Diversity in Australia’s tropical savannas: An integrative taxonomic revision of agamid lizards from the genera Amphibolurus and Lophognathus (Lacertilia: Agamidae)

Jane Melville, Euan G. Ritchie, Stephanie N.J. Chapple, Richard E. Glor, James A. Schulte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The taxonomy of many of Australia’s agamid lizard genera remains unresolved because morphological characters have proved to be unreliable across numerous lineages. We undertook a morphological study and integrated this with a recent genetic study to resolve long-standing taxonomic problems in three genera of large-bodied Australian agamid lizards: Amphibolurus, Gowidon and Lophognathus. We had broad geographic sampling across genera, including all currently recognised species and subspecies. Using an integrative taxonomic approach, incorporating mitochondrial (ND2) and nuclear (RAG1) genetic data, and our morphological review, we found that both generic and species-level taxonomic revisions were required. We revise generic designations, creating one new genus (Tropicagama gen. nov.) and confirming the validity of Gowidon, giving a total of four genera. In addition, we describe a new species (Lophognathus horneri sp. nov.) and reclassify two other species. Our results provide a significant step forward in the taxonomy of some of Australia’s most iconic and well-known lizards and provide a clearer understanding of biogeographic patterns across Australia’s monsoonal and arid landscapes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-61
Number of pages21
JournalMemoirs of Museum Victoria
Volume77
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Agamid lizards
  • Amphibolurus horneri sp.nov
  • Australia
  • Gowidon
  • Integrative taxonomy
  • Lophognathus
  • Monsoon tropics
  • Tropicagama gen.nov

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