"Bumblebee" gecko discovered in Papua New Guinea: USGS

Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:33am IST

Related Topics

(Reuters) - A new species of gecko with black and gold bands like a bumblebee and slender toes termed a "striking surprise" has been discovered deep in the tropical forests of Papua New Guinea, the U.S. Geological survey said.

The lizard, which measures about 13 cm (5 inches) from head to tail and is covered with rows of skin nodules that make it easier for it to conceal itself on the forest floor, was collected on Manus Island in March, 2010 and described in a report published in the journal "Zootaxa" in April.

"We've officially named it Nactus kunan for its striking color pattern - kunan means 'bumblebee' in the local Nali Language," said Robert Fisher of the USGS Western Ecological Research Center, who with biologists from the Papua New Guinea National Museum discovered the gecko.

"It belongs to a genus of slender-toed geckos, which means these guys don't have the padded, wall-climbing toes like the common house gecko," he added in a statement.

Fisher found two on Manus Island in 2010 and analyzed their genetics to show that the lizards were new. Two other species also found on that trip are set for further analysis.

"This species was a striking surprise, as I've been working on the genus since the 1970s and would not have predicted this discovery," herpetologist George Zug of the Smithsonian Institution, co-author of the report on the new find, said.

(Reporting by Elaine Lies,; Editing by Jonathan Thatcher)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Ebola Outbreak

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Siege Of Kobani

Siege Of Kobani

Air strikes hit Kobani as Kurdish peshmerga prepare to enter  Full Article 

Unrest in Burkina Faso

Unrest in Burkina Faso

Army chief takes power after Burkina president bows to protests  Full Article 

Sri Lankan Landslide

Sri Lankan Landslide

Rains slow Sri Lankan landslide search; nearly 150 feared dead  Full Article 

Controversial Remark

Controversial Remark

Thousands denounce HSBC board member's likening of Hong Kong people to freed slaves.  Full Article 

Human Rights

Human Rights

Iran hits back after West condemns its human rights record  Full Article 

Failed Launch

Failed Launch

U.S. rocket explosion investigation suspects main engine failure  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage