Thursday, March 24, 2016

A new gecko: Diplodactylus ameyi

I have a weak spot for geckos and very often new species discoveries end up on this blog. Geckos have a number of unique features that distinguish them from other lizards. They use sounds in social interactions with other geckos. They lack eyelids and a fixed lens which is why they often lick their eyes to keep them clean and moist. However, they are probably best known for their specialized toe pads that enable them to climb smooth and vertical surfaces, and even cross indoor ceilings with ease.

Today's new species comes from Queensland, Asutralia. It was named after Dr. Andrew Amey for his contributions to documenting Australia’s herpetofauna and for granting the authors access to the Queensland Museum’s reptile and amphibian collections.

For the experts: We describe a new species of small terrestrial gecko in the genus Diplodactylus from inland regions of western Queensland and New South Wales, Australia. Diplodactylus ameyi sp. nov. can be distinguished from its congeners in the Diplodactylus conspicillatus species-group by its relatively large size, bulbous tail which lacks an acute attenuated extension at tip, small first labial scale and comparatively robust head morphology (which includes a broadly rounded snout and no well-defined canthus rostralis). Related populations from eastern and central Queensland currently referred to D. platyurus include further deeply divergent lineages but additional material is required to resolve systematic boundaries in this region.

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