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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
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Peninsular Rock Gecko

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3

Fig 4

Fig 5

Species : Cnemaspis peninsularis
Size (snout to vent) : 60 mm
Size (total length) : 132 mm ?

A species of primary or secondary forest up to 1500 metres, mainly preferring damp cave entrances or rocky outcrops but also nearby tree trunks. It is largely nocturnal, but can be active on dull afternoons.

Geckos of the Cnemaspis genus have round pupils and slender, clawed toes without adhesive pads. The Peninsular Rock Gecko has a distinctively grey and brown patterned dorsum and a striped, spiky tail which can be raised and curled over the back. The tail has whorls of tiny spines, most noticeable at the base.

This species is documented as occurring only in Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore, and was formerly referred to as 'Kendall's Rock Gecko' Cnemaspis kendallii (Grismer et al, 2014).

A Cnemaspis specimen from Gunung Bintan, Bintan Island, Riau Archipelago, Indonesia, 55 km southeast of Singapore, appears to be C. peninsularis (see Fig 5), thus the range of this species appears to extend further south than documented.

C. kendallii
is now considered to be confined to the island of Borneo.

Fig 1 : The end of the tail is sometimes coiled. Bukit Timah, Singapore.

Fig 2 : The sharp claws allow for an excellent grip on a granite ouctrop. Bukit Timah, Singapore.

Fig 3 : Specimen from Taman Negara, Pahang, Peninsular Malaysia.

Fig 4 : Female on a tree trunk : eggs are clearly visible in her belly. Bukit Timah, Singapore.

Fig 5 : Cnemaspis specimen from Gunung Bintan, Bintan Island, Riau Archipelago, Indonesia which is similar in appearance to Cnemaspis peninsularis.

References : H1, H2

Grismer, L. L., P. L. Jr. Wood, A. Shahrul, A. Riyanto, A. Norhayati, Mohd A. Muin, M. Sumontha, J. L. Grismer, K. O. Chan, E. S. H. Quah & O. S. A. Pauwels, 2014. Systematics and natural history of Southeast Asian rock geckos (genus Cnemaspis Strauch, 1887) with descriptions of eight new species from Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia. Zootaxa. 3880 (1): 001-147.