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Tympanocryptis condaminensis MELVILLE, SMITH, HOBSON, HUNJAN & SHOO, 2014

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Higher TaxaAgamidae (Amphibolurinae), Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Condamine Earless Dragon 
SynonymTympanocryptis condaminensis MELVILLE, SMITH, HOBSON, HUNJAN & SHOO 2014
Tympanocryptis condaminensis — CHAPPLE et al. 2019: 92 
DistributionAustralia (Queensland)

Currently known from the eastern Darling Downs, as far north as the Pirrinuan/Jimbour area, west as far as the town of Dalby and south to the township of Clifton. To the east it has been recorded to the eastern extremity of the Darling Downs in the Aubigny/Purrawunda area on the western outskirts of Toowoomba. Specific locations include: Oakey, Mt Tyson, Brookstead, Bongeen, and Bowenville.

Type locality: Oakey 30 km South, Queensland, Australia (27° 39’ S, 151° 36’ E).  
TypesHolotype: QM J34744 male. Paratypes. (4 specimens) QMJ81784 male Mt Tyson,
Bongeen area, Queensland, Australia (27u 359 S, 151u 339 E); QMJ81870 female Kunari, via Bongeen, Queensland, Australia (27° 32’ 6’’ S, 151° 26’ 46’’ E); QMJ81871 female Kunari, via Bongeen, Queensland, Australia (27u 329 60 S, 151u 269 460 E); QMJ82087 male Brookstead, Queensland, Australia (27° 42’ 59’’ S, 151° 28’ 20’’ E). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A small to medium-sized Tympanocryptis with a well-developed lateral and ventral body patterning, consisting of strongly contrasting brown-black and white irregular banding and speckling. Ventral patterning is concentrated on the head, throat and upper chest, extending posteriorly toward the lateral portions of the belly. Individuals with heavy ventral patterning usually have a narrow longitudinal stripe of white along the centreline of the upper third of the chest. Distinct irregular, dorso-ventral banding of brown-black and white colouration along the sides below a narrow but continuous white lateral stripe, which runs from axilla to groin. Ventral and lateral contrasting patterning consists of more white than brown-black. Three well defined pale spots on dorsal surface of snout: one above each nostril and one at end of snout. Inter-nasal scales .10. Scales on dorsal surface of the torso are heterogeneous with interspersed un-keeled, weakly keeled and strongly keeled scales. A distinct narrow white stripe running along the posterior edge of the thigh, extending onto the base of the tail. Femoral pores absent; preanal pores 2.
CommentHabitat. Occurs in the remnant native grasslands, croplands and roadside verges of the eastern Darling Downs. These grasslands occur on black cracking clays of the Condamine River floodplain.

Distribution: The distribution of T. condaminensis sp. nov. is not believed to overlap with any other Tympanocrpytis, however, its distribution is geographically close to T. wilsoni sp. nov, which occurs in the Roma area, west of the Darling Downs. It is believed that both these species are restricted to grasslands and do not occur in the habitats between the Darling Downs and Roma-area grasslands. Thus, they are not believed to be sympatric at any locations.

Conservation: this is one of the most-threatened reptile species in Australia (Geyle et al. 2021). 
EtymologyNamed for the Condamine River and its floodplain on which this species occurs. 
  • Chapple, David G.; Reid Tingley, Nicola J. Mitchell, Stewart L. Macdonald, J. Scott Keogh, Glenn M. Shea, Philip Bowles, Neil A. Cox, John C. Z. Woinarski 2019. The Action Plan for Australian Lizards and Snakes 2017. CSIRO, 663 pp. DOI: 10.1071/9781486309474 - get paper here
  • Geyle, H. M., Tingley, R., Amy, A., Cogger, H., Couper, P., Cowan, M., Craig, M., Doughty, P., Driscoll, D., Ellis, R., Emery, J-P., Fenner, A., Gardner, M., Garnett, S., Gillespie, G., Greenless, M., Hoskin, C., Keogh, S., Lloyd, R., ... Chapple, D. 2020. Reptiles on the brink: Identifying the Australian terrestrial snake and lizard species most at risk of extinction. Pacific Conservation Biology - get paper here
  • Melville J, Smith K, Hobson R, Hunjan S, Shoo L 2014. The Role of Integrative Taxonomy in the Conservation Management of Cryptic Species: The Taxonomic Status of Endangered Earless Dragons (Agamidae: Tympanocryptis) in the Grasslands of Queensland, Australia. PLoS One 9 (7): e101847. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0101847 - get paper here
  • Melville, Jane 2018. Conservation genetics of eastern Australian herpetofauna in a rapidly changing landscape: a perspective on conservation management and policy implementation. Pacific Conservation Biology - get paper here
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