Pletholax gracilis (COPE, 1864)
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Pletholax gracilis?
|Higher Taxa||Pygopodidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)|
|Common Names||E: Slender Slider|
|Synonym||Pygopus gracilis COPE 1864: 229|
Pletholax gracilis — BOULENGER 1885: 245
Pletholax gracilis — KLUGE 1974: 146
Pletholax gracilis — KLUGE 1993
Pletholax gracilis — COGGER 2000: 296
Pletholax gracilis — WILSON & SWAN 2010
Pletholax gracilis — KEALLEY et al. 2020
|Distribution||Australia (Western Australia: lower west coast)|
Type locality: South Western Australia
|Types||Holotype: RMNH 3670|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis (genus). Extremely slender small pygopod species, distinguishable from all other genera by keeled scales completely encircling body and tail, including unenlarged ventral row (Kealley et al. 2020).|
Diagnosis. Distinguished from P. edelensis by presence of visible ear opening, smaller body size (edelensis reaching a 91 mm maximum SVL compared to gracilis with 78 mm), posterior supra-ocular 1.5–2.0 times larger than anterior, two supraciliaries, three anterior temporals (2 in edelensis) and darker dorsal pattern.
|Comment||SCHLEGEL is sometimes given as author of this species, based on a statement in COPE: “P[letholax]. gracilis is Pygopus gracilis, Schlegel (Mus. Leyden) to whom I am indebted for the opportunity of making this description”.|
Subspecies: Pletholax gracilis edelensis STORR 1978 has been elevated to full species by Kealley et al. 2020.
Limb morphology: Limbless.
Type species: Pygopus gracilis (SCHLEGEL in) COPE 1864: 229 is the type species of the genus Pletholax COPE 1864.
Habitat. White and grey sandplains vegetated with Banksia woodland and heath (from collector’s notes and Shea and Peterson ).
Ecology. Displays both burrowing or ‘sand-swimming’ behaviour, as well as possible climbing on to low vegetation (Shea and Peterson, 1993).
Diet: Termites with occasional observations of nectar feeding have been reported (Ehmann [1992; Shea and Peterson ; Bush et al. ).
Reproduction: occurs in spring, with two eggs per clutch (Shea and Peterson, 1993).
Distribution: see map (Fig. 2) in Kealley et al. 2020: 2.
|Etymology||According to Storr et al. (1990): “Possibly based on Greek stem pleth- denoting fullness or completeness, in allusion to the strong keeling” (p. 126).|
Named after Latin “gracilis”, meaning small or lanky, or gracile.