Scientists have discovered a new species of lizard in the lush Western Ghats mountain range in the Indian state of Maharashtra.
The small reptile is a form of gecko and was found by taxonomist Varad Giri in the Kolhapur district. It has been named Cnemasspis kolhapurensis.
Mr Giri and his co-workers published their findings in this month’s edition of the Zootaxa journal.
It is the third new species of lizard recently discovered in the area.
Mr Giri, a curator at the Bombay Natural History Society, told the BBC that the Western Ghats has never been surveyed for amphibians and reptiles.
“A gecko of this particular character has not been recognised elsewhere in the world,” he said.
Mr Giri said he first noticed the lizard in 2005 during a survey of one of the forests in the area.
“When I first stumbled across it, the lizard looked like a normal specimen,” he said.
“It was basically a form of gecko but then I saw that it was interesting because its scales were shiny.”
He said that when the gecko was held up in a certain light, the tail dorsum exhibited an “iridescent sheen”.
Iridescence is commonly reported in a variety of reptiles – but not geckos.