Tympanocryptis pinguicolla MITCHELL, 1948
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Tympanocryptis pinguicolla?
|Higher Taxa||Agamidae (Amphibolurinae), Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)|
|Common Names||E: Victorian Grassland Earless Dragon|
|Synonym||Tympanocryptis lineata pinguicolla MITCHELL 1948|
Tympanocryptis lineata pinguicolla — WORRELL 1963: 76
Tympanocryptis pinguicolla — SMITH et al. 1999
Tympanocryptis pinguicolla — STARR & LEUNG 2006
Tympanocryptis pinguicolla — MELVILLE et al. 2019
Type locality: Southern Victoria.
|Types||Holotype: SAMA R2468a, from S Vic.|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis: “A small stout member of the Tympanocryptis lineata complex, most closely allied to Tympanocryptis pinguicolla of southern Victoria and readily identified by consulting the description in Jenkins and Bartell (1980:96-97, Plate on page 97) who regard this species as Tympanocryptis lineata pinguicolla.” [WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985]|
Diagnosis. A species of Tympanocryptis with tapering snout, nasal scale below the canthus rostralis, 5–7 dark dorsal crossbands, lateral skin fold, dorsal tubercles with reduced development of a small vertically oriented terminal spine in only the largest individuals, heterogeneous thigh scalation including scattered enlarged tubercles, smooth gular scales, frequent presences of dark speckling on the ventral surfaces, especially the throat (from Melville et al. 2019: 16).
Comparison to other species. Tympanocryptis pinguicolla, with a distribution restricted to grasslands on the Victorian basalt plains around Melbourne, is geographically isolated and does not occur in close proximity to any other Tympanocryptis species. Tympanocryptis lineata, and T. osbornei sp. nov. are geographically closest (greater than 300 km). Tympanocryptis pinguicolla can be distinguished from all other Tympanocryptis in its almost vertically oriented dorsal tubercles that either lack a terminal spine or have only a small projection. They further differ from the two southern highlands species (T. lineata and T. osbornei) in the presence of enlarged tubercular scales scattered on the thighs, compared to the absence of this scalation, and differ from the currently undescribed populations of Tympanocryptis in northwest Victoria and adjacent South Australia in frequently having six or seven transverse dark dorsal bands (versus never more than five) and in the presence (versus absence) of a lateral skin fold (from Melville et al. 2019: 16).
|Comment||Habitat: Tympanocryptis pinguicolla is a habitat specialist, occurring only in grasslands and using spider burrows as retreat sites (Smith et al. 1999; Scott and Keogh 2000).|
Conservation. The dramatic reduction in native grasslands has meant that suitable habitat for T. pinguicolla has greatly diminished and the species is now formally listed as endangered throughout its range (Robertson and Cooper 2000, Web site below). The species may be extinct now, with the latest photo taken in life being from 1967 (Melville & Wilson 2019).
Distribution: records of this species from New South Wales represent T. osbornei and T. mccartneyi Melville et al. 2019, hence pinguicola is currently restricted to Victoria.