21 June 2017
sprinkling water on them.
The morphological
measurements were taken
as mentioned by Mirza et al.
(2014) with digital calipers (to
the nearest 0.1 mm): snout-
vent length (SVL - from tip of
snout to vent); trunk length
(TRL - distance from axilla to
groin measured from posterior
edge of forelimb insertion
to anterior edge of hind-limb insertion); body width (BW - maximum width of body); crus
length (CL - from base of heel to knee); tail length (TL - from vent to tip of tail); tail width
(TW - measured at widest point of tail); head length (HL - distance between retro-articular
process of jaw and snout-tip); head width (HW - maximum width of head); head height (HH
- maximum height of head, from occiput to underside of jaws); ear length (EL - greatest
diameter of orbit); nares to eye distance (NE - distance between anterior most point of
eye and nostril); snout to eye distance (SE - distance between anterior most point of eye
and tip of snout); eye to ear distance (EE - distance from anterior edge of ear opening to
posterior corner of eye); inter-narial distance (IN - distance between nares); forearm length
(FL - from base of palm to elbow); orbital diameter (OD). supralabials (SL), infralabials (IL),
pre-cloacal pores (PP), (IL), lamellae (MLam - lamellae on manus, Plam - lamellae on pes;
left and right) (Table 2).
The identication keys of the species E. satpuraensis were based on the salient
features described by Mirza et al. (2014). Observed features indicated that the collected
specimens were medium sized individuals of the species; maximum obtained SVL was
122.2 mm (Table 2), which was smaller than the mentioned characteristic SVL 125–130
mm in previous description (Mirza et al. 2014). Three pale or prominent bands were visible
between the nuchal loop and caudal constriction. Dome shaped tubercles were prominent
on the specimens lacking keels and were observed to be arranged in ~20 rows on dorsal
side of the body. Inter-tubercular space was more than width of a tubercle and 13–14
preanal pores were present in males.
The specimens diered in colour depending on their age. Both the adult and
juvenile specimens have three yellow bands from nuchal loop to caudal constriction.
Band coloration was bright yellow in juvenile specimens whereas generally paler in
Dorsal view of the body of Eublepharis satpuraensis showing
smooth tubercles without keels and inter-tubercular space more
than width of a tubercle
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21 June 2017
adults. Brown blotch and spot on bands were prominent in adults whereas said markings
were not always observed in juveniles. A pale mid-dorsal line visible from nape to the
band at the groin. Head generally with conspicuous markings in adults and visible with a
necklace like marking that may fuse with nuchal loop in some individuals. This necklace
like marking is whitish with brown spots but in juveniles spots are generally absent. Limbs
are yellowish with brown spots. Base color of dorsal side is deep and dark brownish to
Body parts
measurements
Specimens (FM = Female; M = male)
FM 1 FM 2 M 1 FM 3 M 2 M 3
SVL 122.2 116.4 100.1 71.5 115 120
TRL 52.3 51.1 45.2 34.9 57.8 60.7
BW 19.7 21.6 18.9 14.2 20.7 21.9
CL 19.6 18.7 16.7 11.2 17 19.6
TL 84.1 74 55.7 52.9 78.5 81.1
TW 11.8 10.9 8.7 6 8 13.2
HL 25.1 22.3 14.6 16.1 30.7 32.3
HW 22.1 20.8 21.1 12.7 21 22
HH 12.6 11.7 9.5 8.2 14.6 13.2
EL 5 4.3 4 2.7 5 6
NE 7.2 7.7 7 5.8 8 8
SE 10.9 10 9 6.8 9.9 12.3
EE 9 9 9.4 6 11 11.2
IN 5 4 3 3.6 3.8 4.3
FL 16.5 15.4 13.2 9.9 15 17.3
OD 5.1 5 4 3.8 5.7 6.1
SL (Left) 10 10 10 9 10 10
SL (Right) 11 11 10 9 10 11
IL (Left) 10 9 10 9 9 9
IL (Right) 9 9 9 8 9 10
PP - - 13-14 - 13-14 13-14
Lamellae
(MLam) (Front
Left)
10-13-16-
17-14
8-14-18-18-
14
9-14-16-17-
13
9-13-15-
16-13
9-14-18-
18-12
9-14-17-18-
14
Lamellae
(MLam) (Front
Right)
9-14-18-18-
13
8-14-15-17-
13
9-15-17-17-
12
10-14-15-
17-13
10-14-19-
21-14
9-15-18-19-
13
Lamellae (PLam)
(Back Left)
8-14-20-22-
19
8-13-18-21-
18
10-15-18-
21-19
9-14-20-
21-19
10-15-19-
21-20
10-15-19-
21-19
Lamellae (PLam)
(BackRight)
9-14-19-21-
18
9-14-19-22-
18
10-14-17-
18-17
9-14-18-
19-17
10-14-18-
20-19
10-16-20-
22-19
Table 2. Morphometric and meristic data of Eublepharis satpuraensis.
Abbreviation mentioned as in Methods. All measurements are in millimeter (mm).
(SVL - snout-vent length; TRL - trunk length; BW - body width; CL - crus length; TL - tail length; TW - tail width;
HL - head length; HW - head width; HH - head height; EL - ear length; NE - nares to eye distance; SE - snout to
eye distance; EE - eye to ear distance; IN - inter-narial distance; FL - forearm length; OD - orbital diameter; SL
– supralabials; IL – infralabials; PP - pre-cloacal pores; lamellae (MLam - lamellae on manus, Plam - lamellae on
pes; left and right).
Zoo’s Print Vol. 32 | No. 6 38
REPTILE RAP # 173
21 June 2017
ventral side creamy
white. Tails were
observed with one to
three white colored
bands (with brown
spots), however, tail
bands were completely
absent in case of one
specimen; probably a
case of regenerating
tail.
Previous
prediction by Mirza et
al. (2014) proposed
that Eublepharis
satpuraensis may be found from Northern Chhattisgarh, and the present study supported
the prediction with true records of E. satpuraensis from
specic regions of Satpura-Maikal Range, Chhattisgarh,
Central India that is nearly 175 km away (crow-y
distance) from the nearest location of Jabalpur, Madhya
Pradesh indicated by Mirza et al. (2014). The busy roads
passing through forested habitats are severe threat to E.
satpuraensis in Bhoramdeo Wildlife Sanctuary. Among
eight specimens found during the study, one juvenile individual was a road kill. Controlled
trac and vehicle speed may help to improve the situation. This species is nocturnal and
secretive and they need more attention for detailed systematic and ecological studies
to reveal complex taxonomic position and ecological function of the taxa within their
discovered and predicted distribution ranges, which may support to protect and conserve
them in their specic habitats.
Roads passing
through forested
habitats are
severe threat to
Satpura Gecko
Roadside mixed dry deciduous habitats of Bhoramdeo Wildlife
Sanctuary and adjacent forested areas in June 2016
Zoo’s Print Vol. 32 | No. 6 39
REPTILE RAP # 173
21 June 2017
Krishnendu Basak1, Moiz Ahmed2, Mat Suraj3 & Krishnendu Mondal4
1-3Nova Nature Welfare Society, H. No. 36/337, Choti Masjid, Byron Bazar, Raipur, Chhattisgarh 492001, India.
4Zoological Survey of India, Prani Vigyan Bhawan, M-Block, New Alipore, Kolkata, West Bengal 700053, India.
Email: 1bastiger08@gmail.com(corresponding author), 2moizsavetiger@gmail.com, 3mat.suraj@gmail.com and
4krishtigris@gmail.com
Citation: Basak, K., M. Ahmed, M. Suraj & K. Mondal. (2017). Satpura Leopard Gecko: Range extension
record of a newly described species, Eublepharis satpuraensis from Bhoramdeo Wildlife Sanctuary, Chhattis-
garh, central India. Reptile Rap#173, In: Zoo’s Print 32(6): 34:39
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Chandra, K. & P.U. Gajbe (2005). An inventory of herpetofauna of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Zoo’s Print Journal
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KP. R. and G. K. Pregill (eds.). Phylogenetic Relationship of the Lizard Families. Stanford University Press.
Grismer, L.L. (1989). Eublepharis ensa Baloutch and Thireau, 1986: a junior synonym of Eublepharis angramainyu
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1966 (Sauria: Eublepharidae) from southeastern Iran. Amphibian and Reptile Conservation 5(4): 88-91.
Murthy, B.H.C.K., A. Bauer, A. Lajmi, I. Agarwal & V.B. Giri (2015). A New rock dwelling Hemidactylus (Squamata:
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Acknowledgement
We would like to acknowledge Ajaz Ahmed and Abinash Mouriya for their rigorous eort during sampling
and contribution of photographs of the species and its habitat. We would also acknowledge Shri. Alok Tiwari, DFO
Bhoramdeo Wildlife Sanctuary and SDO Jitendra Kumar Upadhyay for their continuous support on the ground.
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Phylogeny, taxonomy, classification, and biogeography of eublepharid geckos
  • L L Grismer
Grismer, L.L. (1988). Phylogeny, taxonomy, classification, and biogeography of eublepharid geckos, Pp. 369-469: Estes, KP. R. and G. K. Pregill (eds.). Phylogenetic Relationship of the Lizard Families. Stanford University Press.