Systematics of stone geckos in the genus Diplodactylus (Reptilia: Diplodactylidae) from northwestern Australia, with a description of a new species from the Northwest Cape, Western Australia

WA Museum Records and Supplements | Updated 8 months ago

ABSTRACT – Stone geckos (Oiplodactylus spp.) are a small group of moderately robust geckos that occur on hard soils in southern and arid regions of Australia. We present a morphological and molecular assessment of the systematics of D. g. granariensis, D. g, rex and D. mitchelli, including an isolated population of D. 'mitcheIli' from the Northwest Cape, Genetic data from allozyme analysis and 7S7bp of the mitochondrial lV02 gene provided evidence for very recent divergence between the subspecies of D. granariensis, despite the morphological distinctiveness of D. g. rex from other stone geckos owing to large size, massive head, different pattern and scalation. In contrast, morphological and molecular data indicated that the isolated population of D. 'mitchelli' from the Northwest Cape was distinct at the species level and also more closely allied to D. granariensis. The new species differs from D. mitchelli in having smaller dorsal scales, fewer vertebrae and cloacal spurs, from D. g. granariensis in larger size, shorter tail and uncreased rostra I scale, from D. g. rex by smaller body and head size and from both subspecies by fewer undivided subdigital lamellae, reddish colouration and distinctive dorsal stripe with transverse bands. The Northwest Cape has several other endemic species of reptiles indicating that this region is biogeographically significant and hence of special conservation value.

Author(s) Paul Doughty, Paul Oliver and Mark Adams
Records 24 : Part 3
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