Uddhav Thackeray's son, Tejas discovers two new species of geckos

Updated: Aug 14, 2019, 10:32 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav

The important characteristics of both the geckos are that they are diurnal and are endemic to the locations they are found and both these geckos can grow up to 35 mm

Uddhav Thackeray's son, Tejas discovers two new species of geckos
Ishan Agarwal, one of the researchers besides Tejas Thackeray and Akshay Khandekar

In a yet another achievement in the field of wildlife research that also highlights the fact that the ecologically rich Sahyadris have to be protected, Tejas Thackeray, son of Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray, along with two other researchers, identified as Akshay Khandekar and Ishan Aggarwal, have discovered two new species of geckos from Koyna region and Ambaghat region near Kolhapur.

The discovery about these two species of geckos was published in a renowned international journal Zootaxa. The researchers included Akshay Khandekar, Tejas Thackeray and Ishan Agarwal.

Tejas-Gecko
Tejas Thackeray

While speaking to Tejas Thackeray, he said, "I am delighted to share that our team has discovered two new Cnemaspis (Dwarf geckos) from the Sahyadris of Maharashtra. Cnemaspis Amba and Cnemaspis Koynaensis. Both species have been named after their type and localities to throw light on this amazingly diverse yet fragile ecosystem. Amba Ghat in Kolhapur and Koyna in Satara collectively form the Sahyadri tiger reserve in the Northern Western Ghats or the Sahyadris, an escarpment covered with montane rainforests with isolated laterite plateaus and peaks. The species here are cryptic and have recently diverged only after the Deccan trap volcanism ended around 63 million years ago."

Amba
Cnemaspis amba has been named after their type and localities

Also Read: Shiv Sena chief's younger son discovers new species of crabs in Western Ghats

The team of researchers went for a field visit to the area during the monsoons last year and they found two new species of geckos. The important characteristics of both the geckos are that they are diurnal (active during the day) and are endemic to the locations they are found. Both these geckos can grow up to 35 mm.

Akshay-Khandekar
Akshay Khandekar

Talking to mid-day, Akshay Khandekar said, "We are very happy about the two discoveries. This was possible only due to the hard work by the team including Tejas, Ishan and Swapnil Pawar, who helped us during the field visit. The areas in western ghats Sahyadris including Koyna and Amba Ghat are very rich in biodiversity and the discovery also highlights the fact that it is very crucial to protect this biodiversity-rich area."

Cnemaspis-koynaensis
Cnemaspis Koynaensis, one of the geckos discovered by the research team

It may be noted that in the past, Tejas Thackeray, along with other researchers, also discovered two new species of freshwater crabs from the Koyna area.

Also Read: Now, Tejas Thackeray discovers a new gecko

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