Live specimen of Oedura fimbria (Photo Credit: Linette Umbrello)

Western marbled velvet gecko

Oedura fimbria

This species of gecko was recently described using a combination of molecular and morphological data. Before description, specimens of O. fimbria were identified as O. marmorata. However, closer inspection of this morphologically diverse lineage led to the discovery that Western Australian specimens belonged to a new species.
This is typical of many saxicoline (rock dwelling) species of reptile, as the strong habitat affinity causes populations to become isolated for long periods of time and undergo speciation.

Morphology

Morphologically, O. fimbria is distinguished from O. marmorata by their narrower tails. However, the discovery of O. fimbria also led to the description of two other new species, O. cincta, and O. bella. Oedura fimbria is genetically diagnosable via molecular data and also possesses a diagnostic morphological character (rostral partially divided versus fully divided).

Evolution

Oedura fimbria is most closely related to O. cincta, which is comprised of two distinct evolutionary units centred on the Central Ranges and the Cooper and Darling basins. It is not uncommon to discover deep genetic divergence within reptile taxa, especially those with strong habitat affinities. In many geckos, genetic analyses have recovered deeply divergent lineages which have later been recognised as new species following closer morphological analysis. This work is ongoing for much of Australia's herpetofauna where new species are being discovered regularly.  

Method of reproduction

Sexual

Habitat

Terrestrial

Rocky outcrops with large boulders or on cliff faces. 

Distribution

Western Australia, Pilbara and central western regions.

Taxonomy

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Saurina
Family: Diplodactylidae
Genus: Oedura
Species: fimbria
Name Published Year: 2016
Rank: species
Scientific Name Authorship: Oliver & Doughty
Commercial Impact: 

None

Conservation Assessment: Least Concern

Net Conservation Benefits Fund

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Western Australian Museum Collections https://museum.wa.gov.au/online-collections/names/oedura-fimbria
Accessed 17 Jun 2021

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