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Ctenophorus decresii (DUMÉRIL & BIBRON, 1837)

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Higher TaxaAgamidae (Amphibolurinae), Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Tawny Crevice-dragon, Tawny Dragon 
SynonymGrammatophora decresii DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1837: 472
Agama decresiensis FITZINGER 1843: 83 (nom. subst. pro G. decresii)
Ctenophorus decresii — FITZINGER 1843: 83
Amphibolurus decresii — BOULENGER 1885: 385
Amphibolurus modestus AHL 1926: 187 (fide COGGER 1983)
Amphibolurus decresii — COGGER 1983: 110
Amphibolurus decresii — GIBBONS & LILLYWHITE 1981
Ctenophorus decresii — MANTHEY & SCHUSTER 1999: 47
Ctenophorus decresii — COGGER 2000: 312
Ctenophorus decresii — WILSON & SWAN 2010
Ctenophorus modestus — STUART-FOX et al. 2020 
DistributionAustralia (New South Wales, South Australia)

Type locality: Kangaroo Island, South Australia.  
TypesSyntypes: MNHN-RA 6545, MNHN-RA 6545A, Ile Decrès, SA, collected Péron & Lesueur. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): Very small to moderately large agamids with body slightly compressed to strongly depressed; tympanum exposed (except in C. maculosus); a series of enlarged tectiform scales sweeping up in a flat S-curve from below eye to above ear; and mostly with (1) dorsals small, their keels directed back towards midline; (2) numerous femoral and pre-anal pores, each located between 4 scales (anterior usually largest; (3) alignment of pre-anal pores directed forwards towards midline; and (4) black markings on breast and throat of males (STORR 1982).
CommentNot listed in COGGER 1983, but he lists Amphibolurus decresiensis (in error ?). Status of the latter name unclear.

Type species: Grammatophora decresii DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1837 is the type species of the genus Ctenophorus FITZINGER 1843. Grammatophora DUMERIL & BIBRON 1837:468 is a nomen substitutum pro Gemmatophora KAUP 1827; non Grammatophora STEPHENS, a nomen nudum and a genus of Lepidoptera).

Variation: Ctenophorus decresii exhibits remarkable variation in coloration both within and among populations, inlcuding sexual dichromatism (Houston, 1974; Teasdale et al., 2013; McLean et al., 2013).

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

Lifestyle: saxicolous.

Group: the Ctenophorus decresii complex consists of four closely related, rock- inhabiting species: C. decresii (Duméril & Bibron 1837), C. fionni (Procter 1923), C. tjantjalka Johnston 1992, and C. vadnappa (Houston 1974). All species are sexually dimorphic with cryptically coloured females and larger, brightly coloured males which perform conspicuous courtship and territorial behaviour (Gibbons, 1979). Overall body form is highly conserved within the group and reflects adaptation to rocky habitats; all species have dorsoventrally flattened heads and bodies (less so in C. tjantjalka) and long hindlimbs (Houston & Hutchinson, 1998). While females and juveniles are similar in appearance among species, male coloration is an obvious distinguishing feature between species (Houston, 1974), and is likely to be an important social signal within the C. decresii complex (Osborne, 2005; Stuart-Fox & Johnston, 2005, McLean et al. 2013).

Syntypes: ZMB 30092, ZMB 54516 (vormals ZMB 30092 part), "Australien", ohne
weitere Angaben; Terra typica: Australien [modestus] 
Etymologynamed after an island, “Ce Grammatophore a été trouvé par Péron et Lesueur, dans l'île de Decrès, en Australasie” (Duméril & Bibron, 1837: 474). 
  • Ahl, E. 1926. Neue Eidechsen und Amphibien. Zool. Anz. 67: 186-192
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • 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. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • Duméril, A. M. C. and G. Bibron. 1837. Erpétologie Générale ou Histoire Naturelle Complete des Reptiles. Vol. 4. Libr. Encyclopédique Roret, Paris, 570 pp. - get paper here
  • Fitzinger, L. 1843. Systema Reptilium, fasciculus primus, Amblyglossae. Braumüller et Seidel, Wien: 106 pp. - get paper here
  • Gibbons, J. R. H. & Lillywhite, H. B. 1981. Ecological segregation, color matching, and speciation in lizards of the Amphibolurus decresii species complex (Lacertilia: Agamidae). Ecology 62: 1573-1584 - get paper here
  • Lewis AC, Rankin KJ, Pask AJ, Stuart-Fox D. 2017. Stress-induced changes in color expression mediated by iridophores in a polymorphic lizard. Ecol Evol. 00:1–11 - 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
  • McLean, Claire A., Adnan Moussalli, Steve Sass, and Devi Stuart-Fox 2013. Taxonomic Assessment of the Ctenophorus decresii Complex (Reptilia: Agamidae) Reveals a New Species of Dragon Lizard from Western New South Wales. Records of the Australian Museum 65(3): 51–63 - get paper here
  • McLean, Claire A; Devi Stuart-Fox and Adnan Moussalli 2015. Environment, but not genetic divergence, influences geographic variation in colour morph frequencies in a lizard. BMC Evolutionary Biology 15:156<br />DOI: 10.1186/s12862-015-0442-x - get paper here
  • Rankin K, Stuart-Fox D 2015. Testosterone-Induced Expression of Male Colour Morphs in Females of the Polymorphic Tawny Dragon Lizard, Ctenophorus decresii. PLoS One 10 (10): e0140458, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0140458 - get paper here
  • Sass, S & Swan, G. 2010. A newly discovered population of the endangered Tawny Rock Dragon Ctenophorus decresii in far western New South Wales and a description of its habitat. Herpetofauna (Sydney) 40 (1): 52-57 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Stuart‐Fox, D., Aulsebrook, A., Rankin, K.J., Dong, C.M. and McLean, C.A. 2020. Convergence and divergence in lizard colour polymorphisms. Biol Rev. - get paper here
  • Tallowin, Oliver J S; Shai Meiri, Stephen C Donnellan, Stephen J Richards, Christopher C Austin, Paul M Oliver, 2019. The other side of the Sahulian coin: biogeography and evolution of Melanesian forest dragons (Agamidae). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 129: 99-113. - get paper here
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
  • Yewers MSC, Stuart‐Fox D, McLean CA. 2018. Space use and genetic structure do not maintain color polymorphism in a species with alternative behavioral strategies. Ecol Evol. 2018;00:1–12 - get paper here
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