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Strophurus strophurus (DUMÉRIL & BIBRON, 1836)

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Higher TaxaDiplodactylidae, Gekkota, Sauria, Squamata (lizards: geckos)
Common NamesE: Western Spiny-tailed Gecko 
SynonymPhyllodactylus strophurus DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1836: 397
Discodactylus (Strophurus) Dumerilli FITZINGER 1843
Phyllodactylus Dumerilli — DUMÉRIL 1856
Diplodactylus strophurus — BOULENGER 1885: 100
Diplodactylus spinigerus — WERNER 1910
Diplodactylus strophurus strophurus — MITCHELL 1955
Diplodactylus strophurus — WERMUTH 1965: 25
Diplodactylus strophurus — PIANKA 1976
Strophurus strophurus — WELLS & WELLINGTON 1984
Strophurus strophurus — GREER 1989
Strophurus strophurus — KLUGE 1993
Diplodactylus strophurus — COGGER 2000: 228
Strophurus strophurus — RÖSLER 2000: 115
Strophurus strophurus — WILSON & SWAN 2010 
DistributionAustralia (Western Australia)

Type locality: Baie des Chiens-Marins (now: Sharks Bay), Western Australia. Neotype locality: Yalgoo, WA.  
TypesNeotype: WAM R6535 (designated by Kluge 1967); original holotype in MNHN (= MNHP), lost, Shark Bay, WA, collected by Quoy & Gaimard. 
CommentDiplodactylus strophurus group (subgenus Strophurus)

Type species: Phyllodactylus strophurus DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1836: 397 is the type species of the genus Strophurus FITZINGER 1843: 96.

Members of the genus Strophurus (colloquially referred to as striped, jewelled, phasmid and spiny-tailed geckos) are all characterized by the ability to exude a viscous, highly adhesive, slightly malodorous and distasteful substance from paired, mid-dorsal glands running the length of the tail (Greer 1989). These glands largely replace adipose bodies present in the tails of most other (closely related) gecko species and are coupled with reduced frequency of tail autotomy, suggesting functional importance (Rosenberg & Russell 1980). Most Strophurus species forcibly eject exudate towards antagonists and can do so accurately up to 50 cm (Greer 1989). This remarkable morphology and behaviour has evolved twice within Gekkota (occurring also within New Caledonian diplodactylids of the genus Eurydactylodes; Böhme & Sering, 1997), but is otherwise unique within squamates. Some Strophurus are also referred to as ‘phasmid geckos’ owing to their resemblance to stick insects (Phasmatidae) in their elongate and gracile proportions, camouflage and movement. 
  • Böhme, W. & Sering, M. 1997. Tail squirting in Eurydactylodes: independent evolution of caudal defensive glands in a diplo- dactyline gecko (Reptilia, Gekkonidae). Zoologischer Anzeiger 235, 225–229
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Duméril, A.M. C. and G. Bibron. 1836. Erpetologie Générale ou Histoire Naturelle Complete des Reptiles. Vol. 3. Libr. Encyclopédique Roret, Paris, 528 pp. - get paper here
  • Ellis, Ryan J.; Paul Doughty and Aaron M. Bauer 2018. An annotated type catalogue of the geckos and pygopods (Squamata: Gekkota: Carphodactylidae, Diplodactylidae, Gekkonidae, Pygopodidae) in the collection of the Western Australian Museum. Records of the Western Australian Museum 33: 051–094 - get paper here
  • Fitzinger, L. 1843. Systema Reptilium, fasciculus primus, Amblyglossae. Braumüller et Seidel, Wien: 106 pp. - get paper here
  • Glauert, L. 1956. Geckonidae (Part II). Western Australian Naturalist 5 (3): 49-56 - get paper here
  • Greer, A.E. 1989. The biology and evolution of Australian lizards. Surrey Beatty & Sons, Chipping Norton, NSW 264 pp.
  • Kinghorn, J. Roy 1929. Herpetological notes 1. Rec. Austral. Mus. 17 (2): 76-84 - get paper here
  • Laube, A. & Langner, C. 2007. Die Gattung Strophurus. Draco 8 (29): 49-66 - get paper here
  • Maryan, B. 2005. A HERPETOFAUNA HOTSPOT, THE CENTRAL WEST COAST OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA. Western Australian Naturalist 25 (1): 1-24 - get paper here
  • Mitchell, F. J. 1955. Preliminary account of the Reptilia and Amphibia collected by the National Geographic Society - Commonwealth Government - Smithsonian Institution Expedition to Arnhem Land (April to November, 1948). Rec. South Austral. Mus. 11: 373-408 - get paper here
  • Nielsen S.V., Oliver P.M., Laver R., Bauer A.M., Noonan B.P. 2016. Stripes, jewels and spines: further investigations into the evolution of defensive strategies in a chemically defended gecko radiation (Strophurus, Diplodactylidae). Zoologica Scripta, DOI: 10.1111/zsc.12181 - get paper here
  • Pianka, E. R. 1969. Habitat specificity, speciation, and species density in Australian desert lizards. Ecology 50 (3): 498-502 - get paper here
  • Pianka, E. R.; Pianka, H. D. 1976. Comparative ecology of twelve species of nocturnal lizards (Gekkonidae) in the western Australian desert. Copeia 1976 (1): 125-142 - get paper here
  • Rosenberg, H. I.;Russell, A. P. 1980. Structural and functional aspects of tail squirting: A unique defense mechanism of Diplodactylus (Reptilia: Gekkonidae). Canadian Journal of Zoology 58 (5): 865-881 - get paper here
  • Rösler, H. 2000. Kommentierte Liste der rezent, subrezent und fossil bekannten Geckotaxa (Reptilia: Gekkonomorpha). Gekkota 2: 28-153
  • Smith, L.A. 1995. A new Diplodactylus, subgenus Strophurus (Lacertilia: Gekkonidae) from northern Australia. Rec. West. Austr. Mus. 17 (3): 351-353 - 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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