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Delma hebesa MARYAN, BRENNAN, ADAMS & APLIN, 2015

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Higher TaxaPygopodidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Heath Delma 
SynonymDelma hebesa MARYAN, BRENNAN, ADAMS & APLIN 2015
Delma australis — BUSH 1981: 21
Delma australis — WILSON & KNOWLES 1988: 246
Delma australis — BUSH et al. 2007: 135 
DistributionAustralia (coastal S Western Australia)

Type locality: Bandalup Hill, Ravensthorpe Range (33°40'29"S 120°23'54"E), Western Australia, Australia.  
TypesHolotype: WAM R144237, male, collected by R. Teale & G. Harold, 14 October 2000. Fixed in 10% formalin, stored in 70% ethanol, liver sample stored in ‒80oC ultrafreezer at WAM. Paratypes: All from Western Australia. WAM R129674, male, 3.8 km W of Kundip, (33o41'S 120o09'E); WAM R131902, female, Hellfire Bay, Cape Le Grand National Park, (34o00'15"S 122o10'20"E); WAM R132154, female, Duke of Orleans Bay, Wharton Beach, (33o56'S 122o33'E); WAM R144238, male, same details as holotype; WAM R154234, male, Kundip, (33o40'26"S 120o11'45"E); WAM R156978, male, Canal Rocks, (33o39'46"S 115o00'45"E). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A small species of Delma (SVL to 79 mm) with: ventral scales not markedly larger than adjacent lateral scales; one pair of supranasals; modally 18 midbody scales; modally 10 hindlimb scales in both sexes; 73‒92 ventral scales (males average 76.8, females 85.5); six upper labials with fourth typically below eye; loreal scale row typically interrupted by a ventral extension of supraloreal scale that contacts upper labials; essentially unpatterned head, sometimes with weak dark variegations on sides of head and indistinct narrow bars or smudges on labial scales, nape and forebody. Diagnostic differences between D. hebesa sp. nov. and D. australis are listed under the foregoing species account.
Delma hebesa sp. nov. differs from D. torquata from southeastern Queensland in having a larger adult size (SVL to 79 mm versus to 63 mm), three precloacal scales (versus two), the fourth upper labial typically below the eye (versus typically the third below the eye), modally 18 midbody scale rows (versus 16) and only dark variegations (if present) on head and neck (versus broad dark bands).
Delma hebesa sp. nov. differs from all other Australian species (except D. australis, D. torquata and D. concinna) in having ventral scales not markedly larger than adjacent lateral scales (versus markedly larger).
Delma hebesa sp. nov. differs from D. fraseri with which it occurs in sympatry (see below) in having a smaller adult size (SVL to 79 mm versus to 140 mm, Bush et al. 2007), one pair of supranasals (versus two pairs), modally 18 midbody scale rows (versus 16), ventral scales not markedly larger than adjacent lateral scales (versus markedly larger) and only dark variegations (if present) on head and neck (versus broad dark bands, often faded in adults). 
CommentSynonymy: Populations of Delma hebesa have been considered as D. australis previously.

Sympatry: D. fraseri.

Habitat: proteaceous scrub and mallee heath on south coast sandplains 
EtymologyThe specific name hebesa is derived from the Latin adjective hebes, meaning dull, alluding to the matt body texture, without much shine, of this species. 
  • 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. 1981. Reptiles of the Kalgoorlie-Esperance Region. B. Bush, Perth, 46 pp - get paper here
  • Bush, B., Maryan, B., Browne-Cooper & Robinson, D. 2007. Reptiles and Frogs in the bush: Southwestern Australia. University of Western Australia Press, Perth, 302 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
  • 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
  • Wilson, Stephen K. & Knowles, David G. 1988. Australia's Reptiles: A Photographic Reference to the Terrestrial Reptiles of Australia. Cornstalk Publishing, Pymble, NSW, 447 pp.
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