Dr Paul Doughty

Curator of Herpetology (reptiles & amphibians)

Terrestrial Zoology

BSc., MSc., PhD.

Paul Doughty inspecting a specimen


(08) 9212 3826 Paul.Doughty@museum.wa.gov.au


  • Systematics of frogs and geckos.
  • Taxonomy of various other groups (dragons, skinks, snakes).
  • Exploration of remote regions for new species and distribution records.
  • Evolutionary and ecological processes as they apply to WA species.
Kimberley rocket frog (Litoria axillaris)

Kimberley rocket frog (Litoria axillaris)
Credit: P.Doughty/WA Museum



  • Researches taxonomy of reptiles and amphibians through the collections.
  • Develops collections through targeted fieldwork and collaborations with DBCA and university researchers.

Services (to other bodies):

  • Represents the Western Australian Museum at meetings and on committees involved with frogs and reptiles.


Alcoa Frog Watch: museum.wa.gov.au/explore/frogwatch

Exhibitions and Public Programs

  • Co-ordinator of Alcoa Frog Watch programme.
  • Provides IDs and advice for consultants and government.
  • Regularly presents talks and provides media coverage of work in herpetology section.

Selected Publications


Gecko lizards have been a focus of Paul’s research since joining the WA Museum in the mid-2000s. Along with his collaborators, he’s been involved in the description of 46 Australian species. Of particular focus has been the gekkonid genus Gehyra, with nearly 20 species described from this group alone. These descriptions have resulted from field collections in the Pilbara and Kimberley regions, the use of various genetic techniques to evaluate evolutionary relationships and detailed examination of specimens in the laboratories of the WA Museum.

Gehyra unguiculata

Gehyra unguiculata - Paul's favourite Gehyra.
Photographer: R.J.Ellis


Gehyra pseudopunctata

Gehyra pseudopunctata
Credit: G.Harold


Recent Gehyra publications:

Doughty, P., Bourke, G., Tedeschi, L.G., Pratt, R.C., Oliver, P.M., Palmer, R.A. and Moritz, C. (2018). Species delimitation 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. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4403.2.1

Doughty, P., Pepper, M., Bauer, A.M. and Keogh, J.S. (2018). Spots before the eyes: revision of the Gehyra punctata species complex from Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum 33: 1–50. http://museum.wa.gov.au/sites/default/files/WAMRecords_2018_33(1)_01to50_DOUGHTYetal_0.pdf

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). https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.5334


Through fieldwork and working with geneticists in eastern Australia, Paul and collaborators have described nine species of frogs, all from Western Australia. Six of these species were discovered ‘Eureka!’-style from the Kimberley region, usually from hearing a different-sounding call than more better known species. http://museum.wa.gov.au/explore/frogwatch

Paul is a strong frog advocacy spokesperson, and has coordinated the Alcoa Frog Watch programme since the mid-2000s and is the coordinator for the FrogID national frog census programme for Western Australia. https://www.frogid.net.au/

Western water-holding frog (Cyclorana occidentalis)

Western water-holding frog (Cyclorana occidentalis)
Credit: R.J.Ellis/WA Musuem


Recent frog publications:

Doughty, P. (2011). An emerging frog diversity hotspot in the northwest Kimberley of Western Australia: another new frog species from the high rainfall zone. Records of the Western Australian Museum 26: 209–216. http://museum.wa.gov.au/research/records-supplements/records/emerging-frog-diversity-hotspot-northwest-kimberley-western-aus

Catullo, R.A., Doughty, P. and Keogh, J.S. (2014). A new frog species (Myobatrachidae: Uperoleia) from the Northern Deserts region of Australia, with a redescription of U. trachyderma. Zootaxa 3753: 251–262.

Anstis, M., Price, L.C., Roberts, J.D., Catalano, S.R., Hines, H.B., Doughty, P. and Donnellan, S.C. (2016). Revision of the water-holding frogs, Cyclorana platycephala (Anura: Hylidae), from arid Australia, including a description of a new species. Zootaxa 4126: 451–479.


Dr Paul Doughty in the Pilbara

Dr Paul Doughty in the Kimberley
Credit: WA Museum