The Jakarta Post
The Indonesian Institute of Sciences has discovered a new species of gecko in eastern Indonesia. (Kompas.com/-)
The remote island of Tanahjampea, South Sulawesi, is home to a new gecko species discovered by researchers from the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI).
The gecko species, Cyrtodactylus tanahjampea, is the 36th species of bent-toed geckos in Indonesia, of a total of 233 worldwide.
According to Kompas.com, Amir Hamidy, a herpetology expert at LIPI, explained that it had taken eight years to confirm the status of the new-found gecko species. This year, LIPI can finally confirm that the species is new.
The new gecko species has some unique morphological features that set it apart.
“Through detailed observation, we can see that there are slight bulges in the middle of each of the gecko’s scales, especially around its arms and legs. That is the specific characteristic of the Tanahjampea gecko,” Amir was quoted as saying.
Furthermore, instead of sticking to surfaces like household geckos, the Tanahjampea gecko, which lives in the jungle and along rivers, hangs from trees by its tail.
The newly discovered gecko is classified as endemic and its closest relative is said to be the Cyrtodactylus halmahericus from Halmahera Island.
Following the discovery, Amir hopes other Indonesian researchers will be able to unlock more of Indonesia’s biodiversity. He believes that it is possible for many more gecko species to be found during the next 10 years. (anm/mut)