Phyllurus pinnaclensis HOSKIN, BERTOLA & HIGGIE, 2019
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|Higher Taxa||Carphodactylidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)|
|Common Names||E: Pinnacles Leaf-tailed Gecko|
|Synonym||Phyllurus pinnaclensis HOSKIN, BERTOLA & HIGGIE 2019|
|Distribution||Australia (NE Queensland)|
Type locality: The Pinnacles (19.410°S, 146.614°E)
|Types||Holotype. QM J96418, adult male, 2 November 2015, C. J. Hoskin & M. Higgie. Paratypes. None.|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis. 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).
|Comment||Genetics. 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.
Conservation: this is one of the most-threatened reptile species in Australia (Geyle et al. 2021).
|Etymology||Refers to The Pinnacles, the locality to which this species appears to be restricted.|
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