Caribbean, new lizard species found

This 2016 video is called Gonatodes daudini F1 male in its terrarium.

Union island in the GrenadinesFrom the Google cache.

Caribbean: new lizard species found

Date: 10/11/05 at 7:09AM

Playing: I’m a little dinosaur, by Jonathan Richman

KANSAS CITY, Mo. Oct 10, 2005 [ABC site] — What’s black, white, red and green all over? It’s something Avila University professor Robert Powell will announce sometime in December.

Powell, a biologist who has been at the Kansas City-based university for 30 years, and Robert Henderson, a curator at the Milwaukee Public Museum, have discovered a new species of lizard in the south Caribbean that Powell will get to name in the December issue of the Caribbean Journal of Science.

Powell, who recruits students from around the country each summer to take a research excursion with him to the Caribbean, found the new lizard in June after being tipped off about its existence.

The Rev. Bob de Silva, an amateur naturalist from St. Vincent who had visited Union Island, had been the only person to ever report seeing the geckolike lizard, and told Powell about it.

“It is indeed spectacular in its appearance,” Powell told The Kansas City Star by telephone from Guana Island in the British Virgin Islands, where he is studying other reptiles.

“The lizard is greenish with bright red, black and white spots that seem to jump out at you when he is placed against a plain background. But in its natural habitat, it is hard to see.”

Powell said the tiny lizard, which is about the size of a large caterpillar or half a cigarette, probably has been seen before and mistaken for a bug.

He said he was excited about his discovery, but his reaction was muted somewhat because he knew the lizard existed, and where to look for it.

“I scooped up a handful of leaves and debris, then carefully sifted through looking for the lizard,” Powell said.

“The hardest thing was holding it so as not to tear its soft skin.”

He said he isn’t sure, but thinks the lizard fits the criteria for an endangered species.

One of the still-nameless vertebrates has been preserved at the University of Kansas Natural History Museum.

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