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Oedura picta HOSKIN, 2019

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Higher TaxaDiplodactylidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Ornate velvet gecko 
SynonymOedura picta HOSKIN 2019: 260 
DistributionAustralia (inland E Queensland)

Type locality: lowestoff Rd, Coomburragee Station (-22.900° S, 148.324° E; 320 m elevation)  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: QM J83038; Paratypes: QM 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Oedura picta sp. nov. can be distinguished from all congeners by the following combination of traits: relatively small adult size (SVl mean 68.9, max 79.7 mm); relatively long and rounded original tail (Tl/ SVl = 0.73–0.79, TW/Tl = 0.16–0.17, TD/TW = 0.66–0.74); head relatively long (Hl/SVl = 0.23–0.26) and flat (HD/Hl = 0.37–0.42); eye large (Eye/SVl = 0.047–0.057); rostral scale only partially divided by medial vertical groove; single cloacal spur on each side; moderate number of interorbital scales (16–20); < 17 pre-cloacal pores in males (mean 15, range 13–16), split medially by 1–2 scales without pores; iris gold or copper coloured; pale bar on the nape; dorsal colouration consisting of large spots and blotches spread across the dorsum; dorsal background and lateral surfaces evenly flecked or mottled; no broad dark band connecting back of eye to nape marking; no spots on limbs; original tail with irregular white bands or bars.

Comparison with other species. See the Comparison for O. monilis, above, for comparison with congeners outside the tryoni group.
Within the tryoni group, O. picta sp. nov. is readily distinguished from O. castelnaui and O. argentea by having a nape bar enclosed in black (versus full nuchal band in those species) and dorsal pattern of blotches and bars (versus full body bands in those species) (Fig. 2). Similar in general appearance to O. coggeri but distinguished from that species by lack of white spots on limbs (versus obvious white spots), iris gold (versus iris dark), longer tail (original Tl/SVl 0.73–0.79 versus 0.59–0.73; regrown Tl/SVl 0.56–0.62 versus 0.47–0.59), and series of pre-cloacal pores in males generally separated by fewer scales medially (1–2 versus 2–6). Distinguished from O. tryoni by, typically, unbroken bar on nape (versus many spots or few blotches), lack of white spots on limbs (versus usually spots at least on hindlimbs), original tail pattern of irregular white bands (versus spots or blotches); smaller body size (max 79.7 mm versus 103.1 mm), lower interorbital count (20 or less versus typically > 20), and generally lower number of pre-cloacal pores in males (17 or less versus typically 17 or more) (Tables 1, 2).
Differs from O. monilis in having an obscure, thin black line running from below the back of the eye to below the nape marking (versus a dark band running from the back of the eye to the nape marking), prominent markings dispersed across dorsal surface (versus blotches or bars centred on midline), iris golden (versus iris dark), smaller size (max 79.7 mm versus max 96.6 mm), and original tail typically narrower (TW/Tl 0.16–0.17 versus mean 0.18) (Tables 1, 2).
Differs from O. elegans sp. nov. in having prominent markings dispersed across dorsal surface (versus paired blotches on midline), original tail pattern of irregular bands (versus paired blotches on dorsal midline), iris typi- cally gold (versus dark copper), smaller size (max 79.7 mm versus max 89.4 mm), head longer (Hl/SVl 0.23–0.26 versus 0.21–0.24) and wider (HW/SVl 0.18–0.21 versus 0.17–0.18), and regrown tail typically shorter and broader (Tables 1, 2).
Differs from O. lineata sp. nov. in having an unbroken nape bar (versus V- or Y-shaped broken bar), dorsal pat- tern of irregularly dispersed large blotches (versus linearly-arranged lines, spots and black markings on either side of thin, pale midline), an obscure thin black line running from below the back of the eye to usually below the nape marking (versus a dark band running from the back of the eye and usually to the nape marking), hindlimbs mottled (versus usually small white spots on at least base of hindlimbs), original tail pattern of irregular bands (versus paired blotches on dorsal midline), iris gold (versus iris dark), longer head (Hl/SVl 0.23–0.26 versus 0.21–0.24), more flattened original tail (TD/TW 0.66–0.74 versus 0.79–0.81), lower interorbital count (16–20 versus 21–23), lower number of supralabials (9–11 versus 11–13), and series of pre-cloacal pores in males generally separated by fewer scales medially (1–2 versus 2–6) (Tables 1, 2). 
Commentecology. Oedura picta sp. nov. is restricted to sandstone outcrops (Fig. 13). Individuals were typically found at night foraging on sandstone and rapidly retreated to thin cracks when disturbed. A few individuals were also found on fallen timber among the rocks. Vegetation growing among the sandstone is low eucalyptus and acacia woodland. Other gecko species found co-occurring with Oedura picta sp. nov. were Gehyra dubia (Macleay), Heteronotia binoei (Gray), Diplodactylus vittatus Gray, Strophurus williamsi (Kluge), Nephrurus asper Günther, and O. monilis. At the site where Oedura picta sp. nov. and O. monilis were both found, O. picta sp. nov. was only found on rocks, whereas, O. monilis was on tree trunks. In other ranges in the region, where O. picta sp. nov. has not been found, O. monilis has been found on both rocks and trees, suggesting that O. picta sp. nov. competitively excludes O. monilis from rocks where they co-occur. 
EtymologyFrom the latin picta, meaning painted, in reference to the beautiful markings on this species. 
References
  • HOSKIN, CONRAD J. 2019. Description of three new velvet geckos (Diplodactylidae: Oedura) from inland eastern Australia, and redescription of Oedura monilis De Vis. Zootaxa 4683 (2): 242–270 - get paper here
 
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