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India Scholars Discovered New Species Of Fan-Throated Lizard

A new species of fan-throated lizard has been discovered by two Mumbai researchers and they were a part of the three-member team of Bengaluru-based National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS). It was found in the barren lands of northern Karnataka’s Bagalkot district.

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The whole study was published in Bonn zoological Bulletin this week by Mayuresh Ambekar (24), Zeeshan Mirza (32), from Mumbai, and Mangaluru-resident Arya Murthy (17). The new species is quite similar to a fan-throated lizard species Sitana laticeps, howvever, Sitana dharwarensis bears a much larger throat fan or dewlap. Its distinctness was confirmed after comparing the DNA sequences and micro-CT-scans of the two species.

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“We came across this species while conducting a survey of geckos. When we found a difference in characteristics of this gecko, we documented it for the paper,” said Mirza. Its name Sitana dharwarensis has been derived from the Dharwar craton — a piece of the Earth’s crust formed 3.6-2.5 billion years ago.

The species has been discovered in open scrub and rock terrain of northern Karnataka after Hemidactylus vijayraghavani, a gecko. These species occur outside protected areas and are at risk of being wiped out.

Source: Deccan Herald

Written by Kan Dail

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