Cnemaspis kandiana (Kelaart, 1853)

Mendis Wickramasinghe, L. J. & Munindradasa, D. A. I., 2007, Review of the genus Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887 (Sauria: Gekkonidae) in Sri Lanka with the description of five new species, Zootaxa 1490 (1), pp. 1-63: 14-16

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.1490.1.1

publication LSID


persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Cnemaspis kandiana (Kelaart, 1853)


Cnemaspis kandiana (Kelaart, 1853)  

Syntypes. NMSL20060901 View Materials   , Adult male, 29.24 mm   SVL; NMSL20060902 View Materials   , Adult male, 27.92 mm   ; NMSL20060903 View Materials   , Adult male 27.95 mm   SVL; NMSL20060904 View Materials   , Adult female, 28.95 mm   SVL, from Gannoruwa , Kandy, Sri Lanka, (N 07º 16’ 52.8” E 080º 35’ 54.2”, elevation 572m), 22.11.2006, collected by L. J. Mendis Wickramasinghe. GoogleMaps  

Diagnosis. A small-sized Cnemaspis   (snout to vent length 28–30 mm in an adult males), which can be distinguished from all known congeners by the following combination of characters: Postmentals separated by a small scale; nostrils are not in contact with first supralabial; six supra labials to angle of mid-orbit position and end of jaw at 8–9 supra labials; 28 interorbitals; throat scales smooth, intermixed with keels; 62–64 dorsal tubercles; dorsal tubercles small, carinated, rarely intermixed with trihedrals, rounded, pentagonal or hexagonal; spine-like tubercles present on flanks; larger scales on the lower part of flank; ventral tibia weakly keeled; gular scales keeled; midventrals 22–24; ventral smooth and imbricate; mid subcaudals keeled; 3 preanal pores; 4–5 femoral pores on each side; 10–12 subdigital lamellae and 4 basal lamellae in the 4 th finger; 11– 12 subdigital lamellae and 5–6 basal lamellae in the 4 th toe.

Description of NMSL20060901. Adult male (figs. 7, 13C, 17C, 21C, 25C and 29C) snout to vent length 29.24 mm, head depressed and narrow (HD / HLJ 0.35), head elongated and large (HLJ / SVL 0.30), distinct from the neck. Snout long (SE / HW 0.80), longer than the eye width (EW / SE 0.43). Eye relatively large (EW / HLJ 0.20). Ear opening small (EL / HLJ 0.04), inter ear distance is greater than the width of the eye (EE / EW 2.60).

Rostral is large with a groove penetrating half of the scale. There are three internasals, with the mid scale being large in size to the nostril, and the other two being larger. The supranasal and postnasal consist of one smooth circular scale each and are bigger than the nostril and mid internasal, but smaller than the other two internasals. The head is covered with elongated, round, pentagonal or hexagonal shaped tubercle scales from snout to posterior margin of interorbital area and with small granulated scales up to the neck. The size of tubercle scales becomes progressively smaller from the snout to interorbital area. However a group of large scales (still smaller than that on the snout) is located on upper interorbital area, and a set of very small scales are located in the parietal area. There are 28 interorbital scales of which mid scales are shorter and smaller than that of outer. The supraciliaries are slightly larger than upper interorbital scales and are circular or oval in shape. The nostril is oval, and is not connected with the supralabials. The nostril and the first supralabial are separated by a postnasal. The loreal region is flat and is covered with 17 large, circular or elongated tubercles intermixed with carinated scales. There are eight supralabials at the base of the jaw, with six at the mid orbit point. The first supralabial is equal to the second and third. The rest becomes progressively small. The dorsal tubercles are smaller than the upper interorbitals and are rounded, pentagonal or hexagonal in shape, and are carinated, intermixed with large scales and rarely with sub-trihedrals. There are 62 dorsal tubercles at the mid region of the body. The spine-like tubercles are present on flanks. The tubercles present on the lower part of flank are larger than the upper. The dorsal part of forelimb and hind limb is covered with flushed, comparatively large scales with a keel. The tail is covered with scales larger than the dorsal body intermixed with periodic transverse rows of sub-trihedrals and the ventrolateral margin possesses trihedral scales. The mental scale is large and sub-triangular. A pair of rounded and pentagonal or hexagonal postmentals (smaller than the mental) is present on either side. The first postmental pair is separated by a small scale, and is connected with the first infralabial. The second postmental pair is smaller, and is connected with the first and second infralabials. There are seven infralabials towards the jaw end, with five of them towards the mid orbit point. The infralabials become progressively smaller in size towards the anterior end. The ear holes are oval shaped, bigger than nostrils, but smaller than eyes. There are 20 scales between the eye and ear. The scales in the throat are smooth, rounded or elongated in shape, intermixed with scales having keels, the anterior scales being larger than the posterior scales. The gular scales are having keels. The mid ventral area consists of 22 scales, which are smooth, imbricate and smaller than the postmentals. The scales in ventral portion of fore and hind limbs are smooth, with the scales in the hind limb being relatively larger than those of the forelimb, and the tibia is having weakly keeled scales. There are five femoral pores and three preanal pores present. The preanal and anal scales are of equal size. There are 75 subcaudals. The mid subcaudals are similar in size to other scales in the tail. Although the mid subcaudals are circular or overlapping diamond in shape, the lower border appears to be slightly elongated diamond in shape. This feature becomes prominent towards the end of tail. The keels are present in the mid subcaudals. The digits are slender, elongated and clawed. The distal sub-digital formulae include 4>3>5>2>1 (fingers) and 4>3>5>2>1 (toes) ( Fig.25.C View FIGURE 25 .).

Colour in life. The body colour in the dorsal side is light brown. There is a brown transverse band in interorbital area. A closed contour of brown comprised of boundaries of internasal, loreal, upper interorbital and parietal areas and a ‘W’ shaped marking (with a light yellow patch in posterior ‘W’) on anterior neck is on the dorsal head. A black patch is present on the posterior neck. The supraciliaries are light yellow. The eye pupil is oval and black with the surrounding being yellow. The lateral view of the head and neck consists of three black line segments (one from nasal to mid eye in loreal region, the other along lower parietal boundary – both dorsally seen as part of the closed contour and the third from back of eye to neck on temporal region) in a light brown background with yellow and brown spots in supralabial, lower jaw and lower neck areas. The ventral view of the throat is grey with randomly distributed, irregular faded brown or yellow markings. Three faded stripes are present on each lower and upper arm in a light yellow background. The brown stripe formula of 2,3,4,5 and 3 is present on fingers in a yellow background. The ventral view of lower and upper arm is grey. The mid dorsal area of the body is light brown, with a diminished hourglass shape and three faded ‘W’ marks, with the first ‘W’ is being prominent, between fore and hind limbs. The yellow spots in a light brown background are present in upper and lower flank. The mid ventral view is grey with light brown scale boundaries. Three faded brown stripe are present on each femur and tibia in a light yellow background. The yellow stripe formula of 2,3,4,5 and 4 is present on toes in a dark brown background. The ventral femur and tibia is grey. There is a black line in a yellow background in the back lateral view of femur. The original part of the tail is light brown in colour, with 10 transverse marks of dark brown, of which the mark at the base is ‘W’ shaped (since the tail of the first syntype was regenerated, observation were made from the syntype as well). The ventral aspect of tail is grey in colour.

Colour in alcohol. All yellow in life is turned in to grey while the rest is conserved.

Remarks. C. kandiana   is congener very closely with C. kumarasinghei   sp. nov. and also with C. retigalensis   sp. nov. from morphological characters. However, C. kandiana   can easily be distinguished from both by having keels in gula scales, and from C. kumarasinghei   by midventral and subcaudal scale counts and finger distal sub-digital formula and from C. retigalensis   by the absence of preanal pores, interorbital and temporal counts, and also from morphometric analysis.