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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: North West Cape Gehyra 
Gehyra variegata B1 — ASHMAN et al. 2018 
DistributionAustralia (Western Australia)

Type locality: Vlaming Head (2148′S, 11406′E), WA  
TypesHolotype: WAM R117869, an adult male collected on 3 January 2003 by G. Harold and R.J. Teale. Paratypes. WAM R153818 (female), as for holotype; WAM R174300 (male) and WAM R174302 (female), Charles Knife Road, Cape Range National Park (2205′23′′S, 11400′40′′E); WAM R174301 (male), Charles Knife Road, Cape Range National Park (2205′25′′S, 11400′38′′E); WAM R174316 (male), Mandu–Mandu Gorge, Cape Range National Park (2209′00′′S, 11353′06′′E). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A small-bodied (to 46.0 mm SVL) species with a relatively long snout, internarial usually (72%) present, lower postnasal larger than upper, two pairs of chin shields, second infralabial notched by parinfralabial scales, usually six (occasionally seven) subdigital lamellae on the fourth toe and males with 9–12 (mean 10.8) pre-cloacal pores. Background colour pinkish-grey with dark brown irregularly shaped spots or bars with numerous smaller pale white spots not in contact with dark markings, canthal, loreal and temporal stripes on head present (no post-orbital stripes) and ventrum not stippled. Genetically diagnosed from other arid clade members by the ND2 sites in Table 3 in Kealley et al. 2018.

Comparisons with other species. Based on location, this species could only be confused with G. variegata which also occurs on the North West Cape. The two species differ by G. capensis sp. nov. attaining a smaller body size (to a maximum SVL of 46.0 vs 52.5 mm), lower postnasal larger than upper (vs equal), pinkish-grey background colour with
dark irregular spots or bars and numerous small pale spots not in contact (vs greyish- brown with dark network with pale spots to posterior edges), no post-orbital stripes (vs present) and ventrum without stippling (vs heavy).
G. capensis sp. nov. has a similar morphology to the relatively closely related G. ocellata sp. nov. on nearby islands to the north and G. pilbara on the mainland, but differs by possession of a longer snout with well-defined canthal, loreal and temporal head stripes (vs poorly defined). It differs from G. crypta sp. nov. in possessing spots without reticulations (vs short transverse bars often with a dark reticulum) and no stippling on the ventrum (vs medium to dense). 
CommentSimilar species: Specimens of this species had been variously assigned to G. punctata, G. pilbara or G. variegata as this taxon has an intermediate morphology. The first two taxa do not occur on the North West Cape, whereas there are records of G. variegata from the low- lying and southern areas on the peninsula. The pattern within Gehyra for saxicoline species to possess spots rather than lines or networks suggests G. capensis sp. nov. occupies the more rocky habitats of the North West Cape, whereas G. variegata maintains its preferences for trees and shrubs.

Distribution: see map in Kealley et al. 2018: 4 (Fig. 1). 
EtymologyThe specific name refers to the North West Cape of WA to which this species is restricted. 
  • Ashman, L. G., Bragg, J. G., Doughty, P. , Hutchinson, M. N., Bank, S. , Matzke, N. J., Oliver, P. and Moritz, C. 2018. Diversification across biomes in a continental lizard radiation. Evolution, doi:10.1111/evo.13541 - 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
  • Kealley, Luke; Paul Doughty, Mitzy Pepper, J. Scott Keogh, Mia Hillyer and Joel Huey 2018. Conspicuously concealed: revision of the arid clade of the Gehyra variegata (Gekkonidae) group in Western Australia using an integrative molecular and morphological approach, with the description of five cryptic species. PeerJ 6:e5334; DOI 10.7717/peerj.5334 - get paper here
  • Kwet, A. 2019. Liste der im Jahr 2018 neu beschriebenen Reptilien. Elaphe 2019 (3): 52-72
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