A new cryptic species of ground-dwelling Hemidactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from southern India
Keywords:cytochrome b, phylogeny, species complex, taxonomy
A new cryptic species of ground-dwelling Hemidactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from southern India. Recently collected specimens of a gecko resembling Hemidactylus reticulatus from northern Karnataka State in southwestern India led me to investigate variation in the species with regards to its morphology and molecular divergence. Results based on existing museum material, combined with molecular data for the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene support the presence of cryptic species within the broadly distributed H. reticulatus complex. Here, I describe a new species of Hemidactylus from northern Karnataka as the frst contribution in resolving the species complex. The integration of molecular and morphological data supports the distinctness of the new species described herein.