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Tympanocryptis lineata PETERS, 1863

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Higher TaxaAgamidae (Amphibolurinae), Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Canberra Grassland Earless Dragon, Lined Earless Dragon 
SynonymTympanocryptis lineata PETERS 1863
Tympanocryptis lineata — BOULENGER 1885: 392
Tympanocryptis lineata — LUCAS & FROST 1894: 50
Tympanocryptis lineata — STERNFELD 1925: 234
Tympanocryptis lineata — COGGER 1983
Tympanocryptis telecom WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985: 20 (nom. nud.)
Tympanocryptis karumba WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985: 20
Tympanocryptis lineata lineata — MANTHEY & SCHUSTER 1999: 108
Tympanocryptis lineata — COGGER 2000: 353
Tympanocryptis lineata — WILSON & SWAN 2010
Tympanocryptis lineata — MELVILLE et al. 2019
Tympanocryptis lineata — CHAPPLE et al. 2019: 96 
DistributionS Australia (New South Wales)

Type locality: “Buchsfelde bei Adelaide in Südaustralien” [= Loos, 4. 5 km W Gawler, South Australia].  
TypesLectotype: ZMB 740, New Holland, collected by J. Lhotsky. Designation by Wells & Wellington (1985), syntypes in ZMB, MNHN.
Holotype: SAMA R2468a, from S Vic. [pinguicolla] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): Small, short-legged, short-tailed agamids with body moderately to strongly depressed; dorsals markedly heterogeneous (small scales intermixed with large spinose scales); tympanum wholly, partly or not covered by scales; femoral and pre-anal pores few in number, each located between 3-5 scales, usually present in males only, and with alignment of pre-anal pores (when more than one present) transverse or directed slightly back towards midline [from STOR 1982].

Diagnosis. A species of Tympanocryptis with tapering snout, nasal scale below the canthus rostralis, six or seven dark dorsal crossbands, lateral skin fold, dorsal tubercles terminating in a prominent spine directed posterodorsally, lacking tubercular scales on the thighs, smooth gular scales, frequent presence of dark speckling on the ventral surfaces, especially the throat, and with 11 or fewer caudal blotches.

Description. Lateral neck fold well developed, from angle of jaw to gular fold; spines along extent of fold. Head and snout with strongly keeled dorsal scales; keels irregular, those on the lateral scales aligned more obliquely than those on the more medial scales. Snout shape smoothly tapering in profile, the canthal scales continuous with the rostral scale. Nasal scale dorsal margin does not cross onto the dorsal side of the canthus rostralis. No row of enlarged scales along the ventral margin of the nasal scale between the nasal and small snout scales. Dorsal body scales weakly to moderately keeled and imbricate. Numerous scattered strongly enlarged spinous dorsal scales, at least twice the width of adjacent body scales, each with a strong median keel ending in a prominent spine directed posterodorsally; sharply convex trailing edge not raised into a rim. Ventral body scales and throat scales smooth. Thigh scalation homogeneous, lacking scattered enlarged tubercular scales. Lateral fold between axilla and groin present. Snout–vent length 44–61 mm; femoral pores 1⁄4 0; preanal pores 1⁄4 2.
Dorsal colour pattern variable in degree of development and colour hue, from light brown to grey- brown with six or seven dark brown transverse bands and with 5-lined pattern well-defined, and usually continuous, or at most briefly interrupted on the paler interspaces between the dark cross bands. Dorsolateral lines as wide as or wider than the vertebral line, well defined, straight edged, not expanding around the vertebral blotches. Vertebral and dorsolateral stripes continue weakly onto the tail, outlining 7–11 dark caudal blotches. Pale supra-ocular bar present but usually weakly contrasting. Venter whitish, often heavily patterned with blackish speckling, especially on the throat (from Melville et al. 2019: 13).

Comparison to other species. With a distribution restricted to grasslands around Canberra, T. lineata is geographically isolated and does not overlap with any other Tympanocryptis species. Tympanocryptis osbornei sp. nov., occurring on the Monaro high plains in NSW is the geographically closest (approx. 100 km) and the two species are very similar in external morphological characters but show little overlap in morphometrics. An external character that assists in separating the two species is a trend for fewer caudal blotches in T. lineata, usually 7–11 versus 12–14 in T. osbornei sp. nov. (from Melville et al. 2019: 13).

Diagnosis (macra): A moderately large, relatively slender subspecies of T. lineata Peters, most like T. l. centralis Sternfeld but larger and having longer limbs and tail and more subdigital lamellae. 
CommentSubspecies and their distribution after COGGER 2000. T. l. pinguicolla, T. l. centralis, T. l. houstoni, and T. l. macra are considered a full species by most authors now.

Ecology: for a phylogenetic analysis of ecological adaptations in Tymapnocryptis see Tallowin et al. 2019.

Type species: Tympanocryptis lineata PETERS 1863 is the type species of the genus Tympanocryptis PETERS 1863.

Distribution: see map in Melville et al. 2019: 6 (Fig. 1).

Conservation: this is one of the most-threatened reptile species in Australia (Geyle et al. 2021). 
EtymologyNamed after Latin “linea”, meaning stripe or line. The name macra is Latin for 'lean'. 
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