This tiny angular-toed gecko was found in adandoned buildings
Geckos are one of the largest families of lizards, with about 1,500 known species. The genus Cyrtopodion includes the bent-toed gecko in Pakistan and a new angular-toed species, C. kiabii, from Iran, which is named after the ecologist Bahram Kiabi.
So far, these tiny geckos (measuring less than 100mm, in body length, including the tail) are known only from the type locality, about 100 miles from the coast of the Persian Gulf. The geckos were collected in two abandoned buildings where they, like other species in the genus, seemed to be strictly nocturnal.
With the addition of this species the genus includes about 37 species, but recent analysis of DNA data suggests that Cyrtopodion is not monophyletic; that is, the species does not share a common ancestral species not also shared by at least some species outside the genus. This points to the need for additional work, to arrive at a stable classification of geckos.
The new species was reported by an international team of scientists from Iran and Germany, led by Dr Faraham Ahmadzadeh of the Shahid Beheshti University. The diminutive and delicate lizard is distinguished from related species in the region in part by differences in morphometrics and scale patterns. More data will be required before making any conclusions about the distribution or status of the species.
At the other end of the spectrum, the largest gecko is presumed extinct. It was endemic to New Zealand but is known only from a single stuffed specimen in the basement of a museum in Marseille, and from one recorded sighting in 1870.