Tuesday, 11 November 2014

A new species of Velvet Gecko from the southern Kimberley of Western Australia.

Velvet Geckos of the genus Oedura are medium to large Geckos found across much of northern and eastern Australia, with isolated populations in the arid interior of the continent. The group is known to contain many highly endemic species (i.e. species with very limited distributions).

In a paper published in the journal Zootaxa on 14 October 2014, PaulOliver, Rebecca Laver and Jane Melville of the Department of Zoology at the University of Melbourne and Museum Victoria and Paul Doughty of the Departmentof Terrestrial Zoology at the Western Australian Museum describe a new species of Velvet Gecko from the Oscar Range on the southern edge of the Kimberley Craton in northern Western Australia.

The new species is named Oedura murrumanu, which means Gecko in the Bunuba language, spoken in the area where it was found. Oedura murrumanuis a large Gecko reaching about 170 mm in length, a dark purplish brown in colour with lighter transverse bands (bands running across the body).

Oedura murrumanu in life. Paul Horner in Oliver et al. (2014).

The species was found living on rock platforms near deep horizontal crevices, and also seen on limestone pillars in the Oscar Range. The Geckos were observed drinking from pools on the rocks at the beginning of the wet season, and also pursuing smaller Geckos, apparently with the intention of predation. A single gravid female was collected, suggesting that eggs are laid during the wet season.

Deeply dissected limestone formations at the locality where Oedura murrumanuwas discovered in the Oscar Range. Paul Oliver in Oliver et al. (2014).

See also…

Phasmid Geckos are small climbing Geckos of the genus Strophurus found across much of northern Australia, where they inhabit stands of...

The application of genetic studies to populations of widespread animals and plants in recent years has revealed that many widespread ‘species’ are in fact made up of several different cryptic species, which...

As with many other groups, studies of Australian Geckos have, in recent years, revealed the presence of many cryptic species; populations which resemble other species yet are genetically distinct and incapable of breeding with them. In 2013 Mark Sistrom of the...

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