CNEMASPIS VANGOGHI (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     1st April 2024        

Context: Scientists from the Thackeray Wildlife Foundation in India recently discovered a new species of lizard named Cnemaspis vangoghi.

Cnemaspis Vangoghi

  • About: It is a newly discovered lizard species found in the Southern Western Ghats of Tamil Nadu.
  • Origin of name: Named after Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh, as the striking colouration of the new species is reminiscent of one of his most iconic paintings, The Starry Night,”.
  • Size and Appearance: Classified as a small-sized gecko, with a maximum length of 3.4 cm, characterized by a yellow head and forebody adorned with light blue spots.
  • Habitat: Prefers rocky environments but can occasionally be spotted on buildings and trees.
  • Discovery of Cnemaspis sathuragiriensis: Another species, Cnemaspis sathuragiriensis, was also identified in the Sathuragiri Hills within the same region.
  • Conservation: Srivilliputhur-Megamalai Tiger Reserve
  • Diurnal Behavior: Active mainly during cooler hours, particularly early morning and evening, with a preference for rocky surfaces.
  • Micro-Endemism: These species exemplify micro-endemism, showcasing restricted distribution within a small geographic area, contributing to the ecological intrigue of the region.
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