Taxonomic resolution of the Aprasia repens species-group (Squamata: Pygopodidae) from the Geraldton Sandplains: a description of a new species and additional mainland records of A. clairae

WA Museum Records and Supplements | Updated 1 years ago

ABSTRACT – The Australian pygopodid genus Aprasia is a group of morphologically conservative, worm-like fossorial lizards. Combined allozyme and morphological analyses revealed a previously unrecognised species, named herein as A. wicherina sp. nov., known from a small number of specimens from an area of elevated, ancient sandplains on the central west coast of Western Australia. The new species is a member of the Aprasia repens species-group, but it is genetically divergent and morphologically distinguishable from all other previously described members of this group, including the geographically proximate A. clairae, A. haroldi, A. repens and A. smithi. We also report additional specimens of A. clairae from the central west coastal mainland and we provide new information that supplements our original description of this species. Finally, we present preliminary allozyme evidence for additional candidate species in A. repens, thus highlighting the need for greater geographic sampling of this widespread taxon. Addition of A. wicherina sp. nov. to the Western Australian endemic A. repens species-group brings the known diversity to eight species, with the highest diversity on the Geraldton Sandplains. The discovery of yet another new and potentially rare vertebrate species from southwestern Australia underlines our lack of knowledge of the most developed part of the state.

Author(s) Brad Maryan, Mark Adams and Ken P. Aplin
Records 30 : Part 1
Article Published
Page Number