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Gecko species with camouflaging eyes discovered by scientists after decades


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Researchers in Australia have discovered a new type of gecko (poison gecko) with beautiful eyes that blend in with the rest of the body, allowing it to go unnoticed for decades.

The new species, called the little spiny gecko, or Strophurus spinula, is about 6.1 cm long and has a motley pattern of white and gray scales that also mimic its eyes.

New gecko species with ‘psychedelic eyes’ discovered in Australia science

— Sci.News: Latest science news (@scidotnews) May 30, 2023

These camouflaged reptiles live in the forested regions of southwestern Australia, although scientists don’t know exactly how large the population of the newly discovered species is.

The lesser spiny gecko (Strophurus spinula) is the twenty-first identified species of the genus Strophurus, all of which are endemic to Australia, and is collectively known as the spiny-tailed gecko because it has small spikes on its tail and sometimes above its eyes.

Strophurus spinula is considered part of the closely related species Strophurus assimilis. But in a new study published in the journal Records of the Western Australian Museum, scientists conducted an extensive genetic analysis of the newly discovered genus and found it to be a new species.

A careful study of the smaller fork-tailed gecko showed that the newly discovered species can be physically distinguished from the genus Strophurus, the scientists write in the paper.

Like all other spiny geckos, Strophurus spinula can secrete a harmless, foul-smelling chemical from glands near the tail to scare off potential predators descending from the upper bushes where they would normally attack it.

The bright-eyed reptiles were identified as a new species after genetic analysis of other geckos showed they were separated from another closely related species.#memes#Story#Follow me
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— Drew (@DrewInSeAsia) June 2, 2023

Strophurus spinula appears to prefer wooded areas dominated by the Acacia anneura tree, commonly known as malga, which thrives in extremely dry conditions.

Now scientists are trying to figure out why the new species preferred this type of habitat.

Source: Living Science

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