The number of known species of geckos has just jumped upwards, with 15 new species being formally described this week.
“And if you count the four I’m looking at right now it’s 19,” says Lee Grismer of La Sierra University in California. “When you called I was in the process of describing them.”
This is a big increase, as there are only around 1500 known species of these lizards, famed for the sticking power of their feet.
The 19 species all live in a small area of Myanmar just 90 by 50
kilometres in size. “That’s the really amazing thing about it,” says
Grismer. “They all come from such a small area.”
It’s common to find lots of closely-related species of invertebrates
like snails or insects in such a small area, but it is unprecedented for
a backboned animal, say Grismer. “For lizards, it is remarkable…”
We can never have enough geckos, am I right?