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Tympanocryptis gigas MITCHELL, 1948

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Higher TaxaAgamidae (Amphibolurinae), Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Gascoyne pebble-mimic dragons 
SynonymTympanocryptis cephalus gigas MITCHELL 1948
Tympanocryptis cephalus gigas MITCHELL 1948
Tympanocryptis cephalus gigas — WORRELL 1963: 184
Tympanocryptis cephala gigas — STORR 1964
Tympanocryptis cephalus gigas — WERMUTH 1967: 98
Rotundacryptus gigas — WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985: 19
Tympanocryptis gigas — DOUGHTY et al. 2015
Tympanocryptis gigas — CHAPPLE et al. 2019: 94 
DistributionAustralia (Western Australia: Gascoyne region)

Type locality: Ashburton and gascoyne Rivers, Western Australia.  
TypesNeotype. SAMA R68044 (male), collected from ‘between the Ashburton and Gascoyne Rivers, W.A.’; originally one of two paratypes with the number SAMA R2434, designated by Doughty et al. 2015. Holotype: SAMA R2434, missing since 1976 (Houston 1976; M. Hutchinson, pers. comm.), and is presumed lost or destroyed. Paratype. SAMA R68045 (female), details as for neotype; originally one of two paratypes with the number SAMA R2434. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Distinguished from other Tympanocryptis by the following combination of character states: presence of two pre-cloacal pores, lack of longitudinal stripes on the dorsum, presence of scattered enlarged scales with raised spines, snout convex, scales on snout rugose with at most feeble keels, rostral width ~2 times height, row of enlarged scales at anterior and dorsal edge of thigh, scales on dorsal surface of thigh heterogeneous and not aligned, ventrals smooth, and brown ground color with large dark blotches in center of dorsum and anterior to legs, tail with alternating dark and pale bands, posterior edge of dark bands with narrow black and white bands [Doughty et al. 2015]
CommentSynonymy: Tympanocryptis cephalus gigas has been synonymized with the nominate form by STORR 1982 who concluded that “These specimens do not differ substantially from those elsewhere; the attempt to divide cephala (sic) into subspecies is therefore abandoned” (p. 65). However, Doughty et al. 2015 revalidated gigas.

Comparisons with other species. Tympanocryptis gigas is most likely to be confused with T. diabolicus sp. nov. and T. pseudopsephos sp. nov., as the latter species occur to the north in the Pilbara or east to the northern Goldfields regions of Western Australia. Tympanocryptis gigas is distinguished from T. diabolicus sp. nov. by possessing scattered enlarged scales on dorsum not arranged in rows (versus enlarged scales in short transverse rows), keels on dorsal surface of upper arm not aligned, ventrals smooth (versus with low keels), enlarged row of scales at front of thigh not forming a conspicuous ridge, scales on top of thigh heterogeneous and keels not aligned, and larger average body size.
Tympanocryptis gigas can be distinguished from T. pseudopsephos sp. nov. by larger body size, oblong (versus rotund) body shape, convex snout (versus concave), possessing scattered enlarged scales on dorsum not arranged in rows (versus enlarged scales in short transverse rows), enlarged row of scales at front of thigh not forming a conspicuous ridge, and heterogeneous scales on upper surface of thigh [Doughty et al. 2015].

Distribution: see map in Doughty et al. 2015: 86. 
EtymologyMitchell (1948) did not explicitly provide an etymology in his description of this taxon as a subspecies of T. cephalus. However, the word gigas is a Latinized version of the Greek gantos for ‘giant’, presumably in reference to this taxon’s relatively large body size to T. cephalus. Doughty et al. 2015 treat gigas as a noun in apposition. 
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1885. Catalogue of the lizards in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) I. Geckonidae, Eublepharidae, Uroplatidae, Pygopodidae, Agamidae. London: 450 pp. - get paper here
  • 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
  • Cogger H.G., Cameron EE & Cogger HM 1983. Zoological Catalogue of Australia, Volume 1: AMPHIBIA AND REPTILIA. Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • DOUGHTY, PAUL; LUKE KEALLEY, LUKE P. SHOO & JANE MELVILLE 2015. Revision of the Western Australian pebble-mimic dragon species-group (Tympanocryptis cephalus: Reptilia: Agamidae). Zootaxa 4039 (1): 085–117 - get paper here
  • Günther, A. 1867. Additions to the knowledge of Australian reptiles and fishes. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (3) 20: 45-57 - get paper here
  • Mitchell, F. J. 1948. A revision of the lacertilian genus Tympanocryptis. Rec. South Austral. Mus. 9: 57-86 - get paper here
  • Pianka, E.R. & Vitt, L.J. 2003. Lizards - Windows to the Evolution of Diversity. University of California Press, Berkeley, 347 pp. [review in Copeia 2004: 955] - get paper here
  • Storr, G M 1982. Taxonomic notes on the genus Tympanocryptis Peters (Lacertilia: Agamidae). Rec. West. Austr. Mus. 10 (1): 61-66 - get paper here
  • Storr, G. M. 1964. The agamid lizards of the genus Tympanocryptis in Western Australia. J R. Soc. West. Aust. 47: 43-50.
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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