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Ctenophorus nguyarna DOUGHTY, MARYAN, MELVILLE & AUSTIN, 2007

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Higher TaxaAgamidae (Amphibolurinae), Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Lake Disappointment Dragon 
SynonymCtenophorus nguyarna DOUGHTY, MARYAN, MELVILLE & AUSTIN 2007
Ctenophorus nguyarna — WILSON & SWAN 2010
Ctenophorus nguyarna — CHAPPLE et al. 2019: 65 
DistributionAustralia (Western Australia)

Type locality: Savory Creek Mouth, Lake Disappointment, Western Australia, 23° 21’ 0.8” S, 122° 40’ 03”E.  
TypesHolotype: WAM 157979, adult male 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. —A member of the Australiangenus Ctenophorus (Fitzinger 1838), characterized by a row of tectiform scales that startsfrom the nostril, extends back below eye, andends above the tympanum. Ctenophorusnguyarna is a medium-sized robust burrowingdragon with a blunt head and moderately builtshort limbs. Within Ctenophorus, possessionof heterogeneous dorsal scales distinguishesC. nguyarna from C. caudicinctus, C. femoralis, C. fordi, C. isolepis, C. maculatus, C. mckenziei, C. ornatus, C. rubens, C. scutulatus, and C. yinnietharra. Possession of a stout(non-depressed) head distinguishes C. nguyarna from the rock-dwelling species C. decresii, C. fionni, C. rufescens, C. tjantjalka,and C. vadnappa. Within Ctenophorus, onlyC. cristatus possesses a strong vertical nuchalcrest and dorsolateral fold with spines. A lackof a row of spines on the basal portion of thetail distinguishes C. nguyarna from C. (5Rankinia [Wells and Wellington, 1985] orTympanocryptis [Peters, 1864]) adelaidensisand C. parviceps. The remaining species of Ctenophorus havebeen placed in to a C. reticulatus group or themore exclusive C. pictus group consisting ofjust C. pictus and C. salinarum. In C. nuchalisand C. reticulatus the nostril is on a roundedcanthus rostralis (versus below a sharp canthus rostralis in C. nguyarna). The moreobscure less colorful pattern and smaller earof C. gibba distinguishes it from C. nguyarna. The nostrils of C. clayi are elongate (versus round in C. nguyarna), and C. maculosus has a covered tympanum (versus exposed). Ctenophorus nguyarna is distinguished from both C. salinarum and C. pictus by larger body size, less prominent ridge of tectiform scales below eyes, longer eyelids (especially lower), and a different color pattern including thin white vertical bars on the sides and strong vertical bars on the tail. It is further distinguished from C. salinarum by having a narrower head with weakly keeled scales (versus smooth head scales), more numerous scattered enlarged dorsal scales tending to form transverse bars on sides (versus fewer enlarged scales tending to form transverse bars on dorsum near midline), vertebral scales along midline weakly keeled (versus smooth), and sexual dimorphism in color pattern (versus monomorphic). It is further distinguished from C. pictus by having a wider head, scattered enlarged dorsal scales (versus homogeneous scales) and pale short narrow claws (versus long thick claws with dark culmen on upper surface). 
CommentHabitat: salt lakes.

Conservation: this is one of the most-threatened reptile species in Australia (Geyle et al. 2021). 
EtymologyNamed after the word used by the Kartujarra people to refer to Lake Disappointment. Pronunciation— the first " n " is silent. 
  • 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. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • Doughty, P.; Maryan, B.; Melville, J. & Austin, J. 2007. A new species of Ctenophorus (Lacertlia: Agamidae) from Lake Disappointment, Western Australia. Herpetologica 63 (1): 72-86 - get paper here
  • Ellis, Ryan J. 2019. An annotated type catalogue of the dragon lizards (Reptilia: Squamata: Agamidae) in the collection of the Western Australian Museum. Records of the Western Australian Museum 34: 115–132 - get paper here
  • Geyle, H. M., Tingley, R., Amy, A., Cogger, H., Couper, P., Cowan, M., Craig, M., Doughty, P., Driscoll, D., Ellis, R., Emery, J-P., Fenner, A., Gardner, M., Garnett, S., Gillespie, G., Greenless, M., Hoskin, C., Keogh, S., Lloyd, R., ... Chapple, D. 2020. Reptiles on the brink: Identifying the Australian terrestrial snake and lizard species most at risk of extinction. Pacific Conservation Biology - get paper here
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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