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Ctenophorus salinarum (STORR, 1966)

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Higher TaxaAgamidae (Amphibolurinae), Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Saltpan Ground-dragon 
SynonymAmphibolurus pictus salinarum STORR 1966
Amphibolurus salinarum — COGGER 1983
Ctenophorus salinarum — COGGER 2000: 323
Ctenophorus salinarum — WILSON & SWAN 2010
Ctenophorus salinarum — CHAPPLE et al. 2019: 69 
DistributionAustralia (Western Australia)

Type locality: Noraeman, in 32° 10’ S, 121° 46’ E, W. A.  
TypesHolotype: WAM R17649 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Distinguished from nominate pictus by its heterogeneous dorsal scales.

Description. Medium-sized with body and basal half of tail moderately depressed. Head longer, narrower (82% of its length) and less deep (59% of its length) than usual in this group. Relative length of tail exceeded in this group only by nominate pictus. Adpressed hindleg reaches to shoulder (females) or tympanum (males). Toes slightly compressed, their outer edge weakly denticulate. Maximum snout-vent length: males 68.5, females 70. Gravid females range from 56.5 to 68. Smallest juvenile 31. Nostril below moderately acute rostral ridge, a little nearer to orbit than tip of snout, circular or broadly elliptical, and entering forward and downward. Supraciliary ridge acute. Tympanum a little smaller than orbit, its diameter averaging 17% of length of head. Rostral and mental well developed. Upper labials 12-17, smooth, smaller than adjacent facials. A series of enlarged scales extends back from postinferior corner of nasal, below orbit to above ear; at first the scales are flat and smooth but become tectiform under orbit and larger and hIgher as they curve up towards ear. A loose fold, studded with conical scales 2-3 times as large as neighbouring granules, extends obliquely up from below ear until it joins middle of a similarly scaled dorsolateral fold on neck. No nuchal crest, but a series of subtubercular scales along midline, broader than long, only a lIttle larger thlm neighbouring scales. No dorsal crest. Strong gular fold curving obliquely back to above shoulder. Frequently a weak pregular fold. No dorsolateral fold on slightly raised when gorged, each located in a notch on posterior edge of an enlarged scale and margined by 2-4 small unnotched scales. Subdigital lamellae 21-28 under fourth toe, spinosely bicarinate, the inner series of spines much the higher. Scales on top of head low, smoothest and largest along midline. Occipital scales smaller and rougher. Scales on nape very small, smooth. subconical. Lateral scales Similar, but mIxed WIth scales that are smooth or feebly keeled and 2-3 times as large as ordinary laterals. Dorsal scales increase in size towards midline flatter and more imbricate than nuchals and laterals, and mixed with smooth non-imbricate scales 2-4 times as large as ordinary dorsals and tending to be arranged in transverse rows Caudal scales much larger than dorsals, smallest laterally, weakly imbricate, moderately keeled. Scales on dorsal and anteroventral surface of limbs SimIlar to caudals but more strongly Imbricate. Scales of under surface of foreleg and ventrolateral scales of outer surface of hindleg much smaller. Gulars small, smooth, weakly imbricate, becoming subgranular towards posterior angle of jaw. Ventrals smooth, imbricate, much larger than gulars and only a little smaller than subcaudals (from Storr 1966, OCR may contain mistakes). 
CommentLifestyle: burrowing. 
EtymologyNamed after its occurrence near salt lakes “where they excavate their short burrows among samphire growing on marginal flats or on islets in the lakes themselve” (Storr 1966). 
  • Anonymous 1967. Type Specimens in the Western Australian Museum (Part 8). Annual Report, Western Australian Museum, 1966-67, Perth, pp. 59-60
  • Chapple, David G.; Reid Tingley, Nicola J. Mitchell, Stewart L. Macdonald, J. Scott Keogh, Glenn M. Shea, Philip Bowles, Neil A. Cox, John C. Z. Woinarski 2019. The Action Plan for Australian Lizards and Snakes 2017. CSIRO, 663 pp. DOI: 10.1071/9781486309474 - get paper here
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • Doughty, P.; Maryan, B.; Melville, J. & Austin, J. 2007. A new species of Ctenophorus (Lacertlia: Agamidae) from Lake Disappointment, Western Australia. Herpetologica 63 (1): 72-86 - get paper here
  • Ellis, Ryan J. 2019. An annotated type catalogue of the dragon lizards (Reptilia: Squamata: Agamidae) in the collection of the Western Australian Museum. Records of the Western Australian Museum 34: 115–132 - get paper here
  • Melville, Jane; Schulte, James A.; Larson, Allan 2001. A molecular phylogenetic study of ecological diversification in the Australian lizard genus Ctenophorus. Journal of Experimental Zoology: Molecular and Developmental Evolution 291(4): 339-353 - get paper here
  • Storr, G. M. 1966. The Amphibolurus reticulatus species-group (Lacertilia: Agamidae) in Western Australia. J R. Soc. West. Aust. 49: 17-25
  • Storr, G. M., Hanlon, T. M. S. & Harold, G. 1981. Herpetofauna of the shores and hinterland of the Great Australian Bight, Western Australia. Rec. West. Austr. Mus. 9: 23-39 - get paper here
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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