New Discover In Phuket – It’s quite spiky

If you’re staying in Thailand for your vacation, there’s something new for you to discover away from your Honeymoon resort in Phuket; a brand-new species of lizard endemic to the island. Careful, it’s quite spiky.

Researchers, led by Oliver Pauwels, a Belgian biologist from the Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences, locate in Brussels, has recently officially confirmed a new species of lizard in the island of Phuket. They are endemic to the island, meaning that no individual of the species reside outside of the area, and that nowhere else on the planet can they be found. The discovery was only recently made, not more than a year ago.

The lizard was cleverly given the scientific designation of Acanthosuara phuketensis, which describes it rather tactfully. Acanthosuara is the genus name for spiny lizards residing in the Southeast Asian regions, whilst phuketensis translates to, “of or from Phuket”. The spiny specimen is small, possessing a length of only 35cm. It resides amidst the foliage of central Phuket’s jungles. For its spiky visage, the lizard is quite harmless; its diet is primarily composed of small insects.

Mr. Pauwels also points out that this is the third such discovery his team has made on Phuket, preceded by a gecko and a viper species, both of which are also endemic to the region. The tourism heavy island has been changed by humans, but Mr. Pauwels has stated his belief that this discovery, and the others like it, may be used to promote the protection of the ecosystem of the island. He emphasizes that these creatures are endemic; found nowhere else, and if human infrastructure destroys their home, these unique species will also disappear.

Mr. Pauwels and his team remain on the island to continue their current efforts, hoping that new species will be discovered. On locations much like Phuket, where tourism is a major industry, there is a greater risk of invasive species being introduced. Protecting such locations is important, as they may hide more unique species that science has yet to discover.

Food for thought for those staying in a Honeymoon resort in Phuket, or for anyone in a tourist spot.