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Diplodactylus nebulosus DOUGHTY & OLIVER, 2013

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Higher TaxaDiplodactylidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymDiplodactylus nebulosus DOUGHTY & OLIVER 2013 
DistributionAustralia (Western Australia: Moresby Range)

Type locality: Australia: Western Australia: Moresby Range (28.6275°S; 114.6703°E)  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: WAM R168639, an adult male, (Australia: Western Australia), collected from Moresby Range (28.6275°S; 114.6703°E) on 16 June 2009 by B. Maryan and D. Algaba.
Paratypes: Australia: Western Australia: WAM R61318 (male), 20 km east of Green Head (30.066°S; 115.167°E); WAM R100225 (male), ~7 km north-east of Mt Lesueur (30.13°S; 115.25°E); *WAM R119081 (male), Yetna (28.62°S; 114.7°E); WAM R128545 (male) and WAM R128551 (female), Lesueur National Park (30.0938°S; 115.1789°E); *WAM R166718 (female), Mt Lesueur (30.1619°S; 115.1992°E); *WAM R168638 (female), as for holotype; *WAM R168640 (female), Moresby Range (28.6194°S; 114.6700°E); *WAM R168641 (male), Moresby Range (28.6163°S; 114.6619°E). 
CommentSynonymy: Paratypes of Diplodactylus g. granariensis Storr, 199 that are D. nebulosus.

DIAGNOSIS: A medium-sized Diplodactylus characterised by stout head with tall labial scales (as tall as wide), ≤5 postnasals, mental similar size to adjacent infralabials, first supralabial equal or slightly taller than second, rostral in contact with nostril, dorsal scales only slightly larger than ventral scales, and tail long, cylindrical and tapering to a fine point. Dorsal ground colour light to dark brown with a series of large irregular pale blotches along midline, blotches usually containing a short transverse row of fine pale spots.

COMPARISONS WITH OTHER SPECIES: Diplodactylus nebulosus sp. nov. differs from D. conspicillatus, D. galaxias, D. kenneallyi, D. klugei, D. pulcher and D. savagei by nostrils in contact with rostral scale, enlarged labial scales, longer tail, and mental not longer than infralabials; from D. mitchelli by dorsals approximately the same size as ventrals, smaller adult body size, stouter head and shorter limbs; from D. lateroides sp. nov., D. ornatus, D. polyophthalmus by possessing relatively tall labials (as tall as wide). Diplodactylus nebulusus sp. nov. differs from the remaining Diplodactylus largely in aspects of dorsal pattern and colouration. It differs from D. granariensis, D. ornatus, D. vittatus, D. wiru and some D. calcicolus by having an irregular vertebral zone comprised of blotches (the other taxa have straight or scalloped edges to the vertebral stripe). It differs from D. furcosus, D. galeatus and some D. calcicolus by usually having a tranverse row of fine white spots within the blotches (unique in Diplodactylus). It differs from D. fulleri and D. tessellatus by possessing a vertebral zone of blotches (v. at most diffuse streaks and scattered markings on dorsum). It differs from D. capensis and D. mitchelli by lacking rich reddish colouration with pale transverse bars extending from vertebral stripe. 
EtymologyETYMOLOGY: nebulosus is derived from the Latin nebula, meaning ‘cloud’, owing to the large irregular blotches on the dorsum that resemble billowing clouds. Used as a noun in apposition. 
References
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp.
  • Doughty, Paul and Paul M. Oliver 2013. Systematics of Diplodactylus (Squamata: Diplodactylidae) from the south-western Australian biodiversity hotspot: redefinition of D. polyophthalmus and the description of two new species. Rec W Austral Mus 28 (1): 44-65 - get paper here
 
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