21. Cnemaspis gunawardanai
Amarasinghe, Karunarathna, Madawala & de Silva, 2021
Amarasinghe AAT, S Karunarathna, M Madawala & A de Silva (2021). Two new rupicolous day geckos of the Cnemaspis alwisi group (Reptilia: Gekkonidae) from Sri Lanka. Taprobanica 10 (1): 23–38.Amarasinghe AAT, S Karunarathna, M Madawala & A de Silva (2021). Two new rupicolous day geckos of the Cnemaspis alwisi group (Reptilia: Gekkonidae) from Sri Lanka. Taprobanica 10 (1): 23–38.
We discovered Cnemaspis gunawardanai from the lowland wetzone (alt. 50 m a.s.l.) forests and adjacent human habitations which have a dense tree cover in Gampaha District, near Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. This species occurs in at least two localities: Pilikuttuwa and Maligatenna at an elevation range of approximately 40–160m a.s.l. Surrounding habitats of the type locality are currently being converted to pineapple plantations, rubber is invading the natural forests, and illegal logging in the forest was observed.
The specific epithet is a noun in the genitive singular case, honoring a leading environmental activist, conservationist, and a lawyer, Dr. Jagath Gunawardana for his major efforts and contributions to biodiversity conservation in Sri Lanka, as well as his support, motivation, and encouragements for the first three authors to accomplish their research and career goals. His valuable contributions to popularizing environmental law among the general public are highly commendable. Currently he is an advisor to many government institutions such as Central Environmental Authority (CEA), Department of Wildlife Conservation and Department of Forestry etc. Dr. Gunawardana is also a senior member and a former instructer of the Young Zoologists’ Association (YZA) of Sri Lanka.
English name: Gunawardana’s Day-gecko
Sinhala (local) name: ගුණවර්ධනගේ දිවාසැරි-හූනා