An egg discovered in the Vanuatuan island of Espiritu Santo has produced a new species of gecko, according to France’s Natural History Museum in Paris.
The new species, which is about 3 inches long as an adult, has recently been described and named Lepidodactylus buleli.
The museum says that this is the first time a new lizard species has been catalogued based on an individual raised from an egg.
The discovery came during an expedition to Vanuatu by the French scientists in 2006. The expedition to study the ecosystems of the forest canopy included climbers who scoured the canopy for plant and animal samples.
Ivan Ineich, a reptile specialist at the museum, said he first noticed the gecko when he saw a bloody carcass accidentally hacked in half by one of climbers.
“I said to myself ‘this guy looks bizarre,’ but I couldn’t tell right away it was a new species because it had been so massacred,” he said.
Climbers then found nine more eggs hidden in a plant by female geckos.
Following the discovery of the gecko eggs, the scientists carried the eggs from Vanuatu to Paris in a box lined with tissues.
Unfortunately, eight of the nine geckos died due to low temperatures during a power outage, but one lived.
Tags: new species