Researchers in Sri Lanka have described a new species of day gecko, known only from a single reptile-rich habitat of the island’s Central Massif region, bringing to 33 the number of species in the genus found in Sri Lanka. They’ve named the gecko Cnemaspis anslemi, in honor of herpetologist Anslem de Silva, whom they describe as the father of modern herpetology in Sri Lanka. The diminutive, range-restricted gecko dwells in both home gardens and tropical evergreen rainforests in the Udamaliboda area, but its habitat is threatened by expanding tea and rubber plantations and mini hydropower plants. De Silva, who has a prolific record of his own in describing new species, says the latest discovery underscores the unique ways that reptiles and amphibians have evolved in the varied ecosystems in Sri Lanka, and means that more discoveries await. COLOMBO — For nearly five decades he’s helped introduce stunning new species of reptiles and amphibians found only in Sri Lanka to the rest of the world. He’s also inspired a new generation of scientists eager to showcase and conserve their country’s natural wealth. Now, legendary herpetologist Anslem de Silva — “the father of modern herpetology in Sri Lanka” — is being […]


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