Gehyra lapistola OLIVER, PRASETYA, TEDESCHI, FENKER, ELLIS, DOUGHTY & MORITZ, 2020
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|Higher Taxa||Gekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)|
|Common Names||E: Litchfield Rock Gehyra|
|Synonym||Gehyra lapistola OLIVER, PRASETYA, TEDESCHI, FENKER, ELLIS, DOUGHTY & MORITZ 2020: 42|
|Distribution||Australia (Northern Territory)|
Type locality: Dorat Road, approximately 6 km from Stuart Highway, NT (−13.2851S, 131.1174E).
|Types||Holotype. NTM R37093, adult male, collect by P.M. Oliver, M. Hammer and P. Skipwith, 28 September 2013.|
Paratypes (N = 11). Northern Territory: NTM R21786, Litchfield NP, NT (−13.22S, 130.73E); NTM R36708, Fish River Gorge, Fish River Station, NT (−14.2660S, 130.8936E); NTM R37055, Dorat Road, Robin Falls area, NT (−13.35S, 131.14E); NTM R37051, Daly River Road, Daly River region, NT (exact latitude and longitude unknown); NTM R37092, Dorat Road, approximately 6 km from Stuart Highway, NT (−13.2851S, 131.1174E); NTM R38191 (field # CCM2882), NTM R38192 (field # CCM2884), Tolmer Falls turnoff, Litchfield NP, NT (−13.1965S, 130.7139E); NTM R38193 (field # CCM2935), Florence Falls turnoff, Litchfield NP, NT (−13.1264S, 130.8046E); NTM R38194 (field # CCM6052), NTM R38195 (field # CCM6053), Mount Pleasant, Tipperary Station, NT (−13.5915S, 131.1678E); NTM R38196 (field # CCM6070), Litchfield Mining Camp, 5 km from Daly River Road, NT (−13.5096S, 130.7727 E).
|Diagnosis||Diagnoses. A large Gehyra species (up to 79.5 mm SVL), differing from all other Gehyra species outside the G. koira complex as per the diagnosis above. Differs from other members of the G. koira complex in the combination of: moderate size within complex (max SVL 79.5 mm, mean 74.2 mm); pre-cloacal pores in males not numerous (9–13); first chin shield pair not bordered posteriorly by a single enlarged medial gular scale, or if present, median scale is not the largest in first row of gulars; second chin shields approximately two thirds length of first chin shields (mean ratio 0.68, range 0.62–0.74); usually only two internasals (80% individuals); and adults with plain grey to brownish dorsum across the head and body with no distinct pattern of barring, banding or spots.|
Further diagnosed from other species within the G. koira complex genetically by nine unique amino acids in the ND2 locus (Table 1).
Gehyra lapistola sp. nov. is morphologically similar to the other geographically disjunct rock-dwelling members of the G. koira complex (G. koira, G. ipsa and G. calcitectus sp. nov.) that occur further to the west; it differs, however, in its plainer and often almost unpatterned dorsum (vs. usually brown with light transverse bars and/or blotches).
It further differs from G. koira in generally having fewer pre-clocal pores (9–13 vs. 13–23) and a lower number of internasals (usually two (80%), rarely 3–4 (20%) vs rarely two (12.5%), usually 3–4 (87.5%)). From G. ipsa, it differs in fewer pre-cloacal pores (9–13 vs. 14–18) and first chin shield pair not bordered posteriorly by a single enlarged medial gular scale, or if present, median scale is not the largest in first row of gulars (vs. present and always largest scale of first gular row). From G. calcitectus sp. nov., it differs in having a dorsal pattern including pale transverse stripes (vs. light pale tan ocelli or blotches). Although geographically disjunct from other members of the G. koira complex, some specimens, especially juveniles, weakly patterned females or preserved specimens, may only be accurately diagnosed on the basis of locality and/or genetic data.
Gehyra lapistola sp. nov. is morphologically similar and overlaps geographically with one species of the G. australis complex, G. australis. From G. australis, it differs in its larger size (mean and maximum adult SVL, respectively: 74.2 mm and 79.5 mm vs.
62.7 mm and 68.1 mm) and more pale and plainer colouration in both preservative and life with little or no pattern (vs. usually with at least some dorsal pattern of darker brown spots or flecks). Comparison of preserved animals also suggests that the pore series is more sharply angled in G. lapistola sp. nov. than in G. australis; however, this character is difficult to accurately measure as it varies with angle of limb preservation.
|Etymology||The species epithet is formed from the Latin words lapis (rock, stone) and stolo (runner), used in its adjectival form as stola, as in ‘rock-running’, in reference to the species occurrence in rocky escarpment and outcrop habitats.|
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