They are masters of camouflage and are hard to spot. However, researchers found the strange leaf-tailed gecko more than 20 years ago. But only now it turns out to be something very special.
Munich / Antananarivo (dpa) – The strange-tailed gecko that was discovered in Madagascar more than 20 years ago is a previously unknown species.
“When we first discovered the animals in 2000, we already suspected they were an unknown species,” Glo was quoted as saying in a statement from the government group. “But describing them scientifically has been difficult. It took many years before we gathered enough information to identify them with certainty as a new species.”
of similarities and differences
One challenge was said to be that the new gecko, scientifically named Uroplatus garamaso, is very similar to another species, Uroplatus henkeli. “This is often the case with Madagascar reptiles,” says co-author Jörn Köhler of the Hessian State Museum in Darmstadt. “There are many so-called hidden species.”
Important differences: the tip of the tongue is blackish in the previously known species, while in the new species it is pink. In addition, the new species is about 20 cm long and has a narrower tail. The researchers collected extensive information on the genetics and distribution of the animals, and also made several expeditions to northern Madagascar.
According to Glaws, leaf-tailed geckos are masters of camouflage and usually look very strange. During the day, they rest upside down on tree trunks with their skin flaps spread out and blending in so seamlessly with their surroundings that they are almost impossible to spot. They wake up at night and wander through the branches, looking for prey.
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