Cyrtodactylus bengkhuaiai is one in every of 4 new species of bent-toed gecko recorded from Meghalaya and Mizoram

Cyrtodactylus bengkhuaiai is one in every of 4 new species of bent-toed gecko recorded from Meghalaya and Mizoram

A species of pest-controlling lizard new to science has been named after a Mizo chieftain who fought the British forces 150 years in the past.

Cyrtodactylus bengkhuaiai , named in honour of chieftain Bengkhuaia, is one in every of 4 new species of bent-toed geckos recorded by two teams of scientists in October-November 2020. Two geckos every had been present in Mizoram and Meghalaya.

The joint examine discovered area within the newest version of
Zootaxa , a peer-reviewed scientific mega journal for animal taxonomists printed from New Zealand.

Photo of Bengkhuaia, Mizo chieftain SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Picture of Bengkhuaia, Mizo chieftain SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

The authors of the examine are Jayaditya Purkayastha and Sanath C. Bohra of Guwahati-based Assist Earth; H.T. Lalremsanga of Mizoram College’s Division of Zoology and his analysis crew comprising Lal Biakzuala, H.T. Decemson, Lal Muansanga and Mathipi Vabeiryureilai; Colonel Yashpal Singh Rathee of Umroi Army Station in Meghalaya; and Suraj Chauhan of the College of Hyderabad.

The Bengkhuaia bent-toed gecko was recorded from the outskirts of Sailam village in Mizoram’s Aizawl district. Sailam was the place Bengkhuaia, the legendary chieftain lived.

The second new lizard in Mizoram,
Cyrtodactylus aaronbaueri was recorded in and round Aizawl city. It was named after Aaron Bauer, the world’s main knowledgeable on taxonomy of geckos.

“The British thought-about Bengkhuaia and his males as uncivilised head-hunters due to his raids on tea gardens in adjoining Assam. However he contributed quite a bit to conservation, and the Sailam Chook Sanctuary was established due to his affect over the individuals,” Mr. Lalremsanga instructed
The Hindu .


The 2 new species recorded in Meghalaya are the karst-dwelling bent-toed gecko (
Cyrtodactylus karsticola ) and Agarwal’s bent-toed gecko (
Cyrtodactylus agarwali ). The second is called after Ishan Agarwal, one in every of India’s main herpetologists.

“All 4 new species are part of the Cyrtodactylus khasiensis group and essential to pure pest management within the area,” Mr. Purkayastha mentioned.

However the pleasure of recording the 2 new geckos in Meghalaya has include a tinge of unhappiness for the herpetofauna specialists.

“Each species are from limestone caves close to Siju village in South Garo Hills district, highlighting the distinctive biogeography and steep terrain usually related to limestone areas impacting the evolution of specialized karst-endemic biodiversity. These caves have been weak to limestone mining,” Mr. Purkayastha mentioned.


Limestone is the second most extracted useful resource after coal in Meghalaya, with a reported 14,959 million tonnes of cement-grade limestone reserve within the State, accounting for about 9% of the entire Indian reserves. Mining within the State is basically unregulated and unscientific.

The crew that recorded the 2 new bent-toed geckos in Meghalaya additionally recorded 48 different species of amphibians and reptiles.

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