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Moloch horridus GRAY, 1841

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Higher TaxaAgamidae (Amphibolurinae), Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Thorny Devil, Mountain Devil
G: Dornteufel, Moloch 
SynonymMoloch horridus GRAY 1841
Acanthosaurus gibbosus BERTHOLD 1846: 12
Moloch horridus — BOULENGER 1885: 411
Moloch horridus — COGGER 1983
Moloch horridus — MANTHEY & SCHUSTER 1999: 84
Moloch horridus — COGGER 2000: 344
Moloch horridus — WILSON & SWAN 2010
Moloch horridus — CHAPPLE et al. 2019: 86 
DistributionC Australia (Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia)

Type locality: Western Australia  
TypesSyntypes: lost, was BMNH. The description refers to specimens donated by Capt G. Grey and by John Gould, from Western Australia. Gray (1845) lists two specimens from Western Australia, lacking collectors, that may be the syntypes.
Holotype: ZFMK [Acanthosaurus gibbosus] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Body covered with large conical spines, each much larger than the eye; nape with a large spiny hump (from key in Cogger 2014: 692). 
CommentType species: Moloch horridus GRAY 1841 is the type species of the genus Moloch GRAY 1841.

Abundance: not uncommon, with more than 200 specimens collected (Pianka 2011) 
  • Berthold,A.A. 1846. Mittheilungen über das zoologische Museum zu Göttingen. I. Verzeichnisss der aufgestellten Reptilien. Nachr. G. A. Univ. K. Gesell. Wiss. Göttingen 8-10: 1-28
  • Bohme, W. & W. Bischoff 1984. III. Amphibien und Reptilien. In: G. Rheinwald [ed.], Die Wirbeltiersammlungen des Museums Alexander Koenig. [type catalogue] Bonner Zool. Monogr. (19): 151-213 - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1885. Catalogue of the lizards in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) I. Geckonidae, Eublepharidae, Uroplatidae, Pygopodidae, Agamidae. London: 450 pp. - get paper here
  • Bush, B. 1981. Reptiles of the Kalgoorlie-Esperance Region. B. Bush, Perth, 46 pp - get paper here
  • 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
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • Gray, J. E. 1841. Description of some new species and four new genera of reptiles from Western Australia, discovered by John Gould, Esq. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (1) 7: 86-91 - get paper here
  • Hallermann, J. 2020. An annotated list of reptiles and amphibians from the 1905 Hamburg expedition to southwest Australia deposited in the Zoological Museum Hamburg. Evolutionary Systematics 4: 61 - get paper here
  • Hutchinson, Mark N. and Rhonda G. Hutchinson 2011. Karyotypes of Moloch and Chelosania (Squamata: Acrodonta). Journal of Herpetology 45 (2): 216-218. - get paper here
  • Macey, J. R., J. A. Schulte II, A. Larson, N. B. Ananjeva, Y. Wang, R. Pethiyagoda, N. Rastegar-Pouyani, T. J. Papenfuss 2000. Evaluating trans-Tethys migration: an example using acrodont lizard phylogenetics. Systematic Biology 49 (2): 233-256 - get paper here
  • Manthey,U. & SCHUSTER,N. 1999. Agamen, 2. Aufl. Natur und Tier Verlag (Münster), 120 pp. - get paper here
  • Pianka, E. R. 1969. Habitat specificity, speciation, and species density in Australian desert lizards. Ecology 50 (3): 498-502 - get paper here
  • Pianka, Eric R. 1997. Australia's Thorny Devil. Reptiles 5 (11): 14-23 - get paper here
  • Pianka, Eric R.; Pianka, Helen D. 1970. The ecology of Moloch horridus (Lacertilia: Agamidae) in Western Australia. Copeia 1970 (1): 90-103 - get paper here
  • Pianka, G A; E R Pianka & G G Thompson 1998. Natural history of thorny devils Moloch horridus (Lacertilia: Agamidae) in the Great Victoria Desert. J. Royal Soc. Western Australia. 81: 183-190 - get paper here
  • Siebenrock, Friedrich 1892. Ueber Wirbelassimilation bei den Sauriern. Annalen des Königlichen Kaiserlichen Naturhistorischen Hofmuseum in Wien 7: 373-378 - get paper here
  • Switak, K.-H. 2017. Im Angesicht des Teufels. Reptilia (Münster) 22 (128): 38-40 - get paper here
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
  • Withers, P. 1993. Cutaneous Water Acquisition by the Thorny Devil (Moloch horridus: Agamidae) Journal of Herpetology 27 (3): 265-270. - get paper here
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