In news- Odisha’s forest officials have announced measures to preserve the newly discovered tiny gecko species of the genus Hemiphyllodactylus.
- The species, which grows up to 6 centimetres in length, was first spotted within the premises of a temple at Humma in Ganjam district in 2014.
- Scientists studied the species till 2017 and made 612 observations during the period, with a maximum of 22 sightings in each.
- The team traced its habitat to Jhadeswar sacred grove.
- It is found only in mango trees surrounding the temple and was never found on concrete walls or below rock boulders unlike other members of the genus.
- Their population in the area is over 100.
- They feed on ants, termites, small roaches, spiders and beetles.
- The new species is the seventh Indian species of the genus, the second from the northern Eastern Ghats and 41st globally.
- It is the first non-island species of the genus which is distributed in lowland habitats.