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Heteronotia spelea (KLUGE, 1963)

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos) 
Common NamesPilbara Cave Gecko, Cave Prickly Gecko, Desert Cave Gecko 
SynonymHeteronota spelea KLUGE 1963
Heteronotia spelea - WERMUTH 1965
Heteronotia spelea — KLUGE 1993
Heteronotia spelea — COGGER 2000: 248
Heteronotia spelea — WILSON & SWAN 2010 
DistributionAustralia (West Australia: Pilbara Plateau south to the Hamersley Range; Kennedy Range)

Type locality: "Prophecy West" mine at Bamboo Creek, Marble Bar District, W. A.  
TypesHolotype: WAM R12638, female 
CommentClosely related to Heteronotia planiceps, but the relationship has not been resolved.

Diagnosis: A moderately large, long-tailed Heteronotia with bold pattern of dark straight-edged transverse nuchal, dorsal and caudal bands, distinguishable from H. planiceps by temporal stripe in contact with nuchal band but not with occipital band [from STORR 1989].

Diagnosis. Distinguished from congeners by medium body size (to 55.5 mm SVL), gracile habitus, elongate head (to 11.28 mm HeadW), long slender limbs and tail, small tympanum, typically 9 or 10 supralabials and 7 or 8 infralabials, enlarged dorsal tubercles surrounded by at least one smaller granule, dorsum with four or five strongly-contrasting dark bands from nape to hind limbs, and bands with straight edges [PEPPER et al. 2013] 
Etymologyspelea refers to this species’ cave-dwelling habits. 
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp.
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • Kluge, A. G. 1963. A review of the gekkonid lizard genus Heteronota Gray, with a description of a new species from Western Australia. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia, 46:63-67
  • Pepper, Mitzy; Paul Doughty, Matthew K. Fujita, Craig Moritz, J. Scott Keogh 2013. Speciation on the Rocks: Integrated Systematics of the Heteronotia spelea Species Complex (Gekkota; Reptilia) from Western and Central Australia. PLoS ONE 8 (11): e78110. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0078110 - get paper here
  • Storr, G. M. 1989. A new Heteronotia (Lacertilia: Gekkonidae) from Western Australia. Rec. West. Austr. Mus. 14: 269—273 - 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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