A new species of the Aprasia repens species-group (Squamata: Pygopodidae) from Western Australia

WA Museum Records and Supplements | Updated 8 months ago

ABSTRACT – The worm lizard genus Aprasia is a distinct group of morphologically conservative, fossorial pygopodids. Current knowledge of their taxonomy is incomplete, particularly in Western Australia where they are most diverse. Recent biological surveys in Western Australia, using fenced pitfall traplines, combined with active searching near Dongara and on the two largest islands in the Houtman Abrolhos (East and West Wallabi) found three specimens of a very small Aprasia that were tentatively referable to A. repens. As such, they represented an additional species to the herpetofauna of the remote Abrolhos Archipelago. We further investigated these specimens by carrying out an analysis of allozyme and morphological variation in the A. repens species-group. We found the three specimens to be conspecifi c with each other yet distinct from all described species. The new species is closest genetically to A. repens, but in morphology is most similar to A. haroldi. Aprasia clairae sp. nov. differs from all other Aprasia by a conservative suite of morphological characters and by multiple fixed allozyme differences. We also make remarks on the conservation status of the new species and other unresolved taxonomic issues within Aprasia.

Author(s) Brad Maryan, Ric A. How and Mark Adams
Records 28 : Part 1
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