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Agasthyagama edge UPSC NOTE

 Why in News

  • The species is the second one of the Agasthyagama genus after A. beddomii that has been previously reported from Sivagiri hills in Tamil Nadu.

  • The biodiverse forests of Western Ghats have thrown up yet another marvel of evolution – a new species of tiny lizards, which researchers have described as a “diminutive dragon.”

  • Agasthyagama edge or the northern kangaroo lizard, which belongs to the Agamidae family, is known to have a maximum snout-vent length of 4.3 cm.

  • The Agasthyagama edge, also known as the northern kangaroo lizard.

  • It is a recently discovered species of lizard belonging to the Agamidae family

  • It was first described in 2020 by a team of researchers led by Karthikeyan Vasudevan from the University of Calicut, India.

  • Size: It's a small lizard, with a maximum snout-vent length of 4.3 cm (1.7 inches).

  • Habitat: Found in the evergreen forests of the Idukki district in the Western Ghats of Kerala.

  • Behavior: Primarily terrestrial, spending most of its time on the forest floor amongst leaf litter

  • The discovery of the Agasthyagama edge highlights the rich biodiversity of the Western Ghats.

  • This new species also helps us understand the evolutionary history of the Agamidae family and the factors that have led to the diversification of lizards in this region.

  • The Agasthyagama edge is currently listed as Data Deficient by the IUCN.

  • Its limited range and habitat preferences suggest that it may be vulnerable to threats such as habitat loss and degradation.  


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