Cyrtodactylus khasiensis ( Jerdon, 1870 )

Agarwal, Ishan, Mahony, Stephen, Giri, Varad B., Chaitanya, R. & Bauer, Aaron M., 2018, Two new species of bent toed geckos, Cyrtodactylus Gray, 1827 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Northeast India with comments on name-bearing types from the region, Zootaxa 4420 (3), pp. 334-356: 337-338

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Cyrtodactylus khasiensis ( Jerdon, 1870 )


Cyrtodactylus khasiensis ( Jerdon, 1870) 

Figs. 2A and BView FIGURE 2, 3AView FIGURE 3

Pentadactylus khasiensis Jerdon 1870: 75 

Lectotype [by present designation]. BMNH 1906.8. 10.4 (former ZSIK 6198), adult female, “Khasi Hills”, Meghalaya state, India, collected by T.C. Jerdon, exchanged from the Indian Museum ( ZSIK) in 1906, collected ca. 1870 ( Jerdon 1870; BMNH specimen catalogue). 

Paralectotypes. ZSIK 6199, adult female, ZSIK 6197, adult male, collected along with lectotype.

Additional material. BNHS 2249–2252View Materials, four adult males, near Sohra town (previously Cherrapunjee: 25.21926°N 91.66281°E; ca. 900 m asl.), East Khasi Hills district, Meghalaya state, India, collected by T. Khichi, AGoogleMaps  . Datta-Roy, NPI Das, R. Lyngdoh, D. Rangad and I. Agarwal, on 17 November 2010. ZSIK 5831–5832, two adult males, ZSIK 5828, one adult female, from “ Cherrapunjee ” [now Sohra town, East Khasi Hills district, Meghalaya state, India], collected by Lieut. Bourne, date unknown. 

Notes. Cyrtodactylus khasiensis cayuensis Li  , was described from Xizang (Tibet), China ( Li 2007). Based on a few diagnostic characters from the English abstract (the original description is in Chinese language), and the narrow distributions of Cyrtodactylus  in the region (Bauer 2007; Agarwal et al. 2014; Grismer et al. 2017) we consider this taxon to represent a valid species, Cyrtodactylus cayuensis Li  comb. nov. (diagnosed from C. khasiensis  below).

Diagnosis and comparisons with regional congeners. A moderate sized Cyrtodactylus  , snout-vent length to 81.1 mm; body relatively stout; limbs and digits moderately short; two pairs of well-developed postmentals, inner pair longer than outer and in broad contact behind mental; 19–23 longitudinal rows of keeled, oblong dorsal tubercles; 42–53 paravertebral tubercles; 34–42 mid-body ventral scale rows; no precloacal groove; 10–12 precloacal pores in a single series in males. Six to seven basal and 13–15 apical subdigital lamellae beneath Digit IV of pes with 1–3 intervening rows of non-lamellar granular scales. Subcaudal scalation of original tail with median series of paired enlarged plates, covering underside of tail entirely toward tail-tip. Dorsal pattern of approximately nine pairs of irregular, small dark spots. Original tail with approximately 11 dark bands (first two similar to dorsal spots), alternating with light brown proximally, and white distally beyond the 5th dark band.

Cyrtodactylus khasiensis  differs from the following species in males having 10–12 precloacal pores and no femoral pores: C. fasciolatum  , C. gubernatoris  , C. russelli Bauer  and C. slowinskii Bauer  (precloacal and femoral pores present); C. gansi Bauer  and C. tamaiensis (Smith)  (continuous series of ≥16 PcFP); C. mandalayensis Mahony  , and C. markuscombaii (Darevsky, Helfenberger, Orlov & Shah)  (≤8 femoral pores). Cyrtodactylus khasiensis  is most similar morphologically to C. ayeyarwadyensis Bauer  from Myanmar, C. martinstolli (Darevsky, Helfeberger, Orlov & Shah)  from Nepal, and the new species from Tripura allied to C. ayeyarwadyensis  , described below. Cyrtodactylus khasiensis  differs from C. ayeyarwadyensis  by males having fewer precloacal pores (maximum 12 vs. 28) and from C. martinstolli  by males having more precloacal pores (maximum 12 vs. 8), and from the new species from Tripura by precloacal pore configuration (10–12 precloacal pores vs. 29–37 precloacofemoral pores). Comparisons with the new species are provided following the descriptions. Cyrtodactylus khasiensis  can be diagnosed from C. cayuensis  comb. nov. by precloacal pore count (10–12 vs. 6–9) and mid-body ventral scale rows =\(34–42 vs. 28–34) ( Table 2 summarizes diagnostic characters).

Distribution and Natural History. Cyrtodactylus khasiensis  has been reported from Bhutan and across Northeast India ( Smith 1935; Das & Palden 2000; Sharma 2002) and its range has been restricted to India and southern China by Mahony (2009). Given the high genetic diversity and geographic turnover recovered by Agarwal et al. (2014) and pending a broader collection of specimens, this species is known with certainty only from the vicinity of Sohra, East Khasi Hills district, Meghalaya, Northeast India. These geckos were abundant after dark, along road cuts in rocky mountainous areas near Sohra and near Laittyra village [photographed only] which have a mix of relatively intact and partially degraded moist deciduous forest. One specimen was observed crossing a (narrow) road.

Remarks. Jerdon (1870) appears to have named this species based on a series of three syntypes originally deposited at the Indian Museum (now ZSIK) according to Anderson (1871). One of these specimens was later transferred to the BMNH, however, it was not identified as a syntype at that time, and is only now identified as one of the original syntypes. The remaining two paralectotypes are still held at the ZSIK ( Das et al. 1998). The BMNH specimen is here designated as the lectotype for the species as it is the physically most intact specimen in the type series. Agarwal et al. (2014) sequenced BNHS 2249 (tissue voucher CES10/1229) from near Sohra town, East Khasi Hills district, Meghalaya as Cyrtodactylus khasiensis  . Comparison of this specimen with the type series demonstrates that it is conspecific.


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Cyrtodactylus khasiensis ( Jerdon, 1870 )

Agarwal, Ishan, Mahony, Stephen, Giri, Varad B., Chaitanya, R. & Bauer, Aaron M. 2018

Pentadactylus khasiensis

Jerdon 1870 : 75