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Delma fraseri GRAY, 1831

IUCN Red List - Delma fraseri - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaPygopodidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Fraser's Delma
G: Frasers Flossenfuß 
SynonymDelma fraseri GRAY 1831: 14
Delma fraseri — GÜNTHER 1873: 145
Delma fraseri — BOULENGER 1885: 243
Delma fraseri — KLUGE 1974: 86
Delma fraseri fraseri — SHEA 1991
Delma fraseri — KLUGE 1993
Delma fraseri — RÖSLER 1995: 87
Delma fraseri — COGGER 2000: 286
Delma fraseri — WILSON & SWAN 2010 
DistributionAustralia (SW Western Australia)

Type locality: Australia, restricted to John Forrest National Park, approximately 17 mi E of Perth, W. A. by Kluge (1974).  
TypesNeotype: BMNH 1946.8.26.98; syntype: BMNH 1946.8.26.99. Shea (1991) noted that the putative syntype did not agree fully with the original description, and was not representative of the species to which the name had been applied subsequently. Hence, in the absence of unequivocal evidence that this specimen was one of the types (Gray 1845 and Boulenger 1887 had offered differing opinions as to the number of specimens and their collection data), Shea designated as neotype BMNH 1956.8.26.98, the specimen which had been subsequently illustrated by Gray (1845) and used to apply the name, although this was apparently not one of the original syntypes. 
DiagnosisDIAGNOSIS (genus): Delma differs from all other pygopodid genera in possessing the following combination of character states: a) one pair of enlarged scales cover parietal region, b) anteriormost pair of nasal scales almost always meet on midline, c) nostril bordered by more than two scales (D. impar exceptional), d) external auditory meatus large, e) almost always 18 or less midbody scale rows, f) scales smooth, g) preanal pores absent, h) 13 or less caudal scale rows, i) almost always three subcaudal scale rows [from KLUGE 1974: 76]

Diagnosis (genus): Delma differs from all other pygopodid lizard genera in possessing the following combination of characters: head scales, including the parietals, enlarged and symmetrical; anterior nasal scales nearly always in contact; first pair of lower labials in contact behind mental scale; nostril usually bordered by more than two scales (except in some D. impar); external ear opening large; 20 or fewer midbody scale rows; dorsal and ventral scales smooth; precloacal pores absent; tail about three times as long as body (except in the D. australis species-group). [MARYAN et al. 2015: 316] 
CommentSubspecies: Delma fraseri is not monophyletic according to JENNINGS et al. (2003) who therefore elevated Delma fraseri petersoni SHEA 1991 to species status.

Mimicry: This species appears to mimic Pseudonaja textilis (HALL 1905).

Limb morphology: Limbless.

Type species: Delma fraseri GRAY 1831: 14 is the type species of the genus Delma GRAY 1831. Delmae GRAY 1843 appears to be an unjustified emendation of Delma GRAY 1831 and also a nomen nudum, given the lack of any definition. 
EtymologyNamed after Charles Fraser (1788-1831), a British botanist and gardener who traveled to Australia (1816) and lived there for many years. 
  • 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
  • Brennan, Ian G.; Aaron M. Bauer, Todd R. Jackman 2015. Mitochondrial introgression via ancient hybridization, and systematics of the Australian endemic pygopodid gecko genus Delma. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 94 (2016) 577–590 - get paper here
  • Bush, B. & Maryan, B. 2006. Snakes and Snake-like Reptiles of Southern Western Australia. Snakes Harmful & Harmless, Stoneville, Perth, Western Australia, 40 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.
  • Glauert, L. 1956. Herpetological Miscellanea VIII Snake Lizards and Worm Lizards (Family Pygopodidae). Western Australian Naturalist 5 (6): - get paper here
  • Gray, J. E. 1831. Description of a new genus of ophisaurean animal, discovered by the late James Hunter, Esq., in New Holland. Zoological Miscellany 1: 14. - get paper here
  • Günther, A. 1873. Notes on and descriptions of some lizards with rudimentary limbs, in the British Museum. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (4) 12: 145-148 - get paper here
  • Hall, T.S. 1905. A lizard mimicking a poisonous snake. Victorian Naturalist 22: 74 - get paper here
  • Hallermann, J. 2020. An annotated list of reptiles and amphibians from the 1905 Hamburg expedition to southwest Australia deposited in the Zoological Museum Hamburg. Evolutionary Systematics 4: 61 - get paper here
  • Jennings, W.B.; Pianka, E.R. & Donnellan, S. 2003. Systematics of the lizard family Pygopodidae with implications for the diversification of Australian temperate biotas. Systematic Biology 52: 757-780 - get paper here
  • Kinghorn, J. Roy 1924. Reptiles and batrachians from south and south-west Australia. Rec. Austral. Mus. 14 (3): 163-183 - get paper here
  • Kinghorn, J. Roy 1926. A brief review of the family Pygopodidae. Rec. Austral. Mus. 15 (1): 40-64 - 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
  • Longman, H. A. 1916. Snakes and lizards from Queensland and the Northern Territory. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 5: 46-51
  • 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
  • Pianka, E. R. 1969. Habitat specificity, speciation, and species density in Australian desert lizards. Ecology 50 (3): 498-502 - get paper here
  • Rösler, Herbert 1995. Geckos der Welt - Alle Gattungen. Urania, Leipzig, 256 pp.
  • 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
  • Sternfeld, R. 1925. Beiträge zur Herpetologie Inner-Australiens. Abhandlungen Herausgegeben von der Senckenbergischen Naturforschenden Gesellschaft, 38: 221—251
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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