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Rankinia diemensis (GRAY, 1841)

IUCN Red List - Rankinia diemensis - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaAgamidae (Amphibolurinae), Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Mountain Heath Dragon, Mountain Dragon 
SynonymAgama diemenensis CLOQUET 1816 (nomen nudum)
Grammatophora muricata diemensis GRAY 1841
Grammatophora angulifera GRAY 1845 (part.)
Agama caelaticeps SMITH 1849
Amphibolurus angulifer — BOULENGER 1885: 389
Amphibolurus diemensis — COGGER 1983
Amphibolurus diemensis — HENLE & OSBORNE 1986
Rankinia diemensis — WELLS & WELLINGTON 1984: 82
Rankinia boylani WELLS & WELLINGTON 1984: 82
Rankinia caelaticeps — WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985: 19
Rankinia diemensis — GREER 1991
Tympanocryptis diemensis — COGGER 2000: 353
Rankinia diemensis — BARTS & WILMS 2003
Rankinia diemensis — WILSON & SWAN 2010
Rankinia diemensis — COGGER 2014: 754
Rankinia diemensis — CHAPPLE et al. 2019: 90 
DistributionAustralia (New South Wales, Tasmania, Victoria)

Type locality: Tasmania  
TypesSyntypes: BMNH xxiv.49a-c (possible), Van Diemen's Land (=Tasmania), collector unknown. The name was based by Gray on multiple specimens (number unknown) from Van Diemen's Land obtained by Gray from John Gould. Gray (1845) subsequently used the name Grammatophora angulfer Var. 1 for the taxon he had previously named Grammatophora muricata diemensis. The three specimens xxiv.49a-c are the only spirit preserved specimens in the BMNH listed by Gray (1845) from the type locality without collectors other than those that would preclude them from being Gould specimens available in 1841. There would appear to be no way of either excluding them from the type series of diemensis, or definitively identifying them as syntypes.
Syntypes: BMNH 1946.9.4.29-30, BMNH 1946.9.4.58-66, BMNH xxiv. 49. f, from Tasmania [Grammatophora angulifera]
Syntypes: BMNH 1946. 9. 4. 33-34, from "towards the Tropic of Capricorn, South Africa", in error [Agama caelaticeps] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): Small, short-legged, short-tailed agamid; dorsals markedly heterogeneous (small scales intermixed with much larger spinose scales); enlarged spinose scales arranged in paravertebral, dorsolateral and lateral rows; another prominent row of spinose scales extends along each side of the tail-base; tympanum exposed (J. Melville, pers. comm., 8 Sep 2021). 
CommentHabitat: forest-ground.

Rankinia diemensis is not closely related to R. adelaidensis which clearly is related to Ctenophorus (Hugall et al. 2008).

Type species: Grammatophora muricata diemensis GRAY 1841is the type species of the genus Rankinia WELLS & WELLINGTON 1984: 82. 
EtymologyThe genus is named after Australian herpetologist Peter Rankin who died in January 1979 while he tried to catch geckos with Ross Sadlier in New Caledonia. 
  • Alam, S. M., Sarre, S. D., Georges, A., & Ezaz, T. 2020. Karyotype Characterisation of Two Australian Dragon Lizards (Squamata: Agamidae: Amphibolurinae) Reveals Subtle Chromosomal Rearrangements Between Related Species with Similar Karyotypes. Cytogenetic and Genome Research, 1-12 - get paper here
  • Barts, M. & Wilms, T. 2003. Die Agamen der Welt. Draco 4 (14): 4-23 - 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
  • 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
  • Cloquet, H. 1816. Dictionnaire des Sciences Naturelle, dans lequel on Traité Méthodiquement des Differens Etres de la Nature. G.L.C.F.D. Cuvier (ed.) Paris, Strasbourg
  • 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.
  • Escoriza Boj, D. 2005. Australia. Reptiles and Amphibians, Part 1: Rainforest. Reptilia (GB) (40): 70-75 - get paper here
  • Gomard, Guillaume 2015. Tigerottern: eine Einladung zum Kennenlernen der Reptilien Tasmaniens. Terraria-Elaphe 2015 (4): 44-51 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Gray, J. E. 1845. Catalogue of the specimens of lizards in the collection of the British Museum. Trustees of die British Museum/Edward Newman, London: xxvii + 289 pp. - get paper here
  • Greer A E 1991. Limb reduction in Squamates: identification of the lineages and discussion of the trends. Journal of Herpetology 25 (2): 166-173 - get paper here
  • Henle, K. & Osborne, W. S. 1986. Herpetologische Spaziergänge im Kosciusko-Nationalpark/Australien. Herpetofauna 8 (40): 28-33 - get paper here
  • HUGALL, ANDREW F.; RALPH FOSTER , MARK HUTCHINSON and MICHAEL S. Y. LEE 2008. Phylogeny of Australasian agamid lizards based on nuclear and mitochondrial genes: implications for morphological evolution and biogeography. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 93 (2): 343 -358 - get paper here
  • Hutchinson, M.N. 1979. The reptiles of Kinglake National Park. Victorian Naturalist 96: 124-134 - get paper here
  • Shea, Glenn M; Sadlier, Ross A 1999. A catalogue of the non-fossil amphibian and reptile type specimens in the collection of the Australian Museum: types currently, previously and purportedly present. TECHNICAL REPORTS OF THE AUSTRALIAN MUSEUM 15, 1999: 1-91 - get paper here
  • Smith, A. 1849. Illustrations of the Zoology of South Africa. 3 (Reptiles). Smith, Elder, and Co., London [facsimile published by Winchester Press, Johannesburg, 1977] - get paper here
  • Swan, G.; Sadlier, R.; Shea, G. 2017. A field guide to reptiles of New South Wales. Reed New Holland, 328 pp.
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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