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Diplodactylus laevis STERNFELD, 1925

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Higher TaxaDiplodactylidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesDesert Fat-tailed Gecko 
SynonymGymnodactylus laevis STERNFELD 1925: 229
Diplodactylus conspicillatus — KLUGE 1967 (part.)
Diplodactylus conspicillatus — COGGER in COGGER et. al. 1983 (part.)
Diplodactylus laevis — OLIVER et al. 2014 
DistributionAustralia (West Australia, North Territory, South Australia)

Type locality: "Aus dem Magen von Varanus gouldi", Mission Hermannsburg, Oberer Finke River, Nord-Territorium  
Reproduction 
TypesLectotype: SMF 8242, designated by Mertens 1967 
CommentSynonymy: Diplodactylus laevis has been synonymized with Diplodactylus conspicillatus by LOVERIDGE 1934 and revalidated by OLIVER et al. 2014.

Diagnosis. A large member of the D. conspicillatus group (max SVL 65 mm) with a bold canthal stripe and a greatly enlarged first supralabial (contacting ventral edge of nasal scale). Mid-dorsal scales on trunk plate-like and markedly larger than smaller dorsolateral scales. Scales on nape and top of head also plate-like and whilst sometimes smaller than those on back, still considerably larger than the small granules on side of neck. Original tail sharply- pointed and terminating with an acute attenuated extension at tip. Scales on dorsal surface of tail arranged in transverse rows (which include rows of both large and small scales). Pattern generally reticulated [OLIVER et al. 2014].

Comparisons. Diplodactylus laevis is readily distinguished from D. platyurus in possessing an enlarged first supralabial that contacts the ventral edge of the nasal scale (vs 1st supralabial small and not differentiated from the rest of the supralabial row). It is distinguished from D. conspicillatus, D. laevis, D. bilybara sp. nov. and D. custos sp. nov. in having enlarged, plate- like scales on the nape and top of head that are appreciably larger than those on the sides of the neck (vs scales on nape granular and not appreciably larger than those on sides of neck). It is most readily distinguished from Diplodactylus hillii and D. barraganae sp. nov. by the shape of its original tail which bears an acute attenuated extension at the tip (vs tail blunt, spade-like without an attenuated tip) and further distinguished from these species by its mid-dorsal scales (mid-dorsals enlarged and plate-like, conspicuously larger than the dorsolateral scales in D. lae- vis vs mid-dorsal scales small, only slightly larger than the dorsolaterals) [OLIVER et al. 2014].

Group: (founding) member of Diplodactylus conspicillatus group.

Diet: termites, ants

Distribution: see map in OLIVER et al. 2014 (Fig. 3). 
References
  • Cogger H.G., Cameron EE & Cogger HM 1983. Zoological Catalogue of Australia, Volume 1: AMPHIBIA AND REPTILIA. Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.
  • COUPER, PATRICK J.; PAUL M. OLIVER 2016. A new species of gecko from arid inland regions of eastern Australia (Diplodactylus; Diplodactylidae). Zootaxa 4093 (4): 525–538 - get paper here
  • Kluge, A. G. 1967. Systematics, Phylogeny, and Zoogeography of the Lizard Genus Diplodactylus Gray (Gekkonidae). Australian Journal of Zoology 15: 1007-1108 + 19 plates - get paper here
  • Oliver PM, Couper PJ, Pepper M 2014. Independent Transitions between Monsoonal and Arid Biomes Revealed by Systematic Revison of a Complex of Australian Geckos (Diplodactylus; Diplodactylidae). PLoS ONE 9(12): e111895. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0111895 - get paper here
  • Sternfeld, R. 1925. Beiträge zur Herpetologie Inner-Australiens. Abhandlungen Herausgegeben von der Senckenbergischen Naturforschenden Gesellschaft, 38: 221—251
 
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