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Heteronotia atra PEPPER, DOUGHTY, FUJITA, MORITZ & KEOGH, 2013

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Higher TaxaGekkonidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Black Pilbara Gecko 
SynonymHeteronotia atra PEPPER, DOUGHTY, FUJITA, MORITZ & KEOGH 2013 
DistributionAustralia (WA: NW Pilbara region)

Type locality: 5 km south of Lake Poongkaliyarra, WA (-21.03590° S, 117.10658° E).  
TypesHolotype: WAM R110076 (male) collected on 10 October 2004 by J.K. Rolfe, L.A. Smith, and B. Durrant Paratypes. — WAM R110056 (female), WAM R165222 (female), WAM R162439 (female) WAM R110075 (female), same location as holotype; WAM R163243 (male), 12.8 km southwest of Roebourne, WA (220.8877°S, 117.1017°E).

DiagnosisDiagnosis. — Distinguished from congeners by large body size (to 62.5 mm SVL), gracile habitus, elongate head (to 11.72 mm HeadW), long slender limbs and tail, greatly enlarged tympanum, typically 10 supralabials and 8 infralabials, enlarged dorsal tubercles in contact with each other at anterior and posterior edges of scale and usually to either side or separated with at most a few small granules, and melanistic ‘charcoal’ coloration.

Comparisons with other species. — Heteronotia atra sp. nov. can be distinguished from H. spelea and H. fasciolatus sp. nov. by the melanic ‘charcoal’ colouration and greatly enlarged external ear opening. The enlarged dorsal tubercles are almost in contact, with few small granular scales in between, in contrast to H. spelea and H. fasciolatus sp. nov. where the enlarged tubercles are spaced more widely apart. 
CommentHabitat. — Bare black boulder scree (Cooya Pooya dolerite) with scattered Triodia and shrubs. 
EtymologyThe specific name atra (Latin) means ‘black’, and refers to the melanic coloration. 
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - 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
  • Pepper, Mitzy; Paul Doughty, Matthew K. Fujita, Craig Moritz, J. Scott Keogh 2013. Speciation on the Rocks: Integrated Systematics of the Heteronotia spelea Species Complex (Gekkota; Reptilia) from Western and Central Australia. PLoS One 8 (11): e78110. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0078110 - get paper here
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