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.
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.
“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