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Oedura monilis DE VIS, 1888

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Higher TaxaDiplodactylidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Ocellated Velvet Gecko, Ocellated Gecko, Blotched Gecko
G: Samtgecko, Augenfleckengecko, Queensland Fettschwanzgecko 
SynonymOedura ocellata BOULENGER 1885: 105 (partim)
Oedura monilis DE VIS 1888
Phyllodactylus (Oedura) Castelnaui — Thominot (partim) 1889
Oedura monilis — FRY 1915: 86
Oedura marmorata — LOVERIDGE 1934 (partim)
Oedura attenboroughi WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985: 13
Oedura monilis — KLUGE 1993
Oedura monilis — COGGER 2000: 264
Oedura monilis — OLIVER et al. 2012
Oedura monilis — HOSKIN 2019 
DistributionAustralia (NE New South Wales, E Queensland)

Type locality: Queensland

attenboroughi: Australia (Queensland); Type locality: Fork lagoon Road turn-off on the Capricorn Highway, 19 km west of Emerald, Queensland.  
TypesHolotype: QM J228
Holotype: AM R65941 [attenboroughi] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Oedura monilis can be distinguished from all congeners by the following combination of traits: relatively large adult size (SVl mean 81.4, max 96.6 mm); original tail moderate in length (Tl/SVl = 0.55–0.83) and roughly circular in cross section (TW/Tl = 0.15–0.21; TD/TW = 0.67–0.90); rostral scale only partially divided by medial groove; single cloacal spur on each side; moderate number of interorbital scales (16–20); typically < 18 pre-cloacal pores in males (mean 14, range 8–19), split medially by 0–3 scales without pores; iris dark; typically, unbroken pale bar on the nape; dorsal colouration consisting of a vertebral series of white bars or paired blotches, heavily interconnected (at least anteriorly) by dark markings; dark band extending from the back of the eye to the nape band and usually beyond; lateral markings including obscure white spot/s; no spots on limbs; original tail ringed with irregular white bands [from Hoskin 2019: 253].

Comparison with other species. The colour pattern of a white nape bar (unbroken or broken) enclosed by black, followed by prominent white dorsal blotches or bars distinguishes the four species of the monilis subgroup from all congeners outside the tryoni group. These congeners have a full pale nuchal band (except O. gemmata King & Gow) and body marked with distinct or indistinct transverse bands (O. bella, O. cincta, O. filicipoda King, O. fimbria Oliver & Doughty, O. gracilis King, O. luritja, O. marmorata Gray, O. murrumanu Oliver, laver, Melville & Doughty), or small spots or mottling (O. gemmata; mature individuals of O. bella, O. cincta, O. fimbria, O. marmorata), or no bold body markings (O. jowalbinna). The four species of the monilis subgroup are further distinguished from O. cincta, O. bella, O. fimbria, O. marmorata and O. gemmata by having a single pre-cloacal spur on each side (versus typically > 1 in those species). Further distinguished from O. cincta, O. bella, O. marmorata and O. gemmata by partially divided rostral scale (versus fully divided in those species). The monilis subgroup is further distinguished from O. filicipoda, O. murrumanu and O. fimbria by lacking lateral expansions (frills) on the digital lamellae (versus present in those species). And they are further distinguished from O. marmorata, O. gemmata and O. filicipoda by relatively rounded, tapering tails (versus bulbous and more depressed in those species).
Oedura monilis is readily distinguished from other members of the tryoni group as follows.
Oedura monilis differs from O. castelnaui and O. argentea by having a nape bar enclosed in black (versus full nuchal band in those species) and dorsal pattern of blotches and bars (versus full body bands in those species) (Fig. 2). Distinguished from O. coggeri by lack of white spots on limbs (versus obvious white spots) and larger body size (max 96.6 mm versus 80.7 mm) (Tables 1, 2). Distinguished from O. tryoni by, typically, unbroken bar on nape (versus many spots or few blotches), dorsum pattern of large blotches or bars on midline (versus, typically, evenly spotted or blotched), lack of white spots on limbs (versus usually spots at least on hindlimbs), original tail pattern of irregular white bands (versus spots or blotches), lower interorbital count (16–20 versus 19–26), and, typically, lower number of pre-cloacal pores in males (typically 17 or less versus typically 17 or more) (Tables 1, 2).
Differs from O. elegans sp. nov. in having a dark band running from the back of the eye to the nape marking (versus a thin black line running from below the back of the eye to below the nape marking), black markings connecting at least the pale nape bar and anterior-most dorsal markings (versus dorsal markings surrounded by thin black edging but nape bar and none of the dumbbells connected to each other), at least some indication of obscure white spots on mid-lateral line (versus no spots), original tail pattern of irregular bands (versus paired blotches on dorsal midline), head broad (versus head relatively narrow), original and regrown tail relatively shorter and more bulbous (Tables 1, 2).
Differs from O. picta sp. nov. in having prominent dorsal markings centred on the midline (versus more evenly spread across dorsum), having a dark band running from the back of the eye to the nape marking (versus an obscure, thin black line running from below the back of the eye to below the nape marking), black marking connecting at least the pale nape bar and anterior-most dorsal markings (versus nape and dorsal markings not connected), iris dark (versus gold), and larger size (max 96.6 mm versus max 79.7 mm) (Tables 1, 2).
Differs from O. lineata sp. nov. in typically having an unbroken nape bar (versus Vor Y-shaped broken bar), a pattern of bars or connected large blotches on the dorsal midline (versus linearly-arranged lines, spots and black markings on either side of thin, pale midline), original tail patterned with irregular bands (versus paired blotches on dorsal midline), hindlimbs mottled (versus usually small white spots on at least base of hindlimbs), larger size (max 96.6 mm versus max 79.0 mm), lower interorbital count (16–20 versus 21–23), generally lower number of supralabials (9–12 versus 11–13), and series of pre-cloacal pores in males generally separated by fewer scales medially (0–3 versus 2–6) (Tables 1, 2) [from Hoskin 2019: 255]. 
CommentSynonymy: Oedura attenboroughi Wells & Wellington, 1985 (holotype: NTM R4816) has been referred to O. marmorata by Shea & Sadlier (1999), however, the type specimen has distinctive dark-edged dorsal ocelli and is relatively small, indicating that it is part of the O. monilis de Vis, 1888 species complex from eastern Australia (OLIVER & DOUGHTY 2016).

Variation: this is quite a variable species. See photos in Hoskin 2019: 253 (Fig. 7) and Schmida (2000).

Ecology and habitat: Oedura monilis is found in a wide variety of habitats, from woodlands to dry rainforest vine thickets. It is arboreal and saxicoline, with some populations occurring primarily on trees, some populations being largely restricted to rock, and some populations utilizing both trees and rock. Individuals are typically found at night foraging on tree trunks, rock surfaces or fallen timber [from Hoskin 2019: 256]. 
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  • 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
  • Bustard, H.R. 1971. A Population Study of the Eyed gecko, Oedura ocellata BOULENGER, in northern New South Wales, Australia. Copeia 1971 (4): 658-669 - 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.
  • De Vis, C. W. 1888. A contribution to the herpetology of Queensland. Proc. Linn. Soc. New South Wales (2) 2: 811-826 [1887] - get paper here
  • Fry, D. B. 1915. Descriptions and notes on three lizards. Proc. Roy. Soc. Queensland 27: 86-88 - get paper here
  • Hagey TJ, Harte S, Vickers M, Harmon LJ, Schwarzkopf L 2017. There’s more than one way to climb a tree: Limb length and microhabitat use in lizards with toe pads. PLoS One 12 (9): e0184641 - get paper here
  • Holfert, Tino 1996. Haltung und Vermehrung der australischen Samtgeckos Oedura monilis und Oedura castelnaui. Elaphe 4 (3): 19-24
  • Hoskin, C.J.; Higgie, M. 2008. A new species of velvet gecko (Diplodactylidae: Oedura) from north-east Queensland, Australia. Zootaxa 1788: 21–36 - get paper here
  • HOSKIN, CONRAD J. 2019. Description of three new velvet geckos (Diplodactylidae: Oedura) from inland eastern Australia, and redescription of Oedura monilis De Vis. Zootaxa 4683 (2): 242–270 - get paper here
  • HOSKIN, CONRAD J.; STEPHEN M. ZOZAYA, ERIC VANDERDUYS 2018. A new species of velvet gecko (Diplodactylidae: Oedura) from sandstone habitats of inland north Queensland, Australia. Zootaxa 4486 (2): 101–114 - get paper here
  • Laube, A. & Langner, C. 2007. Australische Samtgeckos. Die Gattung Oedura. Natur und Tier Verlag (Münster), 64 pp. - get paper here
  • Laube, A. & Langner, C. 2007. Die “Geckos” Australiens. Draco 8 (29): 4-21 - get paper here
  • Murphy, Michael J. and Jessica K. Murphy 2015. Survey of the reptiles and amphibians of Merriwindi State Conservation Area in the Pilliga forest of northern inland New South Wales. Australian Zoologist: 37 (4): 517-528 - get paper here
  • Oliver, Paul M.; Aaron M. Bauer, Eli Greenbaum, Todd Jackman, Tara Hobbie 2012. Molecular phylogenetics of the arboreal Australian gecko genus Oedura Gray 1842 (Gekkota: Diplodactylidae): Another plesiomorphic grade? Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 63 (2): 255-264 - get paper here
  • Pillai, R., Nordberg, E., Riedel, J. & Schwarzkopf, L. 2020. Geckos cling best to, and prefer to use, rough surfaces. Front Zool 17: 32 - get paper here
  • Rösler, H. 2000. Studien an den Begattungsorganen der Geckos (Reptilia: Gekkota) - 3. Die Hemipenismorphologie von Arten der Gattungen Hoplodactylus FITZINGER 1843, Naultinus GRAY 1842, Oedura GRAY 1842, Rhacodactylus FITZINGER 1843 und Strophurus FITZINGER 1843 (Gek Gekkota 2: 220-248
  • Rösler, Herbert 2019. Vergleichende Untersuchungen zur extrakorporalen Entwicklung weich- und hartschaliger Eier von Geckos (Squamata: Gekkota): 2. Oedura monilis de Vis, 1887 (Diplodactylidae). Sauria 41 (2): 15-20 - get paper here
  • Schmida, G. 2000. Exkursionen bei Mackay und Proserpine. DATZ 53 (9): 8-12
  • Schmida, G. 2007. Betrachtungen zu den australischen Samtgeckos der Gattung Oedura. Draco 8 (29): 22-30 - get paper here
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  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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