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Oedura argentea HOSKIN, ZOZAYA & VANDERDUYS, 2018

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Higher TaxaDiplodactylidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Silver-eyed velvet gecko 
SynonymOedura argentea HOSKIN, ZOZAYA & VANDERDUYS 2018 
DistributionAustralia (Queensland)

Type locality: Cobbold Gorge, Robin Hood Station (18°48'56" S, 143°24'25" E; 320 m elevation  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: QM J96296, male, collected by C. J. Hoskin, 14 September 2013. Paratypes. Cobbold Gorge, Robin Hood Station (18°48'58" S, 143°24'25" E): QM J96297, female; QM J96301, juvenile female; QM J96302, male; QM J88140, male; QM J88141, female. Littleton National Park (18°13'33" S, 142°44'52" E): QM J88195, female. 23.9 km E Croydon via Gulf Hwy (approximate coordinates 18°13' S, 142°26' E): AMS R63690, male; AMS R63691, female. Donkey Springs, Bulleringa National Park (17°35'13" S, 143°48'47" E): QM J74565, female. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Oedura argentea sp. nov. is a relatively small (SVL 61–80 mm) species of Oedura with a relatively wide (HW/SVL = 0.19–0.20) and flat (HD/SVL = 0.10–0.13) head; rostral scale only partially divided by medial vertical groove; iris silvery with reticulated golden-brown venation; tail moderately short (original TL/SVL = 0.64–0.77; regenerated TL/SVL = 0.51–0.66), narrow (original TW/TL = 0.13–0.18; regenerated TW/TL = 0.18–0.24) and circular in cross-section; adult colouration consisting of 5–6 (usually 5) dark-edged, relatively straight, pale bands from the neck to pelvis, separated by mottled purplish-grey and yellow interspaces; backswept pale nuchal band continuous with pale line along the mouth to the snout; single cloacal spur on each side; 14–22 pre- cloacal pores in adult males.

Comparison with other species (Figs. 4–5). Oedura argentea sp. nov. differs from O. castelnaui, with which it is widely sympatric, by its smaller size (SVL 63–80 mm versus 81–95 mm), relatively wider head (HW/SVL = 0.19–0.20 versus 0.16–0.18), narrower tail (often relatively wide and carrot-shaped in O. castelnaui), and in possessing relatively straight transverse pale bands that do not become significantly narrower on the flanks (versus backwards sweeping, V-shaped pale bands that often narrow toward the flanks; Fig. 4).
It is easily distinguished from O. coggeri (Fig. 5E), O. jowalbinna, O. monilis (Fig. 5F), and O. tryoni by its pattern consisting of 5–6 dark-edged, transverse pale bands from the neck to pelvis (versus pale ocelli and occasionally transverse bands or blotches in O. coggeri, O. monilis, and O. tryoni, or neck and pelvis band but patternless back in O. jowalbinna).
Colour pattern is most similar to members of the O. marmorata group. Differs from O. bella (Fig. 5C), O. marmorata, and O. gemmata in possessing only a single cloacal spur (versus 2–3), and further differs from O. marmorata and O. gemmata by its narrow tail that is circular in cross-section and never wider than the head (versus flattened and approaching or exceeding head width). Differs from O. cincta (Fig. 5D) and O. fimbria in possessing only a single post-cloacal tubercle (versus up to 4), by its smaller adult size (SVL 61–80 mm versus 78–108 mm in O. cincta and 71–104 mm in O. fimbria), and further differs from O. cincta by its partially divided rostral scale (versus usually fully divided). It also differs from these two species in retaining a well-defined dark-edged banded pattern throughout adulthood (versus usually but not always becoming indistinct in large adults).
Differs from O. luritja by its smaller adult size (SVL 61–80 mm versus 85–99 mm), its deeper head (HD/SVL = 0.10–0.13 versus 0.07–0.09), possessing a backswept pale nuchal band (bordered on top by a distinct dark post- orbital band) that is continuous from the mouth over the back of the head and neck (versus pale nuchal band not continuous with the pale line along mouth), and in possessing a higher number of pre-cloacal pores in adult males (14–22 versus 10–16). Additionally, in life, the pale bands of O. luritja are yellowish (Fig. 5B), whereas in O. argentea sp. nov. the pale bands are whitish-grey.
Differs from O. gracilis by its much shorter tail (versus very long and narrow, approaching length of the body), its whitish-grey bands (versus yellowish), and by its flared proximal lamellae on toes 2–5 that approach the width of the apical plates (versus narrow and tapering).
Differs from O. filicipoda and O. murrumanu by its much smaller adult size (SVL 61–80 mm versus 85–105 mm) and in possessing a distinct backswept whitish nuchal band (bordered on top by a dark post-orbital band) that is continuous from the mouth through the ear and over the back of the head (sometimes present in O. murrumanu but cream coloured, and post-orbital band weakly defined). Further distinguished from O. filicipoda by its narrow tail that is circular in cross-section and not wider than the head (versus wider and flattened). 
Comment 
EtymologyFrom the Latin adjective argenteus, meaning silver or silvery, in reference to the silvery iris of this species, which is unique among eastern Australian Oedura. The name is used here as an adjective in its feminine form. 
References
  • HOSKIN, CONRAD J.; STEPHEN M. ZOZAYA, ERIC VANDERDUYS 2018. A new species of velvet gecko (Diplodactylidae: Oedura) from sandstone habitats of inland north Queensland, Australia Zootaxa 4486 (2): 101–114 - get paper here
 
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