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Type: Article
Published: 2020-05-20
Page range: 438–450
Abstract views: 257
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A new velvet gecko (Oedura: Diplodactylidae) from Groote Eylandt, Northern Territory

1Environmental Futures Research Institute, Griffith University, 170 Kessels Rd, Brisbane, Queensland 4121, and Biodiversity and Geosciences Program, Queensland Museum, South Brisbane, Queensland, 4101 Australia
School of BioSciences, University of Melbourne, Parkville Vic 3010 Australia Flora and Fauna Division, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Northern Territory Government, Berrimah, NT 0828, Australia
Department of Herpetology, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West, New York, NY 10024 USA
Division of Evolution, Ecology and Genetics, Research School of Biology, and Centre for Biodiversity Analysis, The Australian National University, Building 116, Daley Road, Acton, ACT, 2601, Australia
Flora and Fauna Division, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Northern Territory Government, Berrimah, NT 0828, Australia
Reptilia Oedura nesos sp. nov. Australian Monsoonal Tropics ecological refuge insular endemism hotspots sandstone escarpment Top End


Over the last decade, the combination of biological surveys, genetic diversity assessments and systematic research has revealed a growing number of previously unrecognised vertebrate species endemic to the Australian Monsoonal Tropics. Here we describe a new species of saxicoline velvet gecko in the Oedura marmorata complex from Groote Eylandt, a large island off the eastern edge of the Top End region of the Northern Territory. Oedura nesos sp. nov. differs from all congeners in combination of moderate size, and aspects of tail morphology and colouration. It has not been reported from the nearby mainland regions (eastern Arnhem Land) suggesting it may be an insular endemic, although further survey work is required to confirm this. While Groote Eylandt is recognised as a contemporary ecological refuge for declining mammal species of northern Australia, newly detected endemic species suggest it may also be of significance as an evolutionary refuge for many taxa, especially those associated with sandstone escarpments.



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