A gecko found in Visakhapatnam in 2017, then thought to belong to a known species, has now been identified as a member of a new species.
- The species, Eublepharis pictus, also known as the Painted Leopard Gecko, has been described in the journal Evolutionary Systematics.
- Researchers had initially identified the specimen, as an East Indian Leopard Gecko (Eublepharis hardwickii).
- This new species appears to be common in the forests of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.
- The gecko genus Eublepharis now has 7 species.
- The new species differs from all members of the genus Eublepharis except for E hardwickii.
- Geographically the two species appear to be separated by the Brahmani River.
- Based on IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) conservation prioritization criteria, the researchers propose to list E pictus… and E hardwickii as Near Threatened (NT).