A new gecko species has been discovered by biologists from the Papua New Guinea National Museum and the U.S. Geological Survey. It is covered by black-and-gold bands and has nodules in its skin for camouflage. A number of them were found on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. Exploration of this island may very well yield more new discoveries, because scientific research there is in its infancy said one of the affiliated scientists. (An unrelated expedition there in 2009 described a virtual treasure trove of biological diversity.)
“We’ve officially named it Nactus kunan for its striking color pattern — kunan means bumblebee in the local Nali language. It belongs to a genus of slender-toed geckos, which means these guys don’t have the padded, wall-climbing toes like the common house gecko…”, said Robert Fisher a USGS herpetologist.
(Source: USGS) The new gecko measures about five inches in length.
Manus Island is about 150-200 miles north of Papua New Guinea and is one of the Admiralty Islands. It is covered in rugged jungles and is about 100 x 30 kilometers in surface area. The highest point is about 2,300 feet.
One gecko in Southeast Asia is threatened because of beliefs it is useful in traditional medicine and can even cure HIV. None of these claims have any evidence to support them, however.
Image Credit: USGS, Public Domain