The rediscovery of Rurk’s Cat Skink Ristella rurkii Gray, 1839 (Reptilia: Ristellidae) with remarks on distribution and natural history

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Sumaithangi Rajagopalan Ganesh


The description of Rurk’s Cat Skink Ristella rurkii is expanded herein based on recent field sightings and a voucher specimen.  Three individuals comprising an adult male, an adult female, and a juvenile were encountered in Kodaikanal, Palni Hills of the southern Western Ghats.  Morphological and ecological notes on the voucher specimen and these live sightings are elaborated to enrich the current knowledge on this little-known species.  This species is also illustrated in life herein for the first time.  The current report forms the rediscovery of this species after nearly 90 years and after a lapse of 175 years since its original description.  A review of its past distribution records is compiled and further surveys are recommended to revise the geographic range and conservation status of this Data Deficient species. 

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