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

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Higher TaxaAgamidae (Amphibolurinae), Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesFive-lined earless dragon 
SynonymTympanocryptis pentalineata MELVILLE, SMITH, HOBSON, HUNJAN & SHOO 2014 
DistributionAustralia (Queensland)

Type locality: 47.9 km south-west of the intersection between the Burke Development Rd (Route 83) and the Gulf Development Rd (Route 1), Queensland (18° 06’ 29’’ S, 140° 53’ 00’’ E).  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: NMV D74074 male.
Paratypes. (2 specimens) NMV D74073 male, 47.9 km south- west of the intersection between the Burke Development Rd (Route 83) and the Gulf Development Rd (Route 1), Queensland (18° 06’ 29’’ S, 140° 53’ 00’’ E); NMV D74075 female, 47.9 km south-west of the intersection between the Burke Development Rd (Route 83) and the Gulf Development Rd (Route 1), Queensland (18° 06’ 29’’ S, 140° 53’ 00’’ E). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A medium-sized Tympanocryptis with a distinct dorsal body pattern, consisting of five longitudinal narrow grey or white stripes on a brown-black patterned background. The five stripes consist of: one weak, narrow, grey vertebral stripe; two white, narrow dorso-lateral stripes; and two narrow, white lateral stripes. When examined closely the lateral stripes consist of a single row of enlarged, mucronate white scales extending from axilla to groin, bordered ventrally and dorsally with smaller, darker scales. Strong background patterning is evident between the dorso-lateral and lateral stripes, consisting of three broad transverse bands that are dark-brow to black. Scattered through the darker background colouring are enlarged white mucronate scales, giving the impression of white flecks on a dark background. The dorso- lateral stripes continue onto the tail to about 1/3rd of its length. There is a cluster of 3–5 enlarged, pale mucronate scales at the anterior extent of the paravertebral stripes, sitting at the rear of the head. On the ventral surface, the throat and upper chest area is faintly pigmented with black flecks or pigmentation is absent. Nare slightly off-centre towards the posterior-dorsal section of the nasal scale. Four pores, two pre-anal pores and two femoral pores.
 
CommentType locality: Original written description of the locality states ‘‘Gulf Development Road, 50km south of Normanby’’, examination of the GPS record of 18u 069 290 S, 140u 539 000 E indicates that the location is actually on the Burke Development Rd, 47.9 km south-west of the intersection between the Burke Development Rd (Route 83) and the Gulf Development Rd (Route 1).

Habitat. Occurs on flat flood-plains, covered by grasses and low perennial shrubs.

Distribution: The distribution of T. pentalineata sp. nov. potentially overlaps with a number of other Tympanocryptis, including T. tetraporophora Lucas and Frost 1895 (specimens having been collected from approximately 200 km away at 17° 56’ 06’’ S, 139° 18’ 07’’ E), T. lineata (with the junior synonym T. karumba Wells and Wellington 1985 from Karumba, QLD (17°29’ S, 140°50’ E)), T. cf lineata collected on the road to Esmeralda, 50 km S of Gulf Development Road (18° 33’ 43’’ S, 142° 34’ 04’’ E) and T. cf intima collected from the Gulf Development Road, 130 km S of Normanby (18° 40’ 37’’ S, 140° 30’ 42’’ E).

Relationships: DNA sequencing has confirmed that the T. tetraporophora, T. cf lineata (Melville, unpub. data) and T. cf intima (Melville, unpub. data) from the region are unrelated to T. pentalineata sp. nov. Additionally, T. cf lineata and T. cf intima collected from the region occurred in different habitats to T. pentalineata sp. nov.: T. cf lineata specimens were collected from low rock outcrops, while T. cf intima were collected from flat stony ground with scattered spinifex. Morphologically, T. pentalineata sp. nov. can be distinguished from these species, with the combination of two femoral and two preanal pores, five longitudinal stripes, and dorsal scales heterogeneous, strongly keeled, diamond-shaped with scattered enlarged, mucronate scales.

Abundance: only known from its original description (Meiri et al. 2017). 
EtymologyNamed for the dorsal colour pattern of the new species, characterised by five longitudinal white stripes extending along the body, one vertebral, two dorso-lateral and two lateral. 
References
  • Meiri, Shai; Aaron M. Bauer, Allen Allison, Fernando Castro-Herrera, Laurent Chirio, Guarino Colli, Indraneil Das, Tiffany M. Doan, Frank Glaw, Lee L. Grismer, Marinus Hoogmoed, Fred Kraus, Matthew LeBreton, Danny Meirte, Zoltán T. Nagy, Cristiano d 2017. Extinct, obscure or imaginary: the lizard species with the smallest ranges. Diversity and Distributions - 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
 
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