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Saltuarius cornutus (OGILBY, 1892)

IUCN Red List - Saltuarius cornutus - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaCarphodactylidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Northern Leaf-tail Gecko, Leaf-tailed Gecko
G: Blattschwanzgecko 
SynonymGymnodactylus cornutus OGILBY 1892
Phyllurus lichenosus GÜNTHER 1897
Phyllurus cornutus — GÜNTHER 1897
Phyllurus cornutus — GARMAN 1901: 2
Gymnodactylus platurus — LÖNNBERG & ANDERSSON 1915
Phyllurus cornutus — LOVERIDGE 1947: 299
Gymnodactylus spyrurus — BARRETT 1950 (non Gymnodactylus sphyryrus OG.)
Phyllurus cornutus — WERMUTH 1965: 148
Phyllurus cornutum — SWANSON 1976
Phyllurus swaini — WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985
Phyllurus cornutus — KLUGE 1993
Saltuarius cornutus — COUPER, COVACEVICH & MORITZ 1993: 100
Saltuarius cornutus — RÖSLER 1995: 78
Saltuarius cornutus — COGGER 2000: 269
Saltuarius cornutus — WILSON & SWAN 2010
Saltuarius cornutus — LIVIGNI 2013: 264
Saltuarius cornutus — COGGER 2014: 278
Saltuarius cornutus — RÖSLER 2018: 23
Saltuarius cornutus — CHAPPLE et al. 2019: 113 
DistributionAustralia (four disjunct populations in Queensland):
N Cape York Peninsula near Coen, Townsville to Cooktown, Stanthorpe, extreme SE Qeensland.

Type locality: Bellenden-Ker Ranges, NE Queensland.  
TypesLectotype: AMS R749 Cairns district, Qld (Cairns & Grant). Designation by Cogger et al. (1983), as determined by Shea & Sadlier (1999). 
DiagnosisDIAGNOSIS (genus): Nostril in contact with rostral (vs not contacting the rostral in Phyllurus); anterior margin of interclavicle flat, or forward projecting without distinct process, Fig. 2a-d (vs bearing a distinct process); axilla not, or only very rarely and shallowly, invaginated (vs always, sometimes deeply invaginated); epipubic cartilage moderate to large, wedge-shaped, Fig. la-d (vs small -moderate, wedge-shaped); male preanal pores present, Fig. 5a-c; save for one species (from COUPER et al. 1993).

Original description : “Head large, the snout depressed, the occiput raised above the level of the eye and forming with the snout a moderately convex surface the apical point of which is on a line with the posterior margin of the orbit; the length of the snout is one and three-fourths of the diameter of the eye; the distance between the eye and the nostril is greater than that between the eye and the ear-opening. Forehead and loreal region slightly concave ; supraciliary region so much enlarged and elevated as to leave only a deep narrow fossa between the orbits. Ear-opening elongatepyriform, vertical, five-eighths of the diameter of the eye. Body moderately elongate and attenuated, more than three and a half times the length of the head. Limbs long; digits strong, sub-cylindrical at the base, the distal portion strongly compressed and elevated; claws very strong. Head covered with small granules intermixed with conical or rounded tubercles; granules of the upper eyelid rather larger than those of the head, the tubercles numerous and rounded a strong spinate knob, surmounted by a conical tubercle behind the eye; ear-opening protected in front and above by a tuberculated ridge; rostral subquadrangular, three times as broad as high, almost completely divided by a shallow median groove; nostril directed posteriorly, in contact with the rostral and first labial; labials small, fifteen upper and thirteen lower; mental trapezoidal, bordered posteriorly by five enlarged granules. An arcuate row of six strong conical tubercles, each of which is encircled by smaller tubercles, on the nuchal region body and limbs above covered with small granules, intermixed with rounded, conical, and spinose tubercles; below with flat granules; the two separated by a very distinct flap, the outer margin of which is ornamented with a series of triangular dermal appendages, each of which is provided with a similar smaller appendage in front and behind. Tail of moderate length, depressed, broad, leaf-like, strongly contracted at the base, and attenuated at the tip, covered above by minute granular scales, intermixed, except on a vertebral patch of the leaf-like expansion, with soft triangular appendages.” (Ogibly 1892)

Colors. “Chestnutor blackish-brown above, with five large angular whitish spots, undulated or marbled with brown, the first and smallest on the nuchal region, the fifth between the hind limbs ; a whitish band from behind the eye to the ear-opening, and another along the side of the neck immediately in front of the fore limb; labials white, marbled with dark brown limbs above with indications of lighter cross-bars; tail with three broad whitish transverse bands above; below white, uniform or minutely spotted with brown.” (Ogibly 1892) 
CommentPhyllurus cornutus seems to be a composite species.

Type Species: Gymnodactylus cornutus OGILBY 1892 is the type species of the genus Saltuarius COUPER, COVACEVICH & MORITZ 1993.

Distribution: not in NSW; these populations are variously assigned to S. swaini, S. moritzi, S. kateae and S. wyberba now. 
EtymologyThe genus name is from the Latin-'keeper of the forest'. 
  • Barrett, Charles 1950. Reptiles of Australia. Cassell & Co., London, 168 pp.
  • Bustard, H.R. 1965. Observations on Australian geckos Herpetologica 21 (4): 294-302. - 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
  • 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.
  • Couper, P.J.; Covacevich, J.A. & Mortiz, C. 1993. A review of the leaf-tailed geckos endemic to eastern Australia: a new genus, four new species, and other new data. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 34 (1): 95-124
  • Garman, S. 1901. Some reptiles and batrachians from Australasia. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 39: 1-14 - get paper here
  • Günther, A. 1897. Descriptions of new species of lizards and of a tree—frog from north-eastern Queensland. Novitates Zoologicae (Tring) 4: 403-406 - get paper here
  • Hoskin C.J.; Couper P.J. 2013. A spectacular new leaf-tailed gecko (Carphodactylidae: Saltuarius) from the Melville Range, north-east Australia. Zootaxa 3717 (4): 543–558 - get paper here
  • Hoskin, C.J.; P. J. Couper & C. J. Schneider 2003. A New Species of Phyllurus (Lacertailia: Gekkonidae) and a Revised Phylogeny and Key for the Australian Leaf-tailed Geckos. Australian Journal of Zoology 51 (2): 153-164 - get paper here
  • Laube, A. & Langner, C. 2007. Die australischen Riesenblattschwanzgeckos der Gattung Saltuarius. Draco 8 (29): 67-77 - get paper here
  • LiVigni, F. (ed.) 2013. A Life for Reptiles and Amphibians, Volume 1. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 495 pp. - get paper here
  • Love, B. 2012. Auf Reptiliensuche in Australien. Reptilia (Münster) 17 (95): 18-19 - get paper here
  • Loveridge, A. 1947. Revision of the African lizards of the family Gekkondiae. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 98: 1-469 - get paper here
  • Ogilby, J. D. 1892. Descriptions of three new Australian lizards. Rec. Austral. Mus. 2: 6—11 - get paper here
  • Riedel, J., Nordberg, E. and Schwarzkopf, L. 2020. Ecological niche and microhabitat use of Australian geckos. Israel J Ecol Evol 66 (3-4): 209-222 - get paper here
  • Rösler, H. 1985. Zum Vorhandensein von Präanalporen bei Phyllurus cornutus (OGILBY, 1892). Sauria 7 (4): 29-30 - get paper here
  • Rösler, H. 2018. Haftbar -- Die einzigartige Welt der Geckos. Begleitheft zur Ausstellung im Naturkundemuseum Erfurt Mai-Aug 2018, 96 pp.
  • Rösler, Herbert 1995. Geckos der Welt - Alle Gattungen. Urania, Leipzig, 256 pp.
  • 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
  • Swanson, S. 1976. Lizards of Australia. Angus & Robertson, Sydney 80 pp.
  • Wells, R. W. and Wellington, C. R. 1985. A classification of the Amphibia and Reptilia of Australia. Australian Journal of Herpetology, Supplementary Series (1): 1-61 [sometimes cited as 1983] - get paper here
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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