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A new locality and microhabitat usage by Calodactylodes aureus (Beddome, 1870) from Tamil Nadu, Eastern Ghats, Southern India

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A new locality and microhabitat usage by Calodactylodes aureus (Beddome, 1870) from Tamil Nadu, Eastern Ghats, Southern India
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  EDITORIAL COMMITTEE / CONSEJO DE REDACCIÓN  FOUNDER-MANAGING EDITOR / EDITOR FUNDADOR-GERENTE  Enrique La Marca. Laboratorio de Biogeografía, Escuela de Geografía, Universidad de LosAndes, Mérida, Venezuela CHIEF EDITOR / EDITOR JEFE  Jonh Jairo Mueses-Cisneros. Fundación FIBA, Colón Putumayo, Colombia ASSOCIATE EDITOR / EDITOR ASOCIADO Carlos Martínez Rivera. Philadelphia Zoological Gardens, Pennsylvania, Estados Unidos SECRETARY / SECRETARIAIngrid Vanessa Perdomo Castillo. Fundación FIBA, Colón Putumayo, Colombia EDITORIAL ADVISORS /  ASESORES EDITORIALES  Abraham Mijares-Urrutia. Grifth University, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia Juan Elías García-Pérez. Universidad de Los Llanos Ezequiel Zamora, Guanare, Venezuela Luis Felipe Esqueda. Investigador independiente, Santiago de Chile, Chile Luis Fernando Navarrete. Bioreptilia, and Serpentario, Universidad Central de Venezuela,Caracas, Stefan Lötters. Trier University, Trier, Germany Sergio Potsch de Carvalho e Silva. Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, R.J., Brazil Fernando Castro Herrera. Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia Miguel Trefaut Rodrigues. Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil Marinus Hoogmoed. Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi, Belem, Pará, Brazil Diego Cisneros-Heredia. Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Quito, Ecuador  John D. Lynch. Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá, Colombia Gustavo Casas-Andreu. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, México Federico Bolaños. Universidad de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica Thasun Amarasinghe. Taprobanica Nature Conservation Society, Kendalanda, Homagama,Sri Lanka Indraneil Das. Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation, Universiti Malaysia,Sarawak Aaron Bauer. Villanova University, Pennsylvania, United States of America Alan Channing. University of the Western Cape, Bellville, South Africa Santiago J. Sánchez Pacheco. University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada H. Mauricio Ortega Andrade. Fundación EcoCiencia, Quito, Ecuador  Rudolf von May. University of California, Berkeley, United States of America Felipe Franco Curcio. Universida de de São Paulo, Brazil EDITOR ASSISTANT /  ASISTENTE DE EDITOR  Miguel A. Bastidas. Fundación BIOGEOS, Mérida, Venezuela ISSN 1690-7930 (Printed edition / Edición impresa )ISSN 1856-9285 (Online edition / Edición electrónica )Legal Deposit / HECHO EL DEPÓSITO DE LEY  PP200402ME2957 (Printed edition / Edición impresa )PPI200802ME2958 (Online edition / Edición electrónica ) HERPETOTROPICOS Founded in   2004 JOURNAL ON TROPICAL AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES SPECIES ON COVER Herpetotropicos is indexed and abstracted in  / Herpetotropicos es indizada en : Zoological Record (BIOSIS), Wildlife & Ecology Studies Worldwide (University of Delaware Library), and REVENCYT (Directorio índice de Revistas Venezolanas de Ciencia yTecnología. Biblioteca Digital de la Universidad de Los Andes). LIBRARY ACCESS /  ACCESO EN BIBLIOTECAS  Copies deposited for public access in / Copias depositadas para acceso público en : American Museum of Natural History (Library), New York, USA. Biblioteca Nacional (Caracas, Venezuela), Biblioteca Febres Cordero, Mérida, Venezuela. Biblioteca Integrada deArquitectura, Ciencias e Ingeniería de la Universidad de Los Andes, Mérida, Venezuela. Finantial support / Financiamiento : Consejo de Desarrollo, Cientíco, Humanístico y Tecnológico de la Universidad de Los Andes (CDCHT-ULA) Mérida, Venezuela. Sponsorship / Patrocinio : Fundación BIOGEOS para el estudio de la diversidad biológica. INDEXED AND ABSTRACTED IN / INDIZACIÓN  PUBLISHER / CASA EDITORA(Institutional address) Dirección institucional Laboratorio de Biogeografía, Escuela de Geografía,Universidad de Los Andes (ULABG), vía Chorros de Milla,Mérida 5101, Venezuela. Tel.: + 58 - 274 - 2401647 Fax: + 58 - 274 - 2401635E-mail:ulabg.ve@gmail.com The Vietnamese Mossy Frog, Theloderma corticale   (Boulenger, 1903) is a robust, attractively camouaged arboreal frog in the family Rhacophoridae. The commonname of the unusual species is derived from its roughly textured, green and brownish-red skin, which allows it to conceal itself within with its mossy forest habitat. To date,the Vietnamese Mossy Frog has only been found fromthe humid forests of the Mao Son and Tam Dao mountainranges in northern Vietnam; however, the secretive speciesmay actually be distributed more widely.The Vietnamese Mossy Frog, like many amphibian speciesin Southeast Asia, is poorly known, and is listed as Data Decient according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Much of the information we have on the biologyof the species is derived from captive individuals. Maleshave a quiet, melodious advertisement call. Females deposit eggs above water-lled rock cavities and tree-holes in which their tadpoles develop. The characteristic roughskin texture of the species is already evident in tadpolesprior to metamorphosis.The greatest threat to the Vietnamese Mossy Frog, and other forest-dependent amphibians in Southeast Asia, is habitat loss, which is occurring at higher relative rates inSoutheast Asia than in other tropical regions. An additionalconcern may be collection for the international pet trade, for which the species is in high demand, but the availability of captive bred individuals may negate this potential threat.Text and Photo by Jodi J. L. Rowley (© All rights reserved)  49 A. K. MANI AND A. NATH - New locAlITy AND MIcroHAbITAT for CalodaCtylodes aureus A NEW LOCALITY AND MICROHABITAT USAGE BY CALODACTYLODES AUREUS  (BEDDOME, 1870) FROM TAMILNADU, EASTERN GHATS, SOUTHERN INDIA AYUTHAVEL KALAIMANI 1, 2,4 and ANUKUL NATH 1, 3 1 Department of Wildlife Biology, A.V.C. College, Mannampandal, Mayiladuthurai, Tamil Nadu, India. 2   Aarohi, Jayanagar, Bangalore, Karnataka, India. 3  Aaranyak, a society for biodiversity and conservation, Assam, India. Abstract: We studied the Indian Golden Gecko, Calodactylodes aureus , at a new locality in the hill ranges of Tamil Nadu. The highestnumbers of geckos were recorded from Valli Malai, followed by Shyed Basha Malai and the Sathgar Hill. Geckos were encountered at anelevation range of 185–702 m a.s.l. A total of 70 geckos were recorded in 20 rocky caves, and 72 egg deposition sites were noted, bearingsigns of hatched and unhatched eggs. The number of egg deposition sites varied from 2 to 8 in the surveyed caves. A total of 477 unhatchedlive eggs were observed during the study. Psammophilus dorsalis is the most commonly encountered lizard species locally; Cnemaspis otai   and Hemidactylus graniticolus were also found in sympatry. Key words: Reptilia, Sauria, Gekkonidae, Indian Golden Gecko, distribution, egg-deposition sites, ecology. Resumen: A.K. Mani and A. Nath. “Una nueva localidad y uso de microhábitat por  Calodactylodes aureus (Beddome, 1870) deTamil Nadu, Eastern Ghats, Sur India”. Estudiamos al geco dorado de la India, Calodactylodes aureus , en una nueva localidad en lascadenas montañosas de Tamil Nadu. El mayor número de gecos se registró en Valli Malai, seguido por Shyed Basha Malai y Sathgar Hill. Los gecos fueron encontrados en un rango de elevación de 185 a 702 msnm. Un total de 70 gecos fueron registrados en 20 cuevasrocosas, y 72 sitios de depositación de huevos fueron observados, con huevos eclosionados y no eclosionados. El número de sitios dedepositación de huevos varió de 2 a 8 en las cuevas estudiadas. Un total de 477 huevos vivos sin eclosionar fueron observados durante elestudio. Psammophilus dorsalis es la especie de lagartija más común encontrada localmente. Cnemaspis otai  y Hemidactylus graniticolus  también fueron encontradas en simpatría. Palabras Clave: Reptilia, Sauria, Gekkonidae, Geco dorado de la India, distribución, oviposición, ecología. 49 4 Send correspondence to / Enviar correspondencia a :manikalai16@yahoo.com; anucool.nath5@gmail.com   HERPETOTROPICOS Vol. 8(1-2):49-54 ISSN 1690-7930 (Printed) ISSN 1856-9285 (Online)Printed in Venezuela. All rights reservedCopyright © 2012 BIOGEOS INTRODUCTION The Eastern Ghats represent broken and isolated hills of the Deccanplateau. These hills extend over 1750 km from south of the ChotaNagpur plateau, Odhisha, to southwestern peninsula in Tamil Nadu(Mani 1974). They are included under 6C eastern highlands of theDeccan plateau, one of the biologically richest biogeographic zonesof India (Rodgers et al  . 2008). Studies on the distribution of reptilesin the Eastern Ghats are scanty, in contrast to those in the WesternGhats (Daniels and Ishwar 1994, Daniels and Kumar 1998).Geckos are found throughout the world and belong to one of themost species-rich lizard families, second only to skinks (Daniel2002; Das 1994, 2001; Pough et al. 2004). Gekkonidae are a basallineage (Vidal and Hedges 2005) and the genus Calodactylodes consists of large, distinctive geckos endemic to rocky habitat inPeninsular India and Sri Lanka (Bauer and Das 2000). The genus Calodactylodes consists of two species, the Indian Golden Gecko Calodactylodes aureus (Beddome 1870) and the Sri Lankan GoldenGecko Calodactylodes illingworthorum (Deraniyagala 1953). TheIndian Golden Gecko was discovered in Tripatty (= Tirupati) hills inNorth Arcot District, Madras Presidency (Beddome 1870, Boulenger 1890) and rediscovered after 115 years in Tirupati Hills, Chittor District, Andhra Pradesh (Daniel and Bhusan 1985, Daniel et al.  1986).In Andhra Pradesh this species is found at the following sites:Papikonda hills (Perantalapally) in Khammam district, Maredumilliin East Godavari District, Araku valley and Ananthagiri Hills inVishakapattinam district (Javed et al. 2007, Sreekar  et al. 2010,Chettri and Bhupathy 2011), Niyamgiri hill ranges of Rayagada,Kalahandi districts in Odhisha (Dutta et al. 2005), and one Received / Recibido: 26 J UN 2012Accepted / Aceptado: 09 J UL 2012Published / Publicado: 15 D EC 2012  50 HerPeToTroPIcoS V. 8(1 - 2):49 - 54 © 2012 unconrmed record from Castle Rocks, Karnataka, Western Ghats (Bauer and Das 2000).In Tamil Nadu, the Indian Golden Gecko was only known fromVellore Hill Fort and Balamathi Hill (Bauer and Das 2000) and it hassubsequently been recorded in Otteri, Vannankulam, Kulavimedu,Nayaganeri, Kanyakapuram and Chennai highway rock boulders inthe Vellore District (Rajasekhar and Nandakumar 2007). The IndianGolden Gecko is a protected species included under Schedule-I(Part II) of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. Furthermore,the genus Calodactylodes is of interest, being of Gondwanan srcin(Bauer and Das 2000). In this paper, we provide new locality andmicrohabitat information for the Indian Golden Gecko from TamilNadu. MATERIALS AND METHODSStudy Area. The study took place on four hills in Tamil Nadu (Fig.1). Sathgar Hill (12 ° 57’N and 78 ° 44’E, elevation 620 m a.s.l) andValli Malai (13 ° 04’N and 79 ° 15’E, elevation 366 m a.s.l) in VelloreDistrict, Shyed Basha Malai (12 ° 32’N and 78 ° 12’E, elevation 700m a.s.l) in Krishangiri District and Nedumkunam Hill (12 ° 28’Nand 79 ° 23’E, elevation 244 m a.s.l) in Tiruvanamalai District. Thevegetation of Sathgar Hill is dominated by Euphorbia sp., Lantanacamara and  Annona squamosa . A thorny scrub forest with largerock boulders covers Valli Malai and Nedumkunam Hills. Krishnagiri,Shyed basha hill, is also dominated by Euphorbia sp. with historical forts and sacred temples (Fig. 2). All these hills are chiey connected with Palar, Thenpennai and Ponnai River. Methods. This paper is mainly based on the data collected by theauthors from October 2011 to March 2012, during opportunistic eld visits to the Eastern Ghats of Tamil Nadu. We located Golden Geckos by identifying their vocalization and egg deposition sites(Rajashekhar and Nandakumar 2007). Furthermore, we spotted geckos using powerful ash-lights and geckos were visually identiedin the eld based on their characteristic digits, overall body shape and size, as well as color pattern.Data set was collected during day time and the following data werenoted: number of individuals, number of live (unhatched) eggs,number of egg deposition sites, nearest water source (seasonalwater pools, ponds and channels of river). The presence of other lizard species present with Golden Gecko were also noted, and we identied them by using key provided in Smith (1935), Agarwal et al. (2011), and Das and Bauer (2000). Geckos were photographedusing a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ 10 digital camera. Geographiccoordinates and altitude (in meters above sea level) were rtakenfrom Google Earth, version 6.2 beta. FIG. 1. Map showing the location of    Calodactylodes aureus   encountered in Tamil Nadu, India, between October 2011 to March 2012. Mapa que muestra la localización de Calodactylodes aureus encontrado en Tamil Nadu, India, entre octubre 2011 y marzo 2012.  51 A. K. MANI AND A. NATH - New locAlITy AND MIcroHAbITAT for CalodaCtylodes aureus RESULTS AND DISCUSSION A total of 70 Calodactylodes aureus were recorded in 20 rockycaves. Of these, 11 were bright golden yellow in color (Fig. 3). Thehighest numbers of geckos were recorded from Valli Malai, followedby Shyed Basha Malai and Sathgar Hill (Table 1). The geckos werefound in both vertical and horizontal crevices in the rocks and caves,and temperature was slightly less and more humid than rocky surfaceareas compared to caves and crevices, as reported by Rajashekhar and Nandakumar (2007). This gecko prefers rocky areas with deepstream valleys (Sreekar  et al  . 2010). We also found them residingin nearby perennial water sources on the hill tops such as naturallygenerated water from the rocks and small water pools. The distancefrom nearest water source was found to be 0.1–180 m, with anaverage of 64.6 m. The geckos were encountered at an elevationrange of 185 –702 m a.s.l. The Golden Gecko is found to extendthe altitudinal distribution up to 1000 m a.s.l in the Araku Valley andthe border area between Andhra Pradesh and Odhisha (Chettri andBhupathy 2010).The gecko has been reported to lay eggs in communal egg depositionsites (Bauer and Das 2000, Javed et al. 2007) on rocky surfaces.In the present survey, 72 egg deposition sites were recognized withhatched and unhatched eggs (Fig. 4). The number of egg depositionsites varied from 2-8 in the surveyed caves. A total of 477 unhatchedactive eggs were observed during the study. The species was foundto lay eggs both horizontally and vertically inside the caves and eggs FIG. 2. Habitat of  Calodactylodes aureus in Shyed basha Malai, India.   Hábitat de Calodactylodes aureus en Shyed basha Malai, India. FIG. 3. Adult male of    Calodactylodes aureus .  Macho adulto de   Calodactylodes aureus.
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