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Phyllurus pinnaclensis HOSKIN, BERTOLA & HIGGIE, 2019

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Higher TaxaCarphodactylidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Pinnacles Leaf-tailed Gecko 
SynonymPhyllurus pinnaclensis HOSKIN, BERTOLA & HIGGIE 2019 
DistributionAustralia (NE Queensland)

Type locality: The Pinnacles (19.410°S, 146.614°E)  
TypesHolotype. QM J96418, adult male, 2 November 2015, C. J. Hoskin & M. Higgie. Paratypes. None. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Distinguished from congeners by the following characters: cylindrical, tapering tail; rostral scale partially divided by a single groove; high internasal count (7–10, typically 9 or 10); high subdigital lamellae count under the 4th toe (19–21); original tail long (> 85% SVL) and largely devoid of tubercles after the basal quarter.

Comparison. Phyllurus pinnaclensis sp. nov. could only be confused with congeners with a cylindrical, tapering tail. Of these, it is readily distinguished from P. caudiannulatus Covacevich, 1975 and P. kabikabi Couper, Hamley & Hoskin, 2008 by a partially divided rostral scale (versus completely divided). From P. gulbaru, it is distinguished by a high internasal count (P. gulbaru mean 6.5, range 5–8; P. pinnaclensis sp. nov. mean 9.1, range 7–10); high subdigital lamellae count under the 4th toe (P. gulbaru mean 17.9, range 16–19; P. pinnaclensis sp. nov. mean 20.0, range 19–21); longer original tail (P. gulbaru T/SVL mean 0.80, range 0.71–0.84; P. pinnaclensis sp. nov. T/SVL mean 0.90, range 0.88–0.91) and regenerated tail (P. gulbaru T/SVL mean 0.61, range 0.50–0.71; P. pinnaclensis sp. nov. T/SVL mean 0.73; range 0.73) (Table 1); and original tail largely devoid of prominent tubercles past the basal quarter (versus prominent tubercles on at least basal half in P. gulbaru). A relatively straightforward and near-diagnostic trait to assess in the field is the number of internasals, with > 90% of P. gulbaru individuals (N = 36) having < 8 (5–7) and 90% of P. pinnaclensis sp. nov. (N = 10) having > 8 (9–10; but one aberrant individual had 7). 
CommentGenetics. Approximately 6.4% divergent from P. gulbaru for ND2 mtDNA.

Habitat: Layered rock with associated rainforest (‘vine-forest’) vegetation. One site consists of piled, angular rock (Fig. 6A) associated with a gully, another site consists of piled, rounded, granite boulders along a gully (Fig. 6B), and the third site consists of deeply piled, granite boulders along a gully and adjacent slopes. At all sites, P. pinnaclensis sp. nov. was found on rock surfaces at night. 
EtymologyRefers to The Pinnacles, the locality to which this species appears to be restricted. 
  • HOSKIN, CONRAD J.; LORENZO V. BERTOLA, MEGAN HIGGIE 2019. A new species of Phyllurus leaf-tailed gecko (Lacertilia: Carphodactylidae) from The Pinnacles, north-east Australia. Zootaxa 4576 (1): 127–139 - get paper here
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