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Lophognathus horneri MELVILLE, RITCHIE, CHAPPLE, GLOR & SCHULTE, 2018

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Higher TaxaAgamidae (Amphibolurinae), Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymLophognathus horneri MELVILLE, RITCHIE, CHAPPLE, GLOR & SCHULTE 2018: 54
Grammatophora temporalis GÜNTHER 1867 (part.)
Lophognathus horneri — CHAPPLE et al. 2019: 85 
DistributionAustralia (Northern Territory)

Type locality: Sambo Bore, Wave Hill Station, Northern Territory (18° 52' 48" S, 130° 40' 12" E).  
TypesHolotype: NTM R16472; Paratypes. NMV D72658 Wave Hill Homestead, Northern Territory (17o 23' 08" S, 131o 06' 44" E); NMV D73846 King Edward River Camp, Mitchell Plateau, Kimberley, Western Australia (14o 52' 57" S, 126o 12' 10" E); NMV D74687 road to Davenport Ranges National Park, Northern Territory (20o 37' 34" S, 134o 47' 14" E); WAM R131990 Kununurra, Kimberley, NE Western Australia (15° 48' 0.00" S, 128° 43' 0.12" E); WAM R108806 Mabel Downs Station, Calico Springs, NE Western Australia (17° 16' 59.88" S, 128° 10' 59.88" E); WAM R132850 Kununurra, NE Western Australia (5° 47' 37.68" S, 128° 43' 10.92" E); BMNH 1946.8.12.73 Nickol Bay, Western Australia [paralectotype Grammatophora temporalis (part.) Günther, 1867]. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A member of the Australian genus Lophognathus Gray, 1842, characterised by broad white stripe on the upper and lower lips, extending along the full extent of the jaw, a pale stripe from behind the eye to the top of the ear, which is cream, white, grey or yellow in life. This pale stripe is well defined ventrally and dorsally by a row of darkly pigmented scales (fig. 6). It is a large robust dragon with long head and well-built moderately long limbs. It has heterogenous scales on the back, both at the midline and dorsolaterally, associated with a weak to prominent row of enlarged strongly keeled scales. Lophognathus horneri is distinguished from Lophognathus gilberti by the presence of a distinct white spot on the tympanum (fig. 7 in Melville et al. 2018: 51). This well-defined white spot is wholly surrounded or bordered dorsally and to the anterior by an area of black pigmentation that is positioned on the upper posterior quarter of the tympanum. This area of black pigmentation also runs along a raised ridge that extends from the outer dorsoposterior edge of the tympanum towards its centre (fig. 9).

Comparison with other species. Lophognathus horneri shares similar body proportions and meristic characters with L. gilberti with extensive overlap (Tables 2 and 3; fig. 4). It is readily separated from this species by the presence of a well-defined white spot on the tympanum (fig. 7), which is wholly surrounded or bordered by an area of black pigmentation. Lophognathus horneri is also superficially similar to Amphibolurus centralis, but it differs in having proportionally shorter tail, hindlimbs and head. Additionally, L. horneri has a well-defined white spot on the tympanum and a well-defined stripe between the eye and the ear (figs 6 and 7), which are lacking in A. centralis. Some specimens of L. gilberti and A. centralis do have white areas on the tympanum but they are not a well-defined spot surrounded or adjoining the black pigmented area; instead, they are a diffuse white or off-white smear or a patch of pale pigment without the associated black pigmentation. Lophognathus horneri can be distinguished from Tropicagama temporalis gen. nov. by having a well-defined stripe between the eye and the ear and heterogeneous dorsolateral scales along the back. In addition, Lophognathus has > 2 preanal pores, whereas Tropicagama temporalis gen. nov. has only two. Gowidon longirostris differs from L. horneri by having very long limbs and tail, being dorsoventrally compressed, having 1–3 white spots on a black background behind the ear and having > 10 femoral pores. 
EtymologyThis species is named in honour of Paul Horner, the Curator of Terrestrial Vertebrates at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, in recognition of his contributions to the knowledge of the tropical lizard fauna of Australia and his instrumental role in the taxonomic review of agamid lizards from this region. 
  • Chapple, David G.; Reid Tingley, Nicola J. Mitchell, Stewart L. Macdonald, J. Scott Keogh, Glenn M. Shea, Philip Bowles, Neil A. Cox, John C. Z. Woinarski 2019. The Action Plan for Australian Lizards and Snakes 2017. CSIRO, 663 pp. DOI: 10.1071/9781486309474 - get paper here
  • Ellis, Ryan J. 2019. An annotated type catalogue of the dragon lizards (Reptilia: Squamata: Agamidae) in the collection of the Western Australian Museum. Records of the Western Australian Museum 34: 115–132 - get paper here
  • Günther, A. 1867. Additions to the knowledge of Australian reptiles and fishes. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (3) 20: 45-57 - get paper here
  • MELVILLE, JANE; EUAN G. RITCHIE, STEPHANIE N.J. CHAPPLE, RICHARD E. GLOR AND JAMES A. SCHULTE 2018. Diversity in Australia’s tropical savannas: An integrative taxonomic revision of agamid lizards from the genera Amphibolurus and Lophognathus (Lacertilia: Agamidae). Memoirs of Museum Victoria 77: 41–61 - get paper here
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