22. Cnemaspis gunasekarai
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 gunasekarai from Ritigala (160–580 m a.s.l) Anuradhapura District, North Central Province. Ritigala is a wet forest patch on an isolated mountain range in the northcentral dry zone of the island. Our survey of 15 ha revealed 46 (±0.3) geckos per search-hour. All individuals were found on dry, shaded, cool surfaces of large rock outcrops or sometimes within caves. They were never observed on tree trunks, and never reported in surrounding anthopogenic habitats. The species has not been recorded outside the forest.
The specific epithet is a noun in the genitive singular case, honoring a leading environmental activist, conservationist, and former Deputy Director of Sri Lanka Customs (Government of Sri Lanka), Mr. Samantha Gunasekara, for his dedication and contributions to biodiversity conservation in Sri Lanka, as well as his generous friendship and support towards the authors. His valuable contributions to the Sri Lanka Customs Department in controlling biodiversity trafficking, illegal pet trade, and biopiracy, as well as to popularizing conservation among the general public, are highly commendable. Mr. Gunasekara is also a senior member and a former president of the Young Zoologists’ Association (YZA) of Sri Lanka.
English name: Gunasekara’s Day-gecko
Sinhala (local) name: ගුණසේකරගේ දිවාසැරි-හූනා