Checklist of the Terrestrial Vertebrate Fauna of Western Australia

Departmental resources | Updated 2 months ago

Taxonomic checklist of the terrestrial vertebrate fauna for Western Australia.

Download the latest version of the WA Checklist (2018) (updated September 2018; 276 kb) for the terrestrial vertebrate fauna of Western Australia. This handy excel sheet can be modified to suit your needs or imported into other applications. Use the 'SORT' column to restore the list into taxonomic order. The file is a single excel workbook, with separate sheets for amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. A written version of the Checklist of Birds of WA 2018 is available to download as a pdf (502 kb). For the first time we are also including a separate Checklist of the Birds of the Christmas and Cocos (Keeling) Islands (548 kb). Please consider the environment before printing.

The changes from the 2018 April checklist (202 kb) are documented below and can also be downloaded in pdf format. Previous changes to the checklist (2012-2017) can be found in the documents at the bottom of the page.

A comprehensive update of the WA Checklist is released by the WA Museum every year or as necessary. The WA checklist (2018) contains revisions of the terrestrial vertebrate species of Western Australia and additional information on the conservation status of the WA fauna (provided by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions). 

The taxonomic changes are based on the work of the WA Museum's Terrestrial Zoology staff, and their many colleagues from around Australia and beyond. In the future, we will try to update the list as new taxonomic changes occur.

Bookmark this page, and keep visiting for the latest updated version.

Please contact the relevant author of the specific list if you have any questions or comments.


Changes from the WA Museum Checklist from April 2018 (updated September 2018)

Reptiles and Frogs

New species of Gehyra. Following the revision of the G. nana complex in the Kimberley in the last checklist update with four new species, two major revisions of the G. variegata and G. punctata groups were published, supported by the phylogenomic study of Ashman et al. (2018), resulting in 12 further species of Gehyra in Western Australia. Note the replacement name for one of the G. punctata complex species in Ellis et al. (2018).

Ashman, L., Bragg, J., Doughty, P., Hutchinson, M.N, Bank, S., Matzke, N., Oliver, P. and Moritz, C. (2018). Diversification across biomes in a continental lizard radiation. Evolution: early on-line view.

Doughty, P., Pepper, M., Bauer, A.M. and Keogh, J.S. (2018). Spots before the eyes: revision of the Gehyra punctata (Squamata: Gekkonidae) species complex from Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum 33: 1–50.

Ellis, R.J., Doughty, P., Bauer, A.M., Pepper, M. and Keogh, J.S. (2018). A replacement name for Gehyra punctulata Doughty, Bauer, Pepper & Keogh, 2018 (Reptilia: Squamata: Gekkonidae) and the nomenclatural status of Phyria punctulata Gray, 1842. Records of the Western Australian Museum 33: 133–134.

Kealley, L., Doughty, P., Pepper, P., Keogh, J.S., Hillyer, M. and Huey, J. (2018). Conspicuously concealed: Revision of the arid clade of the Gehyra variegata (Gekkonidae) species group in Western Australia using an integrative molecular and morphological approach, with the description of five cryptic species. PeerJ: e5334 (33 pages).


Lerista chalybura Storr a senior synonym of L. zietzi Wells & Wellington. We belatedly follow Shea & Sadlier (1999) who established that the earliest possible date for L. zietzi was September 1985, one month after Storr’s description was published.

Shea, G.M. & Sadlier, R.A. (1999). A catalogue of the non-fossil amphibian and reptile type specimens in the collection of the Australian Museum: types currently, previously and purportedly present. Technical Reports of the Australian Museum 15: 1–92.


Authority for Morethia adelaidensis is Peters, 1874. We follow the Australian Society of Herpetologist’s checklist, and have changed the authority for this species to Peters.


Reinstatement of Lerista maculosa Storr, 1991, L. talpina Storr, 1991 and Menetia amaura Storr, 1978. Following the ASH list, we have reinstated these three species as the genetic work cited in Aplin & Smith (2001) as evidence for their synonomy was never published. In addition, these species were never formally synonomized into L. uniduo Storr, 1984, L. petersoni Storr, 1976 or M. greyii, Gray, 1845, respectively, in Aplin & Smith (2001).



Birds – State. Added – Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius philippensis from photographs taken at Onslow.


Birds – Christmas and Cocos (Keeling) islands. Added – Great-billed heron Ardea sumatrana, a re-discovered specimen collected in 1886 by George Clunies-Ross and the Lesser Moorhen Gallinula angulata from photographic records at Cocos (Keeling) Islands.  


Changes from the WA Museum Checklist 2017 (updated April 2018)

Reptiles and Frogs

New species from the Gehyra nana complex. A taxonomic revision followed a genetic assessment of this difficult group of Gehyra from the Kimberley and Top End of the Northern Territory. Three new species are described from the Kimberley region (G. granulum, G. pluraporosa, G. pseudopunctata), plus one species (G. paranana) from the western Top End. The four new species are distinctive morphologically (albeit subtly different) and occur sympatrically with true G. nana.

Doughty, P., Bourke, G., Tedeschi, I.G., Pratt, R.C., Oliver, P.M., Palmer, R.A. and Moritz, C. (2018). Species delimination in the Gehyra nana (Squamata: Gekkonidae) complex: cryptic and divergent morphological evolution in the Australian Monsoonal Tropics, with the description of four new species. Zootaxa 4403: 201-244.

Moritz, C., Pratt, R.C., Bank, S., Bourke, G., Bragg, J.G., Doughty, P., Keogh, J.S., Laver, R.J., Potter, S., Teasdale, L.C., Tedeschi, L.G. and Oliver, P.M. (2018). Cryptic lineage diversity, body size divergeance and sympatry in a species complex of Australian lizards (Gehyra). Evolution 72: 54-66.


New species of Eremiascincus from the Pilbara. Eremiascincus rubiginosus (or rusty skinks) was described in the journal Vertebrate Zoology. The new species is unlike any other Eremiascincus owing to its reddish colouration and saxicoline habits, including modifications to the surfaces of the hands and feet.

Mecke, S. and Doughty, P. (2018). A new species of Eremiascincus (Squamata: Sauria: Scincidae) from the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Vertebrate Zoology 68: 27-37.



Birds - State. Added - Buller's Albatross, Thalassarche bulleri from photographic records at Albany, February 2017.

Birds - Christmas and Cocos (Keeling) islands. Added - Silver-backed Needletail Hirundapus cochinchinensis from photographic records at Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Corrected -  spelling errors of Agropsar and Dendronanthus entries.



New species name for the extinct Nullarbor bandicoot and revision of the Western Barred Bandicoot and Southern Brown Bandicoot. A total evidence analysis (using genetic and morphological data) has found that several new taxa within the order Peramelemorphia. The Quenda (Isoodon obesulus fusciventer), previously a subspecies of the Southern Brown Bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus), has been elevated to species level (Isoodon fusciventer). The Western Barred Bandicoot (Perameles bougainville) was revealed to be a complex of five species, including a new species from the Nullarbor (Perameles papillon), and resurrecting three old names, P. myosuros from South West WA, P. notina from South Australia and Victoria, and P. fasciata from New South Wales.

Travouillon, K.J. and M.J. Phillips (2018). Total evidence analysis of the phylogenetic relationships of bandicoots and bilbies (Marsupialia: Peramelemorphia): reassessment of two species and description of a new species. Zootaxa 4378: 224-256.


WA-Checklist-Terrestrial-Vertebrates- 10 September 2018.xlsx276.91 KB
Changes-to-the-WAMuseum-Checklist-Sept-2018.pdf202.33 KB
Checklist of Birds of WA - September 2018.pdf502.12 KB
Checklist of Birds of Christmas and Cocos (Keeling) islands - September 2018.pdf547.35 KB
WA-Checklist-Terrestrial-Vertebrates- 16 April 2018.xlsx295.67 KB
Changes-to-the-WAMuseum-Checklist-Apr-2018.pdf124.98 KB
Checklist of Birds of WA - April 2018.pdf501.68 KB
Checklist of Birds of Christmas and Cocos (Keeling) islands - April 2018.pdf547.56 KB
Changes-to-the-WAMuseum-Checklist-Oct-2017.pdf88.33 KB
Changes-to-WAMuseum-Checklist-August-2016.pdf178.49 KB
Changes to the WA Checklist 2015.pdf308.67 KB
Changes to the WA Checklist 2015b (Mammals).pdf92.46 KB
Changes to the WA Terrestrial Vertebrate checklist, 2012-2014.pdf155.16 KB