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Tympanocryptis centralis STERNFELD, 1925

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Higher TaxaAgamidae (Amphibolurinae), Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Central Pebble Dragon, Central Australian Earless Dragon 
SynonymTympanocryptis lineata centralis STERNFELD 1925: 234
Tympanocryptis lineata centralis — LOVERIDGE 1934: 326
Tympanocryptis lineata centralis — STORR 1964: 45
Tympanocryptis lineata centralis — WERMUTH 1967: 99
Tympanocryptis centralis — MELVILLE et al. 2007
Tympanocryptis centralis — MELVILLE et al. 2019: 27
Tympanocryptis centralis — CHAPPLE et al. 2019: 90 
DistributionAustralia (desert regions of E Western Australia, N South Australia, Northern Territory to W Queensland)

Type locality: Misisonsstation Hermannsburg, oberer Finke-Fluss, Nord-Territorium.  
TypesLectotype: SMF 10349, from Hermannsburg Mission, upper Finke River, N. T., designated by MERTENS 1967 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A species of Tympanocryptis with rostral scale separated from the canthus rostralis, nasal scale extending dorsally across the canthus and bordered below by enlarged scales, no lateral neck fold, dorsal head scales keeled, enlarged dorsal spinous scales roughly aligned longitudinally, ventral and throat scales keeled, colour pattern geographically variable, from strongly five-lined and weakly dimorphic in the south to more weakly patterned and with stronger sexual dimorphism in the north, ventral surface white with weak throat speckling [Melville et al. 2019: 27].

Comparison with other species. No other Tympanocryptis species co-occur with T. centralis. Distinguished from its close relative Species E, which occurs further north, by strongly patterned males and usual presence of keels on the throat scales. The species that abuts the range of T. centralis most closely is T. tetraporophora, which can be superficially similar in having well-patterned males and often almost patternless females. Tympanocryptis centralis is distinguished by lacking a pair of femoral pores, by a pale transverse supra- orbital bar (usually discernible) and by the dorsal tubercles tending to be arranged in longitudinal series [Melville et al. 2019: 27]. 
CommentHabitat. Occurs on arid stone deserts, stony slopes skirting rocky hills or loams with scattered stones and spinifex grass (Triodia spp.) associated with desert ranges (Melville et al. 2019: 28).

Distribution: see map in Melville et al. 2019: 6 (Fig. 1). Records from NSW are now considered tetraporophora. 
  • 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
  • Loveridge, A. 1934. Australian reptiles in the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 77: 243-383 - get paper here
  • Melville J, Chaplin K, Hipsley CA, Sarre SD, Sumner J, Hutchinson M. 2019. Integrating phylogeography and high-resolution X-ray CT reveals five new cryptic species and multiple hybrid zones among Australian earless dragons. R. Soc. open sci. 6: 191166 - get paper here
  • Melville, Jane; Stephanie Goebel; Carly Starr; J. Scott Keogh & Jeremy J. Austin 2007. Conservation genetics and species status of an endangered Australian dragon, Tympanocryptis pinguicolla (Reptilia: Agamidae). Conservation Genetics 8:185–195 - get paper here
  • PATANANT, K.C. 2016. DNA sequencing assigns Australian Earless Dragons (Tympanocryptis) in European stock to a different species. Sauria 38 (1): 60 - 62 - get paper here
  • Sternfeld, R. 1925. Beiträge zur Herpetologie Inner-Australiens. Abhandlungen Herausgegeben von der Senckenbergischen Naturforschenden Gesellschaft, 38: 221—251
  • Storr, G. M. 1964. The agamid lizards of the genus Tympanocryptis in Western Australia. J R. Soc. West. Aust. 47: 43-50.
  • Wermuth, Heinz 1967. Liste der rezenten Amphibien und Reptilien. Agamidae. Das Tierreich 86: 1-127
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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