TheIndonesia.id - A researcher from the Zoologicum Bogoriense Museum, Biology Research Center of National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) Awal Riyanto together with his team identified a new type of gecko from Kawasi, Obi Island, South Halmahera Regency, North Maluku Province. The lizard, named Cyrtodactylus papeda, was identified from specimens found in 2016 and 2018 by Fata H Faz from Bogor Agricultural Institute.
"Genetically and morphologically this lizard is similar to the Melanesian species, namely Cyrtodactylus papuensis. The difference is seen in its larger body size, more than one row of large thigh scales, and deep precloacal grooves in males," Awal said in a written broadcast received by ANTARA in Jakarta, Monday, March 7, 2022.
Papeda geckos can be found in mangrove swamp vegetation, pine, and secondary forest associated with shrubs. These lizards are usually active and are found at night between 30 centimeters (cm) to 3 meters above the ground and mostly on tree trunks.
The average length of the lizard reaches 60.7 millimeters. The dorsum of the lizard is light brown. The gecko has a pattern with seven or eight dark brown markings running narrow and irregularly between the armpit and groin.
The dark brown line extends from the postnasal area through the eye and continues into the upper ear canal. The dorsal side of the tail is bent, at the base has a narrow dark band, widening as the tail tapers.
"Both alive and preserved, these lizards have the same color. All areas are pale brown with gray, cream, or yellow-brown dorsum, while supercilium and canthus are golden yellows," said Awal.
Molecular analysis indicates that the Cyrtodactylus specimen from Obi Island belongs to the Cyrtodactylus marmoratus group. The Cyrtodactylus population from Obi Island is closely related to samples from Cyrtodactylus papuensis from Buru Island, Raja Ampat, and Southern Papua New Guinea.