The Einasleigh Uplands bioregion of central north Queensland, Australia, harbours a unique suite of reptiles that have begun to receive significant attention in the last 20 years. This has resulted in a number of new reptile species being described, and recognition that others await description. We describe a new species of Lucasium Wermuth, 1965 from the western Einasleigh Uplands. Lucasium iris sp. nov. is genetically distinct and morphologically diagnosable from all congeners by its large size, long and narrow tail, nares in contact with rostral scale, homogeneous body scales, distinct vertebral stripe, and paired, enlarged, apical subdigital lamellae. It is known from low rocky hills in a localised area of the Gregory Range, has the most restricted known distribution of any Lucasium, and is the only Lucasium endemic to Queensland. The new species appears most closely related to L. steindachneri (Boulenger, 1885), based on mitochondrial DNA sequences, but has a colour-pattern more similar to L. immaculatum Storr, 1988. All three of these species occur in the Einasleigh Uplands, but only L. steindachneri is known to occur in sympatry with L. iris sp. nov. In addition to the description of the new species, we present records of Lucasium immaculatum from the Einasleigh Uplands, which represent a significant known range extension.
Accad, A., Neldner, V.J., Wilson, B.A. & Niehus, R.E. (2008) Remnant Vegetation in Queensland. Analysis of remnant vegetation 1997-1999-2000-2001-2003-2005, including regional ecosystem information. Queensland Herbarium, Environmental Protection Agency, Brisbane, 65 pp.
ALA. (2020) Atlas of Living Australia: https://bie.ala.org.au/ (accessed 20 January 2020)
Amey, A.P., Couper, P.J. & Worthington Wilmer, J. (2019) A new species of Lerista Bell, 1833 (Reptilia: Scincidae) from Cape York Peninsula, Queensland, belonging to the Lerista allanae clade but strongly disjunct from other members of the clade. Zootaxa, 4613 (1), 161–171.
Beggs, K., Armstrong, M., Woinarski, J. & Ward, S. (2012) Threatened Species of the Northern Territory, Yellow-snouted Gecko, Lucasium occultum, 3 pp. Available from: https://nt.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/206458/yellow-snouted-gecko.pdf (accessed 21 October 2020)
Boulenger, G.A. (1885) Catalogue of the Lizards in the British Museum (Natural History). Volume 1. Geckonidae, Eublepharidae, Uroplatidae, Pygopodidae, Agamidae. 2nd Edition. British Museum, London, xii + 436 pp.
Bourke, G., Pratt, R.C., Vanderduys, E. & Moritz, C. (2017) Systematics of a small Gehyra (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from the Einasleigh Uplands, Queensland: description of a new range restricted species. Zootaxa, 4231 (1), 85–99.
Cogger, H.G. (2014) Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia. 7th Edition. Reed Reed New Holland, Sydney, xxx + 1033 pp.
Couper, P.J., Amey, A.P. & Worthington Wilmer, J. (2016) Cryptic diversity within the narrowly endemic Lerista wilkinsi group of north Queensland—two new species (Reptilia: Scincidae). Zootaxa, 4162 (1), 61–91.
de Queiroz, K. (2007) Species concepts and species delimitation. Systematic Biology, 56, 879–886.
DERM. (2009) Biodiversity Planning Assessment, Einasleigh Uplands Bioregion Landscape Expert Panel Report. Version 1.1. Environmental Planning, Department of Environment and Resource Management, Queensland Government, Townsville, 31 pp.
Doughty, P. (2015) Book Review: Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia. Seventh Edition. Harold G. Cogger. 2014. Copeia, 103 (4), 1102–1116.
Doughty, P., Bauer, A.M., Pepper, M. & Keogh, J.S. (2018) Spots before the eyes: revision of the saxicoline geckos of the Gehyra punctata (Squamata: Gekkonidae) species complex in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, 33, 1–50.
Doughty, P., Ellis, R. & Oliver, P.M. (2016) Many things come in small packages: revision of the clawless geckos (Crenadactylus: Diplodactylidae) of Australia. Zootaxa, 4168 (2), 239–278.
Doughty, P. & Hutchinson, M. (2008) A new species of Lucasium (Squamata: Diplodactylidae) from the southern deserts of Western Australia and South Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, 25, 95–106.
Doughty, P., Palmer, R., Sistrom, M.J., Bauer, A.M. & Donnellan, S. (2012) Two new species of Gehyra (Squamata: Gekkonidae) geckos from the north-west Kimberley region of Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, 27, 117–134.
Driscoll, D.A. & Henderson, M.K. (2008) How many common reptile species are fire specialists? A replicated natural experiment highlights the predictive weakness of a fire succession model. Biological Conservation, 141, 460–471.
Driscoll, D.A., Smith, A.L., Blight, S. & Maindonald, J. (2012) Reptile responses to fire and the risk of post-disturbance sampling bias. Biodiversity and Conservation, 21, 1607–1625.
Gardner, D.E. (1957) Laterite in Australia. Bureau of Mineral Resources, Australia, Record 1957/67, 1–16.
Hoskin, C.J. (2019) Description of three new velvet geckos (Diplodactylidae: Oedura) from inland eastern Australia, and redescription of Oedura monilis De Vis. Zootaxa, 4683 (2), 242–270.
Hoskin, C.J. & Couper, P.J. (2015) A new skink (Scincidae: Liburnascincus) from rocky habitat on Cape York, north-east Australia. Zootaxa, 3994 (2), 222–234.
Hoskin, C.J., Zozaya, S.M. & Vanderduys, E. (2018) A new species of velvet gecko (Diplodactylidae: Oedura) from sandstone habitats of inland north Queensland, Australia. Zootaxa, 4486 (2), 101–114.
IUCN. (2001) IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria: Version 3.1. IUCN Species Survival Commission. IUCN, Gland and Cambridge, ii + 30 pp.
IUCN. (2019) Guidelines for Using the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. Version 14. Prepared by the Standards and Petitions Committee. Available from: http://www.iucnredlist.org/documents/RedListGuidelines.pdf (accessed 21 October 2020)
Kearse, M., Moir, R., Wilson, A., Stones-Havas, S., Cheung, M., Sturrock, S., Buxton, S., Cooper, A., Markowitz, S. & Duran, C. (2012) Geneious Basic: an integrated and extendable desktop software platform for the organization and analysis of sequence data. Bioinformatics, 28, 1647–1649.
King, M., Braithwaite, R.W. & Wombey, J.C. (1982) A new species of Diplodactylus (Reptilia: Gekkonidae) from the Alligator Rivers Region, Northern Territory. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia, 106, 15–18.
King, M. & Horner, P. (1993) Family Gekkonidae. In: Glasby, C.G., Ross, G.J.B. & Beesley, P.L. (Eds.), Fauna of Australia. Vol. 2A Amphibia and Reptilia. AGPS, Canberra, pp. i–viii + 1–439.
Kluge, A.G. (1962) A new species of gekkonid lizard, genus Diplodactylus Gray from the southern interior of Western Australia. Western Australian Naturalist, 8, 97–101.
Kluge, A.G. (1967) Systematics, phylogeny and zoogeography of the lizard genus Diplodactylus Gray (Gekkonidae). Australian Journal of Zoology, 15, 1007–1108.
Lucas, A.H.S. & Frost, C.F. (1896) Further preliminary notice of certain new species of lizards from Central Australia. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria, 1896, 1–4.
Melville, J., Date, K.S., Horner, P. & Doughty, P. (2019) Taxonomic revision of dragon lizards in the genus Diporiphora (Reptilia: Agamidae) from the Australian monsoonal tropics. Memoirs of Museum Victoria, 78, 23–55.
NAFI (2020) Northern Australian Fire Information. Vol. 2020. Australian Government. Available from: https://firenorth.org.au/nafi3/ (accessed 21 October 2020)
Nicholas, M.M., Franklin, D.C. & Bowman, D.M.J.S. (2014) Coexistence of shrubs and grass in a semi-arid landscape: a case study of mulga (Acacia aneura, Mimosaceae) shrublands embedded in fire-prone spinifex (Triodia pungens, Poaceae) hummock grasslands. Australian Journal of Botany, 57, 396–405.
Nimmo, D.G., Kelly, L.T., Spence-Bailey, L.M., Watson, S.J., Haslem, A., White, J.G., Clarke, M.F. & Bennett, A.F. (2012) Predicting the century-long post-fire responses of reptiles. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 21, 1062–1073.
Oliver, P.M., Ashman, L.G., Bank, S., Laver, R.J., Pratt, R.C., Tedeschi, L.G. & Moritz, C. (2019) On and off the rocks: persistence and ecological diversification in a tropical Australian lizard radiation. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 19, 1–15.
Oliver, P.M., Couper, P.J. & Pepper, M. (2014a) Independent transitions between monsoonal and arid biomes revealed by systematic revison of a complex of Australian geckos (Diplodactylus; Diplodactylidae). PLoS One, 9, e111895.
Oliver, P.M., Hugall, A., Adams, M., Cooper, S.J.B. & Hutchinson, M. (2007a) Genetic elucidation of ancient and cryptic diversity in a group of Australian geckos: the Diplodactylus vittatus complex. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 44, 77–88.
Oliver, P.M., Hutchinson, M.N. & Cooper, S.J.B. (2007b) Phylogenetic relationships in the lizard genus Diplodactylus Gray and resurrection of Lucasium Wermuth (Gekkota, Diplodactylidae). Australian Journal of Zoology, 55, 197–210.
Oliver, P.M., Laver, R.J., Melville, J. & Doughty, P. (2014b) A new species of velvet gecko (Oedura: Diplodactylidae) from the limestone ranges of the southern Kimberley, Western Australia. Zootaxa, 3873 (1), 49–61.
Oliver, P.M. & Parkin, T. (2014) A new phasmid gecko (Squamata: Diplodactylidae: Strophurus) from the Arnhem Plateau: more new diversity in rare vertebrates from northern Australia. Zootaxa, 3878 (1), 37–48.
Oliver, P.M., Prasetya, A.M., Tedeschi, L.G., Fenker, J., Ellis, R.J., Doughty, P. & Moritz, C. (2020) Crypsis and convergence: integrative taxonomic revision of the Gehyra australis group (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from northern Australia. PeerJ, 8, e7971.
Parsons, S.A., Kutt, A., Vanderduys, E.P., Perry, J.J. & Schwarzkopf, L. (2017) Exploring relationships between native vertebrate biodiversity and grazing land condition. The Rangeland Journal, 39, 25–37.
Pepper, M., Doughty, P. & Keogh, J.S. (2006) Molecular phylogeny and phylogeography of the Australian Diplodactylus stenodactylus (Gekkota; Reptilia) species-group based on mitochondrial and nuclear genes reveals an ancient split between Pilbara and non-Pilbara D. stenodactylus. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 41, 539–555.
Potter, S., Afonso Silva, A.A., Bragg, J.G., Catalano, S.R., Donnellan, S., Doughty, P., Scott, M.L. & Moritz, C. (2019) Contrasting scales of local persistence between monsoonal and arid biomes in closely related, low-dispersal vertebrates. Journal of Biogeography, 46, 2506–2519.
Reside, A.E., Briscoe, N.J., Dickman, C.R., Greenville, A.C., Hradsky, B.A., Kark, S., Kearney, M.R., Kutt, A.S., Nimmo, D.S., Pavey, C.R., Read, J.L., Ritchie, E.G., Roshier, D., Skroblin, A., Stone, Z., West, M. & Fisher, D.O. (2019) Persistence through tough times: fixed and shifting refuges in threatened species conservation. Biodiversity and Conservation, 28, 1303–1330.
Reside, A.E., Welbergen, J.A., Phillips, B.L., Wardell-Johnson, G.W., Keppel, G., Ferrier, S., Williams, S.E. & Vanderwal, J. (2014) Characteristics of climate change refugia for Australian biodiversity. Austral Ecology, 39, 887–897.
Rossiter-Rachor, N.A., Setterfield, S.A., Douglas, M.M., Hutley, L.B., Cook, G.D. & Schmidt, S. (2009) Invasive Andropogon gayanus (gamba grass) is an ecosystem transformer of nitrogen relations in Australian savanna. Ecological Applications, 19, 1546–1560.
Sattler, P. & Williams, R. (1999) The Conservation Status of Queensland’s Bioregional Ecosystems. Environmental Protection Agency, Brisbane, viii + 614 pp.
Setterfield, S.A., Rossiter-Rachor, N.A., Hutley, L.B., Douglas, M.M. & Williams, R.J. (2010) Turning up the heat: the impacts of Andropogon gayanus (gamba grass) invasion on fire behaviour in northern Australian savannas. Diversity and Distributions, 16, 854–861.
Skipwith, P.L., Bi, K. & Oliver, P.M. (2019) Relicts and radiations: phylogenomics of an Australasian lizard clade with east Gondwanan origins (Gekkota: Diplodactyloidea). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 140, 1–14.
Smith, A.L., Bull, C.M. & Driscoll, D.A. (2013) Successional specialization in a reptile community cautions against widespread planned burning and complete fire suppression. Journal of Applied Ecology, 50, 1178–1186.
Stamatakis, A. (2014) RAxML version 8: a tool for phylogenetic analysis and post-analysis of large phylogenies. Bioinformatics, 9, 1312–1313.
Storr, G.M., Smith, L.A. & Johnstone, R.E. (1990) Lizards of Western Australia III. Geckos and Pygopods. Western Australian Museum, Perth, x + 141 pp.
Sunnucks, P. & Hales, D.F. (1996) Numerous transposed sequences of mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I-II in aphids of the genus Sitobion (Hemiptera: Aphididae). Molecular Biology and Evolution, 13, 510–524.
Vanderduys, E. (2017) A new species of gecko (Squamata: Diplodactylidae: Strophurus) from central Queensland, Australia. Zootaxa, 4347 (2), 316–330.
Vanderduys, E.P. (2016) A new species of gecko (Squamata: Diplodactylidae: Strophurus) from north Queensland, Australia. Zootaxa, 4117 (3), 341–358.
Vanderduys, E.P., Kutt, A.S. & Kemp, J.E. (2012a) Upland savannas: the vertebrate fauna of largely unknown but significant habitat in north-eastern Queensland. Australian Zoologist, 36, 59–74.
Vanderduys, E.P., Kutt, A.S. & Perkins, G.C. (2012b) A significant range extension for the northern Australian gecko Strophurus taeniatus. Australian Zoologist, 36, 20–21.
Wilson, S. & Swan, G. (2017) A Complete Guide to Reptiles of Australia. 5th Edition. Reed New Holland Publishers, Sydney, 647 pp.
Wright, B.R., Zuur, A.F. & Chan, G.C.K. (2014) Proximate causes and possible adaptive functions of mast seeding and barren flower shows in spinifex grasses (Triodia spp.) in arid regions of Australia. The Rangeland Journal, 36, 297–308.
Zozaya, S.M., Fenker, J. & Macdonald, S.L. (2019) A new species of rock-dwelling gecko (Gekkonidae: Gehyra) from the Mt Surprise region of northern Queensland, Australia. Zootaxa, 4688 (4), 503–518.