Gehyra ocellata KEALLEY, DOUGHTY, PEPPER, KEOGH, HILLYER & HUEY, 2018
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Gehyra ocellata?
|Higher Taxa||Gekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)|
|Common Names||E: Pilbara Island Gehyra|
|Synonym||Gehyra ocellata KEALLEY, DOUGHTY, PEPPER, KEOGH, HILLYER & HUEY 2018|
Gehyra variegata B2 — ASHMAN et al. 2018
|Distribution||Australia (Western Australia: restricted to islands off the Pilbara coast near Karratha, including Barrow, Varanus, Trimouille and Hermite)|
Type locality: Barrow Island settlement (2047′46′′ S, 11525′52′′E), WA
|Types||Holotype: WAM R173013, an adult male collected on 11 December 2012 by S. Schmidt (Biota Environmental Sciences). Paratypes. WAM R165971 (male), Trimouille Island (2023′12′′S, 11533′04′′E); WAM R165973 (female), Hermite Island (2025′22′′S, 11531′54′′E); WAM R165974 (male), Hermite Island (2025′22′′S, 11531′54′′E); WAM R165975 (female), Hermite Island (2025′22′′S, 11531′54′′E); WAM R172939 (male), WAPET Barge Landing, Barrow Island (2043′27′′S, 11528′19′′E).|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis. A small-bodied (to 49.0 mm SVL) species with moderately short snout, internarial absent or 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 10–12 (mean 11.1) pre-cloacal pores. Background colour light to medium reddish-brown with numerous pale spots with fewer brown irregular markings, head stripes poorly defined or absent and ventrum with little or no stippling. Genetically diagnosed from other arid clade members (except G. crypta sp. nov.) by the ND2 sites in Table 3.|
Comparisons with other species. This species only co-occurs with G. variegata on Barrow and surrounding islands. It can be distinguished from G. variegata, G. crypta sp. nov. and G. incognita sp. nov. by possessing a reddish colouration with numerous pale spots with dark brown irregular markings. It is distinguished from G. pilbara by the elongate snout and lower postnasal only slightly enlarged relative to upper. It differs from G. capensis sp. nov. by having a shorter snout, a more reddish background colour and poorly defined head stripes.
The genetic analyses revealed complete introgression of the mtDNA gene ND2 into G. crypta sp. nov. A similar scenario was recently documented for northern Gehyra of the nana clade of the variegata group (Moritz et al., 2018), demonstrating the possibility of this happening in other Gehyra groups. Although indistinguishable on the mtDNA evidence, however, these two species differ in pattern and colouration.
|Comment||Habitat: termite mounds (P. Kendrick, R. J. Teale, 2018, cited as personal communication in Kealley et al. 2018). Several records mention ‘under limestone slab.’|
Similar species: This species had been previously identified as G. pilbara owing to the reddish colouration and pattern of spots. The evolution of a reddish hue and spotted appearance is more often associated with an ecological shift to rocks (e.g. G. punctata and G. nana clade species), suggesting more saxicoline habits as opposed to the sympatric G. variegata on these Pilbara islands which would likely maintain arboreal habits. This situation is also observed for the North West Cape for G. capensis sp. nov. and G. variegata and may represent a parallel case of ecological divergence in sympatry with only two Gehyra species occurring in a small area.
Distribution: see map in Kealley et al. 2018: 4 (Fig. 1).
|Etymology||The species epithet ocellata (New Latin) refers to the spotted appearance of this species. Used as an adjective.|