Friday, June 3, 2016

A new gecko: Strophurus congoo

Image from original paper
Yes, I do indeed have an inordinate fondness for geckos, these little reptiles best known for their specialized toe pads that enable them to climb smooth and vertical surfaces, and even cross indoor ceilings with ease. It seems that colleagues discover more and more of them these days and also from the same regions.

Within two months we see the second description of a new species from Queensland, Australia. The new species was named in honour of Mr Tom Congoo, Bar-Barrum elder, and his family, who hold native title claim over the area where it was first discovered.

For our experts: A new species of diplodactylid gecko in the genus Strophurus Fitzinger, from north Queensland, Australia, is described herein as Strophurus congoo sp. nov. It is a small, pale grey to tan, unpatterned or faintly striped gecko, resembling the phasmid geckos in appearance, habitat and behaviour. However, within Strophurus it is not closely related to the phasmid geckos. It is distinguished from all other Strophurus by a combination of even scalation, dull colouration, small size and short tail length. It is only known to occur in a restricted area of the northern Great Dividing Range, within the Einasleigh Uplands bioregion, in a relatively infertile area of rolling, largely granitic hills, and is only known from spinifex (Triodia) hummock grasslands in open woodland.

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