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Oedura luritja OLIVER & MCDONALD, 2016

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Higher TaxaDiplodactylidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos) 
Common NamesMereenie velvet gecko 
SynonymOedura luritja OLIVER & MCDONALD 2016 
DistributionAustralia (Northern Territory)

Type locality: Gorge 300 m east of north end of Boggy Hole (−24.13455°, 132.86574°), Finke Gorge National Park, Northern Territory, collected 5 October 2015 by P.J.M. and P.M.O.  
TypesHolotype: NTM R37528, field number CCM5974, adult male with regrown tail, and liver samples stored in ethanol.
Paratypes: All from Northern Territory (n = 11). NTM R37529 (CCM5975) near Boggy Hole (−24.1351, 132.86351), Finke Gorge National Park, collected 5 October 2015; NTM R37531 (CCM5979) Palm Creek (−24.05449, 132.74246), Finke Gorge National Park; NTM R37530 (CCM5978) Palm Creek (−24.0584, 132.76151), Finke Gorge National Park, collected 6 October 2015; AMS R52143 Kings Canyon (−24.27, 131.57), Watarka National Park, collected 28 July 1975; AMS R52144–50 Reedy Springs (−24.30, 131.58), Watarka National Park, collected 28 July 1975. 
CommentHabitat: sandstone ranges of the southern MRB, generally found in association with deep but tight cracks under exfoliating sandstone, often near exposed vertical faces, and retreat into these if threatened.

Sympatry: Gehyra moritzi, Gehyra versicolor, Heteronotia binoei and Nephrurus amyae. 
EtymologyLuritja is a collective name for people speaking several dialects of the Aboriginal Western Desert language. The western parts of the distribution of Oedura luritja (including Watarrka National Park) are in Luritja lands. Luritja is also believed to be derived from the Arrernte word ‘Ulerenye’ meaning foreigner or stranger, and is therefore further appropriate for such a deeply divergent lineage. Used as a noun in apposition. 
  • 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
  • Oliver PM, McDonald PJ. 2016. Young relicts and old relicts: a novel palaeoendemic vertebrate from the Australian Central Uplands. R. Soc. open sci. 3: 160018 - get paper here
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