New gecko species discovered in south China

Xinhua
A new species of Goniurosaurus, a genus of gecko, has been found in south China's Hainan Province.
Xinhua

A new species of Goniurosaurus, a genus of gecko, has been found in south China's Hainan Province, with the discovery published in the international journal Zootaxa.

The new species, Goniurosaurus zhoui sp.nov., was found in karst areas at elevations between 220 and 300 meters in central Hainan, amid moist evergreen broadleaf forests.

Zhou Runbang with Hainan Forestry Department and Liang Bin with Hainan Forestry Science Research Institute confirmed the distinctiveness of the new species via quantitative comparison of morphological traits and egg size with two known endemic species in Hainan, namely Goniurosaurus hainanensis and Goniurosaurus bawanglingensis.

The third eyelid gecko found in Hainan Island, it has a moderate size with a length of 93.4-97.4 mm, and a light purple-brown dorsal ground color in adults.

The new species "Zhou's Leopard Gecko" (Zhou Shi Jian Hu) is named after the great-grandfather of its discoverer.

"The discovery of the new species suggests that the habitat of the Goniurosaurus species on the island spans a wide range, and facilitates our understanding of the speciation process on continental islands," Zhou said. "Further systematic studies may reveal more species diversity."

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