Lizard species – Phrynosoma http://phrynosoma.org/ Mon, 10 Jan 2022 18:38:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.2 https://phrynosoma.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/profile-150x150.png Lizard species – Phrynosoma http://phrynosoma.org/ 32 32 Scientists at the British Museum discover more than 550 new species in 2021 https://phrynosoma.org/scientists-at-the-british-museum-discover-more-than-550-new-species-in-2021/ Fri, 31 Dec 2021 20:54:34 +0000 https://phrynosoma.org/scientists-at-the-british-museum-discover-more-than-550-new-species-in-2021/ A roly-poly monochromatic beetle. A fan-throated lizard. A rice rat which can be an example of island gigantism. And two crocodile-faced dinosaurs. These are some of the more than 550 species that researchers at the Natural History Museum in London discovered in 2021, despite COVID-19 restrictions. The museum’s biggest finds were two carnivores dinosaurs unearthed […]]]>

A roly-poly monochromatic beetle. A fan-throated lizard. A rice rat which can be an example of island gigantism. And two crocodile-faced dinosaurs. These are some of the more than 550 species that researchers at the Natural History Museum in London discovered in 2021, despite COVID-19 restrictions.

The museum’s biggest finds were two carnivores dinosaurs unearthed on the Isle of Wight UK. Extinct spinosaurids, which sported crocodile-like mubs, were affectionately referred to as “hell heron” and “bank hunter”, respectively. Another new species of British dinosaur was named the ‘chief dragon’, although it was the size of a chicken, Previously reported live science.

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Two species of vultures spotted in Singapore https://phrynosoma.org/two-species-of-vultures-spotted-in-singapore/ Fri, 31 Dec 2021 02:52:11 +0000 https://phrynosoma.org/two-species-of-vultures-spotted-in-singapore/ Black dwarf bees and white bellied sea eagles in Singapore. (Photo / s: Clarence Chua, Kelvin Ow) Singapore’s urban and green environment is home to a rich abundance of magnificent wildlife that we don’t often see. In our Wildlife Around Singapore series, we share some interesting flora and fauna that have been observed around the […]]]>

Black dwarf bees and white bellied sea eagles in Singapore. (Photo / s: Clarence Chua, Kelvin Ow)

Singapore’s urban and green environment is home to a rich abundance of magnificent wildlife that we don’t often see. In our Wildlife Around Singapore series, we share some interesting flora and fauna that have been observed around the island.

Not one, but two species of vultures spotted

Bird watchers were very excited on December 29 as rare avian visitors made their way to Singapore in the form of five Himalayan Griffon Vultures as well as a solitary Monk Vulture.

It’s the first recorded appearance of the monk vulture in Singapore. It is distinguished from the Himalayan vulture by its two-tone beak and dark-colored head.

Himalayan vultures mainly live in the Himalayan mountains, but are known to disperse to places in Southeast Asia.

The monk vulture, also known as the monk vulture or black vulture, is found throughout Eurasia.

These two species of vultures are among the largest flying birds, with a wingspan of up to 2.5 to 3 m.

Here are the raptors that hang out in Singapore’s Botanic Gardens, with the Himalayans apparently accepting the cinereous as one of their own:

Himalayan vultures and solitary monk vulture (bottom) in the Singapore Botanic Gardens, December 30, 2021 (Photo: Shiu Ling / Facebook)

Himalayan vultures and solitary monk vulture (bottom) in the Singapore Botanic Gardens, December 30, 2021 (Photo: Shiu Ling / Facebook)

A Himalayan vulture flying over the Singapore Botanic Gardens, December 30, 2021 (Photo: Loh Wei / Facebook)

A Himalayan vulture flying over the Singapore Botanic Gardens, December 30, 2021 (Photo: Loh Wei / Facebook)

A Himalayan vulture in the Singapore Botanic Gardens, December 30, 2021 (Photo: HP Lian / Facebook)

One of the Himalayan vultures. (Photo: HP Lian / Facebook)

A monk vulture (bottom) in the Singapore Botanic Gardens, December 30, 2021 (Photo: Trevor Teo)

The monk vulture in flight. (Photo: Trevor Teo)

According to Internet users, ornithologists the monk vulture then crashed in mid-flight, probably from exhaustion and hunger after days of travel before reaching Singapore. He was rescued by the Animal and Veterinary Service and brought to Jurong Bird Park to receive the care he needed.

White-bellied sea eagles grab it

While vultures are rare visitors to Singapore, our island is home to various native birds of prey, one of which is the white-bellied eagle. These eagles are known to live in places like Pasir Ris Park and Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.

A juvenile male white-bellied eagle and an adult female were recently spotted mating at Pasir Ris Park.

A pair of juvenile male and adult female white-bellied eagles in Pasir Ris Park, Singapore on December 26, 2021 (Photo: Kelvin Ow)

A young male (left) and an adult female pair of white-bellied eagles in Pasir Ris Park, Singapore on December 26, 2021 (Photo: Kelvin Ow)

A pair of juvenile male and adult female white-bellied eagles in Pasir Ris Park, Singapore on December 26, 2021 (Photo: Kelvin Ow)

A pair of juvenile male and adult female white-bellied eagles in Pasir Ris Park, Singapore on December 26, 2021 (Photo: Kelvin Ow)

Peregrine Falcon in Sengkang

A peregrine falcon was sighted in Sengkang around Anchorvale Lane, Block 535 in late December.

The peregrine falcon is the most widespread bird of prey in the world, being commonly found in most parts of the world, including urban areas. It is also the fastest bird in the world, capable of reaching speeds of over 320 km / h when it dives towards its prey.

A peregrine falcon was seen in Sengkang, Singapore around Anchorvale Lane, block 535 in late December 2021. (Photo: Jasper Ong)

(Photo: Jasper Ong)

A peregrine falcon was sighted in Sengkang, Singapore, around Anchorvale Lane, Block 535, in late December 2021. (Photo: Pher Thuan Chong)

(Photo: Pher Thuan Chong)

First record of greylag pigeon in Singapore

The Singapore Birds Records Committee, a team of civilian birding enthusiasts, recently took place on December 25 officially recorded the first appearance of the green greylag pigeon in Singapore.

The pigeon in question had been sighted in the Central Watershed Nature Reserve in October, but the committee had to undertake an analysis to exclude other species of green pigeons in order to confirm that this was the first sighting of a wild green pigeon with a ash head here. . Factors considered by the committee included the color and condition of the bird’s plumage, whether the species is known to travel long distances in the wild and whether it was a wild animal. company escaped.

Greylagged green pigeon in Central Catchment Nature Reserve, Singapore, October 9, 2021 (Photo: Yip Jen Wei)

Greylagged green pigeon in Central Catchment Nature Reserve, Singapore, October 9, 2021 (Photo: Yip Jen Wei)

Greylag-headed green pigeon in the Central Basin Nature Reserve, Singapore.  (Photo: Francis Yap)

Greylag-headed green pigeon in the Central Basin Nature Reserve, Singapore. (Photo: Francis Yap)

A kingfisher catches a lizard

A netizen shared this photo in the Singapore Wildlife Sightings Facebook group of a white-throated kingfisher in Pasir Ris Park with his big catch – a shifting lizard.

A white-throated kingfisher with its prey, a changing lizard in Pasir Ris Park, Singapore, December 14, 2021. (Photo: Sangmen Wong)

(Photo: Sangmen Wong)

Blue-tailed bee-eaters in Seletar

There is a population of blue-tailed bee-eaters around Seletar Aerospace Park which often provides striking images to photographers like these when they catch bugs:

A blue-tailed bee-eater catching an insect at Seletar Aerospace Park, Singapore.  (Photo: Vincent Lim)

A blue-tailed bee-eater catching an insect at Seletar Aerospace Park, Singapore. (Photo: Vincent Lim)

A blue tailed bee eater catching a dragonfly at Seletar Aerospace Park, Singapore.  (Photo: Tan Heng Liang)

A blue tailed bee eater catching a dragonfly at Seletar Aerospace Park, Singapore. (Photo: Tan Heng Liang)

Bees around Singapore

We promised birds and bees in this article – you didn’t think we were done after showing you white-bellied eagles procreating, did you?

Here are literal bees seen around Singapore:

Bees among the flowers in a housing estate in Singapore.  (Screenshot from video by Gummela Red / Facebook)

Bees among the flowers in a housing estate in Singapore. (Screenshot from video by Gummela Red / Facebook)

A beehive nest of Apis andreniformis (black dwarf bee) and weaver ants in Singapore, November 2021 (Photo: Clarence Chua)

A hive of black dwarf bees and weaver ants in Singapore, November 2021 (Photo: Clarence Chua)

A beehive nest of Apis andreniformis (black dwarf bee) and weaver ants in Singapore, November 2021 (Photo: Clarence Chua)

A hive of black dwarf bees and weaver ants in Singapore, November 2021 (Photo: Clarence Chua)

Check out our Sustainability page for more information on nature and sustainability.

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The Natural History Museum describes more than 550 new species in 2021 https://phrynosoma.org/the-natural-history-museum-describes-more-than-550-new-species-in-2021/ Thu, 30 Dec 2021 08:00:00 +0000 https://phrynosoma.org/the-natural-history-museum-describes-more-than-550-new-species-in-2021/ The largest and by far the most formidable new species to be described this year is a pair of giant carnivorous dinosaurs known as spinosaurs. Discovered by doctoral student Jeremy Lockwood on the Isle of Wight, the predators have been named “bank hunter” and “hell heron” after the swampy environment in which they would once […]]]>

The largest and by far the most formidable new species to be described this year is a pair of giant carnivorous dinosaurs known as spinosaurs. Discovered by doctoral student Jeremy Lockwood on the Isle of Wight, the predators have been named “bank hunter” and “hell heron” after the swampy environment in which they would once have lived and hunted.

But spinosaurs were just two of six new dinosaurs described by scientists at the Museum, four of which were from the UK. These have included the really weird Spicomellus after, the oldest ankylosaur and the first to be found in Africa, Brightstoneus simmondsi, a new iguanodontian with an unusual muzzle also from the Isle of Wight, Pendraig milnerae, the oldest known carnivorous dinosaur in the UK, and Rhomaleopakhus turpanensis, a large sauropod from China.

“It’s been a fantastic year for describing new dinosaurs, especially from the UK,” says Dr Susannah Maidment, senior palaeobiology researcher at the museum, who helped describe some of these new findings. “Although we have known about the UK’s dinosaur heritage for over 150 years, the application of new techniques and data from around the world is helping us uncover a hidden diversity of British dinosaurs.

“These specimens are part of a large paleobiological puzzle that allows us to understand the environments of the past and how they have changed over time.”

In addition to these finds, there have been a number of other fossil finds. These included fossil bryozoans (or moss animals), algae, brachiopods and arachnids trapped in amber, but also an ancient herbivorous crocodile relative and two ancient mammals. The first of them, Megalomys camerhogne, belonged to a group of rodents that once lived scattered across the Caribbean, while the other, Borealestes cullinensis, is a “Jurassic mouse” from Scotland that would have rushed to the feet of dinosaurs 166 million years ago.

Many of the new species featured this year are crustaceans, especially a group known as copepods.

They are small, shrimp-like creatures that can be found anywhere there is water, from high mountain lakes to the deepest ocean trenches. Despite their small and unpretentious appearance, they are essential to the planet’s ecology and the carbon cycle. Being the main component of zooplankton, they are vital food for fish, krill and other invertebrates.

This incredible abundance means that copepods are one of the greatest carbon sinks in the oceans. In light of this importance in marine ecosystems, scientists at the Museum have this year described 291 incredible species of copepods.

Along with his colleague in South Korea, Professor Geoff Boxshall, a merit researcher in the Museum’s Department of Life Sciences, has spent the past year weaving his way through a huge collection created over a span of six decades by French researchers Claude and Françoise Monniot. who, by studying sea squirts, saved all the copepods they found and preserved them.

“Copepods are not only free, but many of them are parasites, and they can be found living in virtually every other major group of animals,” says Geoff. “I focused my research on these parasitic copepods from fish and marine invertebrate hosts.

“The huge Monniot collection has been made available to Il-Hoi Kim and myself, and since we are both recently retired, we theoretically had time to finally browse it. However, the collection was so huge it was somewhat intimidating – but then Covid-19 happened.

“Completing the series of articles became my lockdown project when I was unable to enter the museum.”

In addition to the extraordinary work of Geoff and his colleague documenting copepods, scientists at the Museum have also described 52 species of wasps, 13 moths, seven crabs, six flies, and five amphipods.

Once again there were also an impressive number of beetles with 90 new species described this year. This included a pair of glittering purple and green metallic beetles from India, a large monochromatic beetle with a large pair of Philippine jaws, and a tiny swamp loving beetle named in honor of Chief Mouser of 10 Downing Street Larry the Cat. .

One of the more enigmatic new species was actually known by song for decades before the animal itself was seen. In 1990, an article was published describing the song of a Southeast Asian bush cricket, although the animal that produced it is unknown.

This year, it was finally determined that the alluring chirping was the sweet song of a species found in Singapore now known as the Mecopoda simonodoi, a copy of which has in fact been in the collections since 1984.

There have been a number of other new species from all over, including five new species of plants from East Africa.

Known as Jewelweeds or touch-me-nots, they usually produce delicate pink or white flowers, with the exception of a few species that have switched to producing red flowers. Indeed, rather than being pollinated by butterflies, the flowers are rather visited by birds, who find it easier to choose the color red among the green foliage.

In addition to plants, there were eight new species of algae, six parasitic worms and three diatoms.

Finally, there were 10 new species of reptiles and amphibians. Of these, five are new snakes, including a new species, now known as the Joseph Racer, which has been described using an 185-year-old painting. Three new species of lizards have been described, including a fan-throated lizard and an Indian gecko.

While a new species of frog from Vietnam is on the list, another species has been declared likely to be extinct. There has also been a new species of caecilian, a type of snake-like amphibian that lives primarily underground and in water.

As the world continues to warm at an unprecedented rate, it has never been more important to record what is currently alive and what has existed before, with each species playing a crucial role in the functioning of our planet.

Another of this year’s biggest science stories was when, during the lockdown in February, a large chunk of space rock burned through the atmosphere before suddenly stopping in an alley in the town of Winchcombe in Gloucestershire.

Hundreds of people spotted the fireball crossing the night sky, and within hours, researchers were able to get out and retrieve more than 600 grams of the meteorite that had traveled billions of kilometers and reached over 1,6000C as it burned in the atmosphere.

Now officially classified as the Winchcombe meteorite, it is one of the 603 approved meteorites classified as carbonaceous chondrites. Each official meteorite becomes its own type specimen, which is roughly analogous to a new species.

“The Winchcombe meteorite is the first meteorite fall to be recovered in the UK for 30 years,” says Dr Helena Bates, a museum researcher who was involved in the recovery of the Winchcombe meteorite. “Winchcombe is believed to have originated from an asteroid that has hardly changed since the birth of the solar system 4.6 billion years ago.”

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New Zealand lives up to ‘Land of Lizards’ title as two new species have been discovered https://phrynosoma.org/new-zealand-lives-up-to-land-of-lizards-title-as-two-new-species-have-been-discovered/ Sat, 11 Dec 2021 08:00:00 +0000 https://phrynosoma.org/new-zealand-lives-up-to-land-of-lizards-title-as-two-new-species-have-been-discovered/ Lizard experts are said to be getting excited over the discovery of two new species, one found in the Mataura Range in Southland. Department of Conservation (Doc) science adviser and lizard survey project leader Dr Jo Monks said genetic testing confirmed the two new species were discovered during Doc’s investigations in the alpine areas of […]]]>
Lizard experts are said to be getting excited over the discovery of two new species, one found in the Mataura Range in Southland.

Department of Conservation (Doc) science adviser and lizard survey project leader Dr Jo Monks said genetic testing confirmed the two new species were discovered during Doc’s investigations in the alpine areas of the South Island last summer.

A skink and gecko – found in the Mataura Range in Southland and Nelson Lakes National Park, respectively – are new to science but have yet to be officially described.

She said the findings made lizard experts (herpetologists) sparkle and added to what is already known about New Zealand’s lizard species diversity.

Dr Monks said intensive lizard investigations are unearthing lizards in less explored places across the country.

“We are still in the age of discovery for our lizards, and we will likely find more as we continue our investigative work this summer.”

Over the past 30 years, the number of known lizard species has almost quadrupled thanks to new discoveries.

“New Zealand has more endemic lizard species than endemic birds, so it really is a ‘land of lizards’ as well as a ‘land of birds’,” she said.

Once the last two species are officially described, further studies will help herpetologists learn more about them, determine their conservation status and how to manage them.

Genetic tests have also confirmed that a gecko, first found in the mountains near Haast last summer, is the same one previously known only on tiny islands off the Southwest, changing completely. what we know about this gecko.

Several new populations of cryptic skinks, Eyres skinks and cascading geckos have also been confirmed.

New Zealand has 126 species of geckos and skinks (including the two new species) that are not found anywhere else in the world. They are unique and give birth to live young, unlike many lizards elsewhere that lay eggs.

According to the recently updated New Zealand Reptile Conservation Status 2021, approximately 90% of skink and gecko species are listed as “threatened” or “at risk” of extinction and a growing number of lizard populations are in decline.

Lizards are vulnerable to a wide variety of introduced predators, including mice, hedgehogs, weasels, and feral cats, in addition to rats, stoats, and opossums, which cause the most damage to native birds.

Doc welcomes information on lizard sightings, especially in the Alpine area, which may lead to new discoveries. People are welcome to take photos of the lizards and send reports with exact location information to: lizardresearch@doc.govt.nz

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66 bird species documented in Eco Park near Kolkata https://phrynosoma.org/66-bird-species-documented-in-eco-park-near-kolkata/ Fri, 10 Dec 2021 11:29:15 +0000 https://phrynosoma.org/66-bird-species-documented-in-eco-park-near-kolkata/ The first GPS tagged photographic documentation of bird diversity at Eco Park has been prepared to make it a bird sanctuary for enthusiasts and bird watchers Over 66 bird species, including resident and migratory, have been recorded roosting in the relatively open and safe pockets of New Town Ecopark, adjacent to Kolkata. This photographic documentation […]]]>

The first GPS tagged photographic documentation of bird diversity at Eco Park has been prepared to make it a bird sanctuary for enthusiasts and bird watchers

Over 66 bird species, including resident and migratory, have been recorded roosting in the relatively open and safe pockets of New Town Ecopark, adjacent to Kolkata.

This photographic documentation marked by the Global Positioning System, a first, aims to promote Eco Park as a “bird refuge” for ornithologists, bird photographers, nature journalists, enthusiasts and bird watchers.

There has previously been no background documentation on bird diversity in the Eco Park. Such documentation is necessary to implement long-term conservation methodologies and maintain the ecological balance in the heart of the city.

This GPS tagged bird diversity photographic material was prepared by the non-profit Nature Environment & Wildlife Society (NEWS) and the West Bengal Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (WBHIDCO), a public sector company.

It would promote the visibility of bird species and their richness within the Eco Park and position it as a model for understanding biodiversity.

Common snipe is spotted with Chinese nylon kite thread tangled in claws. Photo: Pradyut Choudhury

Bird species captured in Eco Park video footage include:

  • Alexandrian Parakeet (Near Threatened according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature or IUCN)
  • Blue-throated Flycatcher
  • Black bittern
  • Cinnamon Bittern
  • Eurasian Torcol
  • Wood wagtail
  • Green-crowned Warbler
  • Little coucal
  • Olive-backed pipit
  • Stork with open beak
  • Eastern Reed Warbler
  • Pheasant-tailed Jacana
  • Red avadavat
  • Scaly bellied munia
  • Siberian Stone
  • Wagtail

Birds are potential indicators of the ecological aspects of any habitat. Several species of birds have abandoned their natural habitat due to the increasing demand for urban development.

Birds also face other threats such as pollution, tree felling, degradation of grasslands, massive use of non-biodegradable products, entanglement in Chinese nylon thread, use of pesticides and other toxic chemicals.

The magnificent blue-throated flycatcher is a rare visitor to Eco Park.  Photo: Sumit Kumar MoulikThe magnificent blue-throated flycatcher is a rare visitor to Eco Park. Photo: Sumit Kumar Moulik

Ajanta Dey, NEWS co-secretary and IUCN member in India, told this reporter:

You can’t avoid urbanization, but it has to be sustainable. These urban parks are designed to include aspects of biodiversity. They entertain visitors. They can also be designed to integrate biodiversity, birds and plants.

The data is a checklist of birds found in and around the park. The area covers 480 acres or 194 hectares.

Resident avian species are visible year round in the four seasons around this region. However, migratory birds are only spotted during the time they are en route to other locations.

A local resident, Dr Daschoudhury said the whole region was a Bheris (fish farming area) a few decades ago. Many Siberian birds have landed in the wetland covered with salt meadows, salt marshes, ponds and sewage farms.

Roost and reproduction depend on the availability of food. The birds have become accustomed to the territory but development has led to many species of birds disappearing from the region. This is how the city of Salt Lake City was born and got its name.

Eco Park in Newtown is the largest park in Kolkata as well as India. It was established as an urban forest ecosystem and to encourage sustainable ecotourism by the government of West Bengal.

The park, located in Action Zone II of New Town, the newly developed sister city of Calcutta, is an extensive part of the East Calcutta Wetland, a Ramsar site. Therefore, it carries a story of an excellent urban and semi-urban ecosystem.

Eco Park is divided into 10 parts:

  • Landscaping or gardening (42.57 hectares)
  • Lake (50.19 Ha)
  • Prairie (14.99 Ha)
  • Wet or marshy area (27.86 Ha)
  • Canopy cover (6.05 ha)
  • Bushy area / Butterfly garden (2.41 Ha)
  • Golf course (9.78 Ha)
  • Other water bodies (3.4 ha)
  • Construction (12.04 Ha)
  • House (13.46 Ha)

Debashis Sen, Managing Director of WBHIDCO Ltd, said: “Our next goal is to create a biodiversity heritage area in the Eco Park.

In particular, the area is home to several mammals, including the marsh mongoose, the small Indian mongoose, the palm civet and the small Indian civet. Some species of reptiles such as the water monitor and the yellow monitor, which is an endangered species, have been reported to support around 100 plant species, including fragmented grasslands in this area.

The Wood Wagtail is a rare passerine bird found in the Eco Park. Photo: Sumit Kumar Moulik

Dey said, “The ecosystem of this prairie needs to be restored as it is home to turtles, lizards, mammals, snakes and birds. If humans can have spaces for themselves, we should give them their breathing spaces as well. “

Eco Park was inaugurated by Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister of West Bengal on December 29, 2012. However, it was opened to visitors on January 1, 2013.

About 6,000-7,000 people visit the park on weekdays. However, the number increases to 16,000-17,000 visitors on weekends.

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Two new species of lizards discovered on the South Island https://phrynosoma.org/two-new-species-of-lizards-discovered-on-the-south-island/ Fri, 10 Dec 2021 00:19:00 +0000 https://phrynosoma.org/two-new-species-of-lizards-discovered-on-the-south-island/ Provided A skink found in the Mataura Range in Southland last summer is a newly discovered species. Genetic tests have confirmed that two new species of lizards live in two regions of the South Island. A skink and a gecko – found in the Mataura Range in Southland and Nelson Lakes National Park respectively – […]]]>
A skink found in the Mataura Range in Southland last summer is a newly discovered species.

Provided

A skink found in the Mataura Range in Southland last summer is a newly discovered species.

Genetic tests have confirmed that two new species of lizards live in two regions of the South Island.

A skink and a gecko – found in the Mataura Range in Southland and Nelson Lakes National Park respectively – are new to science but have yet to be officially described.

The findings were made during the Department of Conservation’s investigations in the alpine areas of the South Island last summer.

The discoveries have herpetologists [lizard experts] bubbly and adding to what is known of New Zealand’s already diverse range of lizard species.

READ MORE:
*
Mana whenua panel to advocate for important traditional sites on stewardship lands
* Jumping lizards: possible new species of skinks and geckos discovered
* National park review is now three years overdue

New Zealand has 126 species of geckos and skinks, including the two new species, which are not found anywhere else in the world. They are unique and give birth to live young, unlike many lizards elsewhere that lay eggs.

The department’s science adviser and lizard survey project leader Dr Jo Monks said intensive lizard surveys are digging up lizards in our less explored places.

“We are still in the age of discovery for our lizards, and we will likely find more as we continue our investigative work this summer.”

Over the past 30 years, the number of known lizard species has almost quadrupled with new discoveries.

“New Zealand has more endemic lizard species than endemic birds, so it really is a ‘land of lizards’ as well as a ‘land of birds,'” said Monks.

A gecko found in Nelson Lakes National Park last summer is a newly discovered species.

Provided

A gecko found in Nelson Lakes National Park last summer is a newly discovered species.

Once the last two species have been officially described, further studies will allow us to learn more about them, to determine their conservation status and how to manage them.

Genetic testing also confirmed that a gecko, first found in the mountains near Haast last summer, is the same one previously known only on tiny islands off the Southwest. This completely changes what we know about this gecko.

Several new populations of cryptic skinks, Eyres skinks and cascading geckos have also been confirmed.

In another turnaround, the so-called ‘cupola gecko’, found in Nelson Lakes 50 years ago and then again last summer, and considered a separate species, has turned out to be a morphologically distinct population. Forest geckos – a widespread species found in the North and South Islands.

The ministry will lead further alpine lizard surveys over the next two summers, with funding from Budget 2018 for work on little-known species.

Makaawhio Rūnanga is also involved in lizard surveys in the southwest of the country through the Jobs for Nature program.

Makaawhio Rūnanga Chairman Paul Madgwick said: “It’s exciting to have our Mahaki Ki Taiao group leading this kaupapa in the southwest of the country with the possibility that they will discover more species of lizards now that their eyes are more tuned. “

About 90 percent of the country’s skink and gecko species are listed as threatened or endangered, and more and more lizard populations are in decline.

Lizards are vulnerable to a wide variety of introduced predators, including mice, hedgehogs, weasels, and feral cats, in addition to rats, stoats, and opossums, which cause the most damage to native birds.

The department welcomes information from the public on lizard sightings, especially in the Alpine area, which may lead to new discoveries. People are encouraged to take photos of the lizards and send reports with exact location information to: lizardresearch@doc.govt.nz.

]]> Two new species of lizards, the gecko and the skink, discovered in the South Island https://phrynosoma.org/two-new-species-of-lizards-the-gecko-and-the-skink-discovered-in-the-south-island/ Thu, 09 Dec 2021 22:22:24 +0000 https://phrynosoma.org/two-new-species-of-lizards-the-gecko-and-the-skink-discovered-in-the-south-island/ Mataura chain skink. Photo / Carey Knox Two new species of lizards have been discovered in the South Island. Genetic testing has confirmed the new species based on findings made during the Department of Conservation’s surveys of alpine areas on the South Island last summer. A skink and gecko – found in the Mataura Range […]]]>

Mataura chain skink. Photo / Carey Knox

Two new species of lizards have been discovered in the South Island.

Genetic testing has confirmed the new species based on findings made during the Department of Conservation’s surveys of alpine areas on the South Island last summer.

A skink and gecko – found in the Mataura Range in Southland and Nelson Lakes National Park respectively – are new to science but have yet to be officially described.

Dr Jo Monks, DoC science adviser and lizard survey project leader, said intensive lizard surveys are digging up lizards in our less explored places.

“We are still in the era of our lizard discovery, and we will likely find more of them as we continue our investigative work this summer.”

Over the past 30 years, the number of known lizard species has almost quadrupled with new discoveries, she said.

The gecko found in Nelson Lakes National Park.  Photo / Ben Barr
The gecko found in Nelson Lakes National Park. Photo / Ben Barr

“New Zealand has more endemic lizard species than endemic birds, so it really is a ‘land of lizards’ as well as a ‘land of birds.’

Once the last two species have been officially described, further studies will allow us to learn more about them, to determine their conservation status and how to manage them.

A spokesperson said genetic testing also confirmed that a gecko, first found in the mountains near Haast last summer, is the same one previously known only on tiny islands off the South -Where is. This completely changes what we know about this gecko.

Several new populations of cryptic skinks, Eyres skinks and cascading geckos have also been confirmed.

The DoC will lead further alpine lizard surveys over the next two summers, with funding from Budget 2018 for work on little-known species.

Makaawhio Rūnanga is also involved in lizard surveys in the southwest of the country through the Jobs for Nature program.

“It’s exciting to have our Mahaki Ki Taiao group leading this kaupapa in the southwest of the country with the possibility that they will discover more species of lizards now that their eyes are more tuned.” said Makaawhio Rūnanga chairman Paul Madgwick.

New Zealand has 126 species of geckos and skinks, including the two new ones, which are not found anywhere else in the world.

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New opossum species named after UWO biologist Greg Adler https://phrynosoma.org/new-opossum-species-named-after-uwo-biologist-greg-adler/ Wed, 08 Dec 2021 08:00:00 +0000 https://phrynosoma.org/new-opossum-species-named-after-uwo-biologist-greg-adler/ Some people are recognized when a grandchild bears their name or a scholarship is created in their honor. The legacy of biology professor Greg Adler at the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh is solidified this week as a new species of possum he collected a decade ago is described in a publication by the American […]]]>

Some people are recognized when a grandchild bears their name or a scholarship is created in their honor.

The legacy of biology professor Greg Adler at the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh is solidified this week as a new species of possum he collected a decade ago is described in a publication by the American Museum of natural History.

And here is the kicker …

Greg Adler

The new species featured in the December 8 issue of American Museum Novitates is called Marmosa Adleri, which is Latin for Adler’s mouse opossum.

Robert Voss, Curator of the Department of Mammalogy at the American Museum of Natural History, is the lead author of the article which describes Marmosa alderi as among the smallest measured of the sub-genre Micourea. The new species has a very long tail that is about 160% of its head and body length on average.

“The discovery of this new opossum species is very unusual as I collected it from what may be the most studied area of ​​rainforest in the world,” Adler said. “Many expeditions collected thousands of specimens there throughout the 20th century and never found this species. It is amazing that he has escaped discovery for so long.

The discovery is a culmination of Adler’s nearly 30-year career studying mammals, including rodents and opossums, in tropical rainforests around the world.

“In 2001, I captured a lot of mouse opossums, which were common and widespread in the wooded parts of central Panama. I captured an individual in a national park that had a slightly different color on the belly, and I wasn’t sure if it was just a color variation of a common species or a different species ” , Adler explained.

At the time, he had no idea that it was an unknown species.

Greg Adler with a thorny rat in central Panama, just a few miles from where he captured the new opossum species.

“In my fieldwork around the world, I had always hoped to discover a new species. Of the places I had worked, I thought my best chances were in Vietnam or French Guiana, and I thought the least likely would be central Panama because that area was much more thoroughly sampled, ”he said. -he declares.

Adler added that he was “both flattered and honored” to have a new species named after him.

“It’s kind of a reward for decades of hard work under harsh conditions in remote rainforests,” he said.

In the American Museum Novitates article, Voss elaborated on Adler’s impact:

“Adler’s numerous publications include important contributions to knowledge of seed dispersal, habitat use, community ecology, and the demography of small Neotropical mammals based on decades of research. trapping studies in Panama and northern South America. “

Back in class at UW Oshkosh, Adler teaches a number of courses, including ecology and evolution, a requirement for biology majors.

“I haven’t told any of my students about this discovery, but I probably will at some point as I stress the importance of being aware and observant whenever they are outside. . “

Learn more:

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Azure-tailed lizard species rediscovered on island of Hawaii https://phrynosoma.org/azure-tailed-lizard-species-rediscovered-on-island-of-hawaii/ Wed, 08 Dec 2021 01:21:05 +0000 https://phrynosoma.org/azure-tailed-lizard-species-rediscovered-on-island-of-hawaii/ Azure Tailed Skink (Photo credit: Gary Miller) When a former student sent Guillaume Mautz, professor emeritus of biology at the University of Hawaii in Hilo, a snapshot of a lizard believed to be extinct in Hawaii– he was instantly curious. It was a recently taken photograph of what appeared to be an Azure-tailed Skink, a […]]]>
Azure Tailed Skink (Photo credit: Gary Miller)

When a former student sent Guillaume Mautz, professor emeritus of biology at the University of Hawaii in Hilo, a snapshot of a lizard believed to be extinct in Hawaii– he was instantly curious.

It was a recently taken photograph of what appeared to be an Azure-tailed Skink, a species of lizard that was once commonly found in the Hawaiian Islands and that only inhabited a small 10-acre islet in the large Moloka’i. EUH Hi Tropical conservation biology and environmental sciences former student Aaron Mickelson sent the photo to Mautz for his expert opinion.

“I said I know what it is, but it’s not supposed to be here anymore,” Mautz explained. “The little brown skinks common in Hilo’s backyards are a different species called the delicate skink. They may have a slate colored tail but it is not a true blue. The Azure-tailed Skink also has a stripe on the top of its head.

Teacher in the forest
Guillaume Mautz

To confirm its existence on Hawaii Island, Mautz embarked on a trek to the lizard population spotted in a small grove of pandanus at the edge of ocean cliffs near Nīnole on the Hāmākua coast. Mautz recently published an article on the rediscovery of the species in Herpetological review.

According to Mautz, the disappearance of azure-tailed skinks in the Hawaiian archipelago over the past 100 years could be linked to feral cats, rats, mongooses and invasive ant species.

“The other difficulty for the wildlife populations at the edge of the cliffs on Hawaii Island is that residential real estate development is progressing rapidly on the Hāmākua coast, ”Mautz said. “The new developers favor ocean views over small farms and set up landscaped homes near the edge of the cliffs.”

So far, Mautz’s findings cannot confirm whether azure-tailed skinks are confined to pandanus groves and whether there are other lizard populations elsewhere on the island.

“There is a rumor of sighting of a blue tailed skink in the pandanus forest in the Kohala Mountains,” he said. “I have searched the fragmented pandan groves atop a cliff on the Hāmākua Coast and the Kohala Mountains for other lost treasure lizards, so far without luck.”

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Growing population of invasive tegu lizards threatens native Florida species https://phrynosoma.org/growing-population-of-invasive-tegu-lizards-threatens-native-florida-species/ Tue, 07 Dec 2021 16:51:07 +0000 https://phrynosoma.org/growing-population-of-invasive-tegu-lizards-threatens-native-florida-species/ Invasive tegu lizards are expanding their range in Florida Florida wildlife officials say Argentina’s black-and-white tegu population is colonizing further north and they have a big appetite. They are not from the Sunshine State. TAMPA, Florida – An invasive species of lizard is calling Florida but as their numbers continue to multiply in the wild, […]]]>

An invasive species of lizard is calling Florida but as their numbers continue to multiply in the wild, they apparently eat native species.

According to scientists at the University of Florida, the population rate of Argentine black and white tegu lizards has increased in recent years. Even the colder months don’t have a big impact on them. They burrow and wait underground for winter.

They are normally spotted in South Florida, but have been seen as far north as St. Lucia County, reports the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation. This is likely a problem that started with the tegu lizards released by owners, or they escaped.

They eat just about anything – from bananas to baby gopher turtles.

Argentinian black and white tegu (photo FWC)

“Tegus prey on the nests of other animals, and researchers have documented tegus eating American alligator eggs and disturbing American crocodile nests in Florida,” the FWC reported. “A recent analysis of the gut contents of tegus by the FWC revealed that they consume endangered juvenile gopher turtles and foods of agricultural value, highlighting the impact this species may have on wildlife and sensitive farmlands.”

The gopher tortoise is protected by Florida law, as are the burrows it builds for shelter. Its population is already threatened due to habitat destruction, fragmentation and degradation.

The stomach scan was performed on 124 tegu lizards, and FWC discovered that they ate frogs, toads, other lizards, and even snakes.

In 2019, authorities successfully removed 1,425 tegu lizards from the wild. This is actually double what they were able to remove four years ago.

READ: Endangered whale gives birth while caught in fishing rope, scientists say

This year, the FWC added the Argentine black and white tegu to its list of prohibited species. If you owned one before April 29 of this year – when the rule was put in place – you can keep it until it dies, but you must have a license.

Pet owners had until the end of July to tag their lizards. The species cannot release it, and if the owners release them or their tegu lizard escapes, they can be traced back to the owner.

FOLLOWING: Sharks and manatees mingle at the TECO power plant discharge channel at Apollo Beach

Essentially, they cannot be brought into the state as pets and are restricted for research, education, control or “eradication,” according to the FWC rule.

To learn more about the Argentinian black and white tegu, Click here. You can find out more about List of non-native FWC species here.

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