NO: 020/SP/HM/BKPUK/III/2022

Papeda, a new type of gecko from Obi Island

Early February 2022, Awal Riyanto, a Zoological Researcher from the Zoologicum Bogoriense Museum of the Biological Research Center, the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) and his team successfully identified a new type of Jarilengkung (bent-toed) gecko from Kawasi, Obi Island. The discovery of the gecko with the scientific name Cyrtodactylus papeda is from the specimens found in 2016 and 2018 by Fata H. Faz from the Bogor Institute. of Agriculture


Cibinong, 04 March 2022. “Genetically and morphologically, this gecko species is akin to the Melanesian species, namely Cyrtodactylus papuensis. The difference is apparent from its larger body size, more than one row of large thigh scales, and deep precloacal grooves in males,” said Awal.

Awal explained that the embedding of the name ‘papeda’ is part of an effort to promote or introduce the culinary diversity of Indonesian archipelago to the world. In this case papeda is the name of a traditional food from Maluku and West Papua made from sago.

“This gecko can be found in mangrove swamp vegetation, pine, and secondary forest associated with shrubs. They are usually active and found at night between 30 cm to 3 m above the ground and mostly on tree trunks,” said Awal.

Molecular analysis indicates that this Cyrtodactylus specimen from Obi Island belongs to the C. marmoratus group. The population of Cyrtodactylus from Obi Island is closely related to samples C. papuensis from Buru Island, Raja Ampat and Southern Papua New Guinea.

C. papeda has the average length of 60.7 mm. The dorsum of this lizard is light brown. It has a pattern with seven or eight dark brown markings running narrow and irregularly between the armpit and groin. The dark brown line extends from the postnasal area through the eye and continues into the upper ear canal. The dorsal side of the tail is bent, at the base has a narrow dark band, widening as the tail tapers.

“Both alive and preserved, this gecko has the same color. All areas are pale brown with gray, cream, or yellow-brown dorsum, while the supercilium and canthus are golden yellow,” Awal concluded.

This article of finding of Papeda, a new type of bent-toed gecko from Obi Island, has been published in the Herpetologica Journal, 78(1), 2022, 30–39 and can be accessed via the following link: The video can be watched at the following link