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Tympanocryptis lineata PETERS, 1863

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Higher TaxaAgamidae (Amphibolurinae), Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards) 
SubspeciesTympanocryptis lineata lineata PETERS 1863
Tympanocryptis lineata macra STORR 1982 
Common NamesCanberra Grassland Earless Dragon, Lined Earless Dragon 
SynonymTympanocryptis lineata PETERS 1863
Tympanocryptis lineata — BOULENGER 1885: 392
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 macra STORR 1982: 61
Tympanocryptis lineata macra — SHOO et al. 2008
Tympanocryptis lineata macra — MELVILLE et al. 2019 
DistributionS Australia (New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia)

lineata: SE part of range. Type locality: “Buchsfelde bei Adelaide in Südaustralien” [= Loos, 4. 5 km W Gawler, South Australia].

macra: Nullarbor plain; Type locality: 16 km S of main dam at Lake Argyle, Western Australia, in 16°15'S, 128°40'E.  
Reproductionoviparous 
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]
Holotype: WAM R44553 [macra] 
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. Tympanocryptis lineata pinguicolla MITCHELL 1948 and Tympanocryptis lineata centralis STERNFELD 1925 and Tympanocryptis lineata houstoni STORR 1982 are considered a full species by most authors now.

Type species: Tympanocryptis lineata PETERS 1863 is the type species of the genus Tympanocryptis PETERS 1863. 
EtymologyNamed after Latin “linea”, meaning stripe or line. The name macra is Latin for 'lean'. 
References
  • 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
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp.
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • Kinghorn, J. Roy 1924. Reptiles and batrachians from south and south-west Australia. Rec. Austral. Mus. 14 (3): 163-183 - get paper here
  • Loveridge, A. 1934. Australian reptiles in the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 77: 243-383 - get paper here
  • Macey, J. R., J. A. Schulte II, A. Larson, N. B. Ananjeva, Y. Wang, R. Pethiyagoda, N. Rastegar-Pouyani, T. J. Papenfuss 2000. Evaluating trans-Tethys migration: an example using acrodont lizard phylogenetics. Systematic Biology 49 (2): 233-256 - get paper here
  • Manthey,U. & SCHUSTER,N. 1999. Agamen, 2. Aufl. Natur und Tier Verlag (Münster), 120 pp. - get paper here
  • Melville J, Chaplin K, Hutchinson M, Sumner J, Gruber B, MacDonald AJ, Sarre SD. 2019. Taxonomy and conservation of grassland earless dragons: new species and an assessment of the first possible extinction of a reptile on mainland Australia. R. Soc. open sci. 6: 190233 - get paper here
  • Melville, Jane; Stephanie Goebel; Carly Starr; J. Scott Keogh & Jeremy J. Austin 2007. Conservation genetics and species status of an endangered Australian dragon, Tympanocryptis pinguicolla (Reptilia: Agamidae). Conservation Genetics 8:185–195
  • Mertens, R. 1967. Die herpetologische Sektion des Natur-Museums und Forschungs-Institutes Senckenberg in Frankfurt am Main nebst einem Verzeichnis ihrer Typen. Senckenbergiana Biologica 48: 1-106 - get paper here
  • Mitchell, F. J. 1948. A revision of the lacertilian genus Tympanocryptis. Rec. South Austral. Mus. 9: 57-86 - get paper here
  • Osborne, W. S.;Kukolic, K.;Davis, M. S.;Blackburn, R. 1993. Recent records of the earless dragon Tympanocryptis lineata pinguicolla in the Canberra region and a description of its habitat. Herpetofauna (Sydney) 23 (1): 16-25
  • Peters, Wilhem Carl Hartwig 1863. Eine Übersicht der von Hrn. Richard Schomburgk an das zoologische Museum eingesandten Amphibien, aus Buchsfelde bei Adelaide in Südaustralien. Monatsber. königl. Akad. Wiss. Berlin. 1863 (April): 228-236 - get paper here
  • Shea, Glenn M; Sadlier, Ross A 1999. A catalogue of the non-fossil amphibian and reptile type specimens in the collection of the Australian Museum: types currently, previously and purportedly present. TECHNICAL REPORTS OF THE AUSTRALIAN MUSEUM 15, 1999: 1-91
  • Shoo, L.P.; R. Rose, P. Doughty, J.J. Austin, J. Melville 2008. Diversification patterns of pebble-mimic dragons are consistent with historical disruption of important habitat corridors in arid Australia. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 48: 528–542
  • Smith WJS, Osborne WS, Donnellan SC & Cooper PD 1999. The systematic status of earless dragon lizards, Tympanocryptis (Reptilia: Agamidae), in south-eastern Australia. Australian Journal of Zoology 47: 551-564 - get paper here
  • Starr, C.R. & Leung, L. K.P. 2006. Habitat Use by the Darling Downs Population of the Grassland Earless Dragon: Implications for Conservation. JOURNAL OF WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT 70 (4): 897–903
  • Sternfeld, R. 1925. Beiträge zur Herpetologie Inner-Australiens. Abhandlungen Herausgegeben von der Senckenbergischen Naturforschenden Gesellschaft, 38: 221—251
  • 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.
  • Storr, G. M. 1982. Revision of the bearded dragons (Lacertilia: Agamidae) of Western Australia with notes on the dismemberment of the genus Amphibolurus. Rec. West. Aust. Mus. 19 (2): 199-214 - get paper here
  • Storr, G.M. 1986. NOTE ON TYMPANOCRYPTIS LINEATA MACRA (LACERTILIA AGAMIDAE). Rec. West. Austr. Mus. 13 (3): 317-322
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
  • Worrell, E. 1963. Reptiles of Australia. Angus & Robertson (Sydney), xv + 207 pp
 
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