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Delma australis KLUGE, 1974

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Higher TaxaPygopodidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Marble-faced Delma 
SynonymDelma australis KLUGE 1974: 77
Delma australis — COGGER 2000: 286
Delma australis — WILSON & SWAN 2010
Delma australis — MARYAN et al. et al. 2015 
DistributionAustralia (S Western Australia, S Northern Territory, South Australia, SW New South Wales, NW Victoria)

Type locality: Port Lincoln, S. A., (34°44'S, 135°52'E)  
TypesHolotype: WAM R27359, male 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A small species of Delma (SVL to 93 mm) with: ventral scales not markedly larger than adjacent lateral scales; one pair of supranasals; typically 18 midbody scales; 68–92 ventral scales (males average 76.3, females 83.5); six upper labials typically with fourth below eye; loreal scale row typically interrupted by a ventral extension of supraloreal scale that contacts upper labials; modally 5‒7 hindlimb scales in both sexes; strong dark variegations on upper surface of head; narrow dark bars on side of head (extending onto labial scales), nape and forebody. This revised diagnosis is essentially unchanged from those provided by previous authors (Kluge 1974; Storr et al. 1990; Shea 1991), despite the exclusion herein of D. hebesa sp. nov.
Delma australis differs from the closely related D. torquata of southeastern Queensland in: larger adult size (SVL to 93 mm versus to 63 mm); three precloacal scales (versus two); the fourth upper labial scale typically below the eye (versus typically the third below the eye); modally 18 midbody scale rows (versus 16); and dark variegations or narrow bars (if present) on head, neck and forebody (versus broad dark bands). It differs from D. hebesa sp. nov. in: hindlimb scale counts in both sexes modally 5‒7 (versus > 9); body colour brownish on head and tail (versus greyish on head and tail); head, nape and lateral scales of forebody with strong dark variegations or narrow barring (versus weak variegations); dark barring on head typically extends ventrally onto the chin and throat (versus indistinct dark bars or smudges present on the lower labials); and dark pigment on rostral and lower labials not aligned with sutures (versus dark smudges positioned over sutures between rostral and lower labials). [MARYAN et al. 2015: 316]. 
CommentLimb morphology: Limbless.

Synonymy: Southwestern populations of Delma australis have been redescribed as D. hebesa; both species appear to be parapatric though.

Sympatry: D. butleri, D. fraseri, D. grayii, D. nasuta, and D. petersoni. 
  • 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.
  • Ellis, Ryan J.; Paul Doughty and Aaron M. Bauer 2018. An annotated type catalogue of the geckos and pygopods (Squamata: Gekkota: Carphodactylidae, Diplodactylidae, Gekkonidae, Pygopodidae) in the collection of the Western Australian Museum. Records of the Western Australian Museum 33: 051–094 - get paper here
  • How, RA, Cowan, MA, Teale, RJ, Schmitt, LH. 2020. Environmental correlates of reptile variation on the Houtman Abrolhos archipelago, eastern Indian Ocean. J Biogeogr. 47: 2017– 2028 - get paper here
  • Kluge, A. G. 1974. A taxonomic revision of the lizard family Pygopodidae. Miscellaneous Publications, Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, (147): 1-221. - get paper here
  • Kluge, Arnold G. 1976. Phylogenetic relationships in the lizard family Pygopodidae: an evaluation of theory, methods and data. Miscellaneous Publications, Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan (152): 1-72 - get paper here
  • MARYAN, BRAD; IAN G. BRENNAN, MARK ADAMS & KEN P. APLIN 2015. Molecular and morphological assessment of Delma australis Kluge (Squamata: Pygopodidae), with a description of a new species from the biodiversity ‘hotspot’ of southwestern Western Australia. Zootaxa 3946 (3): 301–330 - get paper here
  • Maryan,B., Aplin,K., & Adams,M. 2007. Two new species of the Delma tincta group (Squamata: Pygopodidae) from northwestern Australia. Rec. West. Austr. Mus. 23: 273-305 - get paper here
  • Shea, G. M. 1991. Revisionary notes on the genus Delma (Squamata: Pygopodidae) in South Australia and the Northern Territory. Rec. South Austral. Mus. 25: 71-90 - get paper here
  • Swan, G.; Sadlier, R.; Shea, G. 2017. A field guide to reptiles of New South Wales. Reed New Holland, 328 pp.
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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