First terrestrial vertebrate type specimen in Shanghai settles down at ECNU


The research team headed by He Zhuqing from the School of Life Sciences, East China Normal University (ECNU), recently published an article in ZOOTAXA, describing a new species found on Hainan Island, which they named “Goniurosaurus kwanghua” after Kwang Hua University, one of the ECNU predecessor. The specimen was such named to commemorate the contributions made by the batches of animal taxonomists in ECNU’s Department of Biology.

To confirm each of the living beings in the world requires not only monographs and academic papers, but also some specimens as “types” for future review and comparison. The type specimen of Goniurosaurus kwanghua is now deposited in the Biological History Museum of  ECNU. It is the first terrestrial vertebrate type specimen preserved in Shanghai.

The tpye specimen of Gonirosaurus Kwanghua

The current Biological History Museum of ECNU is based on the animal specimen room and herbarium room of the Department of Biology, which, built in 1952, have had a history of more than 60 years. After rearranging and digitizing the large number of specimens in the two rooms, the university founded the Biological History Museum in 2007 when the Minhang Campus of ECNU was started for use.

The Bilogical History Museum of ECNU

The Goniurosaurus is a typical nocturnal gecko. Although it has red eyes and looks bright-colored, it is non-poisonous and shy. It is active at night and will return to stone cracks or earth caves before dawn after hunting for food.

The Goniurosaurus is mainly distributed in the rocky areas of the Ryukyu Islands, Hainan Island, China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Northern Vietnam. In the past decade, new species of Goniurosaurus have been continually found in China. Currently, among the 19 species worldwide, 11 are in China. Therefore, China is one of the centers in the world that displays the diversity of Goniurosaurus.

According to the research team, the Goniurosaurus is now poached as a pet because of its beauty, which has greatly affected its existence. They hope that the lively small creature can be better protected and taken care of.

Source: School of Life Science

Copy editor: Philip Nash



East China Normal University