A new species of lizard found in a military cantonment in Meghalaya named after the Indian army

A new species of lizard discovered by a team of researchers from the Umroi military station in Meghalaya has been named in honor of the bravery of the Indian army.

The new species discovered as part of the research team’s efforts to uncover the herpetofaunal diversity of northeast India has been given the scientific name Cyrtodactylus exercitus (in Latin exercitus means army). The English name of the species was given as the Indian army curved-toed gecko.

“The name was given to honor the Indian Army for their service to our motherland. The genus Cyrtodactylus is represented by approximately 320 species worldwide and is the third most specific genus of vertebrates in the world. Members of the genus range from South Asia to Melanesia with high diversity in South Asia. Northeast India is now home to 16 species of curved-toed gecko,” said Jayaditya Purkayastha, herpetalogist and general secretary of Help Earth, an NGO based in Guwahati.

The team discovered another species of bent-toed gecko from Siaha district in Mizoram and was named after the district. The new Mizoram species has been given a scientific name as Cyrtodactylus siahaensis and an English name as Siaha’s bent-toed gecko.

The study’s findings were recently published in the European Journal of Taxonomy.

The research team comprised of Jayaditya Purkayastha and Sanath Chandra Bohra from Help Earth, Yashpal Singh Rathee from Umroi Army Station, Hmar Tlawmte Lalremsanga, Vabeiryureilai Mathipi, Lal Biakzuala and Lal Muansanga from Department of Zoology, Mizoram University and Beirathie Litho from RMSA Lobo School, Mizoram.

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