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Ctenophorus spinodomus SADLIER, COLGAN, BEATSON & COGGER, 2019

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Higher TaxaAgamidae (Amphibolurinae), Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Eastern Mallee Dragon 
SynonymCtenophorus spinodomus SADLIER, COLGAN, BEATSON & COGGER 2019: 207
Ctenophorus fordi group 1 — EDWARDS et al. 2015 
DistributionAustralia (SW New South Wales, SE South Australia, probably NW Victoria)

Type locality: Yathong Nature Reserve (32.5742°S 145.3828°E) NSW, Australia  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype. AMS R.156615, G. Swan (07 October 1999). Paratypes. AMS R.154827–28, Yathong Nature Reserve (32.5742°S 145.3828°E), NSW, G. Swan (12–14 October 1999); R.156647, R.156711, Yathong National Park (32.5869°S 145.4975°E), NSW, G. Swan (1999); R.156704, Yathong National Park or Yarra Property (32.58°S 145.40°E), NSW, G. Swan (1999); R.157315, Yathong Nature Reserve, 10 km NNW of Shearers Quarters (32.5864°S 145.4972°E), NSW, P. Harlow and G. Swan (07 November 1998); R.145176–77, R.145179, Yathong Nature Reserve (32.72°S 145.53°E), NSW, P. Harlow; R.114208–09, R.114211, R.114213–15, Mungo National Park, 5.0 km N of SE corner (33.77°S 143.22°E), NSW, R. Sadlier and G. Shea (02 November 1984); R.114456–57, Mungo National Park, 5.0 km N of SE corner (33.77°S 143.22°E), NSW, R. Sadlier and G. Shea (12 November 1984); R.114347–48, R.114349, Top Hut Homestead, 6.9 km S on Old Arumpo Rd. (33.73°S 142.92°E), NSW, R. Sadlier and G. Shea (17 November 1984); R.115216, Top Hut Station, 8 km NE Roys Tank (33.68°S 142.98°E), NSW, C. Tiedermann (25 November 1984); R.153214–16, Warrakoo Station (33.9858°S 141.1180°E), NSW, M. LeBreton (16 October 1998); R.7755–76, Murray Bridge (35.12°S 139.27°E), SA; R.20989, Renmark (34.17°S 140.75°E), SA; R.145481–82 Brookfield Conservation Park (34.32°S 139.50°E), SA; R.104842–43, Renmark (34.17°S 140.75°E), SA. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Ctenophorus spinodomus sp. nov. is diagnosed from all other species in the genus, except for the taxa currently contained within C. maculatus and C. fordi, in having a near continuous row of femoral pores either side (15–22) in adult males arranged in a row that arches forward to an apex on the midline, and a dark chest patch (although obscure) between the forelimbs in adult males. Adult female C. spinodomus sp. nov. can be distinguished from other regionally sympatric (C. pictus) or parapatric (C. nuchalis) species of Ctenophorus by the presence (vs absence) of a fine, typically uninterrupted pale dorsolateral stripe down the body from the neck to just past the hindlimbs.
Adult male C. spinodomus sp. nov. are diagnosed from all named subspecies of Ctenophorus maculatus in having fewer femoral pores in total (maximum 41 vs range of 40–57 encompassed by the maculatus subspecies—Storr, 1965), and in the dark markings on the throat being present as a series of dark spots and blotches either side of the midline of varying intensity and degree of coalescence vs a pattern of well-defined narrow to broad dark bars either side.
The following features of colouration and scalation in combination distinguish Ctenophorus spinodomus sp. nov. from taxa assignable to the other genetic lineages under C. fordi (see Tables 2 and 3): tail length c. 2.1–2.4 times the body length in males and c. 1.95–2.15 times in females: hindlimb length c. 82–93% SVL in males, c. 74–93% in females; upper labial scales 10–13; subdigital lamellae scales 25–31; femoral pore scales in males 16–22 either side; dark markings of the throat of adult males typically obscure and present as scattered spots and blotches, occasionally aligned either side of the midline but not coalescing to form elongate blotches; chest of adult males with a typically poorly-defined black “T” shaped patch.

Comparison with other species: Adult male C. spinodomus sp. nov. are most similar to adult male aff. Group 1 (C. aff. spinodomus), but differ in having shorter limbs and fewer preanal pores. Adult male and female C. spinodomus sp. nov. have a shorter tail length on average than adult males and females from other populations referable to the C. fordi Group 2 (C. fordi s.s.), Group 3 (Strzelecki) and Group 4 (GVD) genetic lineages, but with overlap in ranges. The tail length of adult male C. spinodomus sp. nov. is similar to adult males referable to the C. fordi Group 5 (Eyre) genetic lineage, but adult female C. spinodomus sp. nov. have a significantly shorter tail than Group 5 females with only minimal overlap in range. The average hindlimb length of adult male and female C. spinodomus sp. nov. is shorter than Group 2, Group 3 and Group 4 males and females but with overlap in ranges, though minimal to negligible respectively with Group 4 males and females. In scalation adult male and female C. spinodomus sp. nov. have on average fewer subdigital lamellae than adult Group 2, Group 3 and Group 4 males and females but with overlap in ranges, though minimal with respect to Group 3 females and negligible with respect to Group 4 males and females, and adult male C. spinodomus sp. nov. have fewer subdigital lamellae than Group 5 adult males but with overlap in range. Adult male C. spinodomus sp. nov. have on average more femoral pore scales than Group 3 and Group 4 males with minimal to negligible overlap respectively in range, and less than Group 5 males with minimal overlap in range.
Adult male C. spinodomus sp. nov. have a black “T” shaped chest patch which is typically poorly defined. The black chest markings of aff. Group 1 and taxa assignable to the other genetic lineages under C. fordi are typically bold in expression and differ markedly in shape. See also Tables 2 and 3 in Sadlier et al. 2019. 
CommentDistribution: for a map see Sadlier et al. 2019: Figs 2, 3.

Synonymy: Populations of this species were previously considered to be C. fordi. 
EtymologyThe species epithet is derived from a combination of the Latin spinosus for spiny and domus for home, in reference to the species’ reliance on Triodia grass hummocks. 
References
  • Edwards, D. L., J. Melville, L. Joseph, and J. S. Keogh. 2015. Ecological divergence, adaptive diversification, and the evolution of social signalling traits: an empirical study in arid Australian lizards. American Naturalist 186 (6): E144–E161 - get paper here
  • Sadlier, Ross A.; Donald J. Colgan; Cecilie A. Beatson; Harold G. Cogger 2019. Ctenophorus spinodomus sp. nov., a new species of dragon lizard (Squamata: Agamidae) from Triodia Mallee habitat of southeast Australia. Records of the Australian Museum 71(5): 199–215 - get paper here
 
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