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Diplodactylus galaxias DOUGHTY, PEPPER & KEOGH, 2010

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Higher TaxaDiplodactylidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Northern Pilbara Beak-faced Gecko 
SynonymDiplodactylus galaxias DOUGHTY, PEPPER & KEOGH 2010
Diplodactylus galaxias — WILSON & SWAN 2010 
DistributionAustralia (Western Australia: Pilbara region)

Type locality: 42 km NNE Munjina Roadhouse, Western Australia, Australia (2159’S; 11845’E).  
Reproductionoviparous (not imputed, fide Zimin et al. 2022) 
TypesHolotype: WAM R113624, an adult female collected on 15 April 1992 by B. Bush. Paratypes. R146616 (female) – 203 km S Port Hedland, Western Australia, Australia; R158145 (male) – 24.5 km N Cowra Line Camp, Western Australia, Australia; R165134 (male) – 2.6 km WNW Python Pool, Western Australia, Australia; R165502, R165516 and R165532 (males) – West Intercourse Island, Western Australia, Australia; R166639 (female) – Mons Cupri Mine, Western Australia, Australia. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Differentiated from D. savagei in having smaller body size (means: galaxias – male 38.1 mm, female 43.8 mm; savagei – male 40.0 mm, female 46.2 mm), less gabled dorsal scales, longer (galaxias – 17.9 mm; savagei – 16.8 mm) and thinner (galaxias – 5.0 mm; savagei – 5.2 mm) tail, scattered fine spots (not heavy spots that form transverse rows) on lighter reddish-brown background colour, pale dorsal border to dark loreal stripe and gradual dorsal-ventral colouration transition (not abrupt or marked by spots or stippling).

Comparison with D. savagei. Diplodactylus galaxias can be distinguished from D. savagei by the spots being finer and never tightly aligning to form transverse bars. Some individuals of D. galaxias have the fine spots in weak rows, but the spots remain widely separated; this is in contrast to the transverse rows in D. savagei that are formed by rows of heavier spots in contact that usually form solid bars (Figs. 2, 3). Furthermore, along the ventrolateral zone the transition from the dorsal to ventral colouration is very gradual in D. galaxias, whereas it is abrupt in D. savagei. In D. savagei, the lateral zone also tends to have small spots or fine stippling where the dorsal and ventral colouration meet. Diplodactylus galaxias has a smaller mean and maximum body size than D. savagei and a longer and thinner tail (Table 1). The shape of the dorsal scales also differs subtly, with D. galaxias having quite low scales whereas D. savagei has more gabled scales with the apex towards the posterior edge of the scale. 
Etymologygalaxias (Greek) is in reference to the widely-scattered spots on the dorsum which resemble stars in a galaxy. Used as a noun in apposition. 
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • Doughty, P.; Pepper, Mitzy; J. Scott Keogh 2010. Morphological and molecular assessment of the Diplodactylus savagei species complex in the Pilbara region, Western Australia, with a description of a new species. Zootaxa 2393: 33–45 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
  • Zimin, A., Zimin, S. V., Shine, R., Avila, L., Bauer, A., Böhm, M., Brown, R., Barki, G., de Oliveira Caetano, G. H., Castro Herrera, F., Chapple, D. G., Chirio, L., Colli, G. R., Doan, T. M., Glaw, F., Grismer, L. L., Itescu, Y., Kraus, F., LeBreton 2022. A global analysis of viviparity in squamates highlights its prevalence in cold climates. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 00, 1–16 - get paper here
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