New gecko species discovered in China

Updated: Jan 25, 2024 Xinhua Print
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HEFEI -- Chinese researchers have discovered a new species of gecko, which they have named Gekko kaiyai, in the Dabie Mountains in East China's Anhui province.

The discovery was jointly made by researchers from Anhui University, Nanjing Normal University and Chengdu Institute of Biology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and was published in the journal Animals.

The new species was identified on the grounds of both its distinct morphological features and molecular evidence. The analysis, based on three mitochondrial DNA fragments, indicated that Gekko kaiyai forms an independent clade.

In 2022 and 2023, geckos collected in the Dabie Mountains had aroused researchers' interest due to their aggressive behavior.

"When collecting these geckos, many from the research team were bitten repeatedly by them, which we found quite intriguing, because this behavior was not common among known native species," said Zhang Caiwen, the first author of the article published in Animals.

The discovery of this species confirmed that there are now 87 identified species in the genus Gekko -- 22 of which can be found in China.

Located at the junction of the provinces of Anhui, Hubei and Henan, the Dabie Mountains feature a humid subtropical continental monsoon climate and a diversified environment, which provides a favorable habitat for multiple animal and plant species.

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