New gecko species discovered

By AG Staff Writer 6 April 2016
Reading Time: < 1 Print this page
Queensland scientists have described a new gecko species.

SCIENTISTS IN OUTBACK Queensland have discovered a new species of fat-tailed gecko.

The new gecko species, Diplodactylus ameyi, is found in outback Queensland and northern New South Wales. It is tan to medium-dark brown with pale spots; well comouflaged for the arid environments it inhabits. A specialised termite predator, it is up to 85mm in length and has a distinctive, broadly rounded snout and shelters during the day in disused spider burrows.

New gecko species Diplodactylus ameyi

Image: Steve Wilson

The species was described in the journal Zootaxa on 25 March by Queensland Museum herpetologist Patrick Couper and his colleague Paul Oliver from the Australian National University.

Patrick has described over 50 reptile species, including 24 geckos. “We have been working, on and off, on this particular species-group for the last five years,” Patrick said. “We recognised seven species of fat-tailed geckos back in 2014 but, at the time, knew there was further work to do.”

The gecko was named in honour of Dr Andrew Amey, who manages the Queensland Museum’s reptile and amphibian collections, in recognition of his contributions to Australian herpetology.