The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

 ISSN 0268-0130

2020 Impact Factor for the Herpetological Journal is 0.862


pdf 07. A new species of Bent-toed gecko (Squamata: Gekkonidae: Cyrtodactylus Gray, 1827) from the Garo Hills, Meghalaya State, north-east India, and discussion of morphological variation for C. urbanus

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https://doi.org/10.33256/31.3.177196

pp. 177-196

Authors: Rachunliu G. Kamei & Stephen Mahony

Abstract: Recent taxonomic and systematic research on Cyrtodactylus khasiensis has found that this nomen comprises a large number of superficially similar but deeply divergent species-level taxa from throughout north-east India and surrounding countries. In this study we focus on the taxonomic status of recently surveyed populations from the East Garo Hills and West Garo Hills districts and a single specimen collected from Ri Bhoi District in Meghalaya State, north-east India. Based on a combination of morphological and molecular data we found that the Ri Bhoi specimen is conspecific with the recently described C. urbanus, and that the Garo Hills populations represent a new species of Cyrtodactylus described herein. Molecular analyses (using the NADH dehydrogenase 2, nd2 and adjoining tRNA genes) demonstrate that the new species is nested within the khasiensis group of the Indo-Burma radiation of Cyrtodactylus, and is well-supported as sister to a clade that comprises C. septentrionalis and C. guwahatiensis. We morphologically compare the new C. urbanus specimen with the original description of the species, identify a number of errors and ambiguities in the original description, and notably expand the known morphological variation for the species based on 23 characters. The discovery of an endemic new species of lizards from the Garo Hills further highlights the region as an overlooked centre of biodiversity importance. We discuss several misidentifications in the literature of other reptile species from the region emphasising the need for further attention by taxonomists to review the herpetofauna of the Garo Hills.

Keywords: Biodiversity, taxonomy, lizard, reptile, endemic

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IMPORTANT NOTE - JUNE 2020

Please note that as from Volume 31 Number 1 (January 2021) on, the Herpetological Journal will be available as an online publication only - the last print edition will be Volume 30 Number 4.   

Aligning with this change, it is now no longer possible to purchase a subscription that includes a print copy of the HJ.  All members who have existing HJ print subscriptions that remain active as at end June 2020 will receive the full four 2020 print editions.  New subscribers or renewals after this time will only have option to subscribe to the online only subscription package.  Subscription pricing has been amended to reflect the content changes.