Taxonomic assessment of Diporiphora (Reptilia: Agamidae) dragon lizards from the western arid zone of Australia

Paul Doughty, Luke Kealley, Jane Melville

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Members of the genus Diporiphora are slender perching agamid lizards from Australasia, with a conservative morphology and some outstanding taxonomic issues. Here we assess morphological variation in the morphologically similar D. pin-dan, D. valens, and D. winneckei from the western deserts of Australia. A reassessment of morphological differences that included the presence or absence of a gular fold, revealed D. pindan to be much more widely distributed than previously thought, occurring as far south as the northern Pilbara and east to the Tanami Desert. Examination of D. valens specimens revealed a north-south split within the Pilbara, with specimens conspecific with the types from the Hamersley Range in the southern Pilbara, whereas recently collected specimens from the Chichester and Roebourne regions in the northern Pilbara differ morphologically, and are described as a new species. Examination of the type of D. winneckei and topotypic material indicates that populations referable to this species are confined to the eastern arid zone. The isolated far western population of 'D. winneckei' from the Carnarvon Basin differs in morphology from the eastern arid zone D. winneckei and is described as a new species. The western arid zone 'D. winneckei' is also morphologically distinctive from the eastern arid zone D. winneckei and is described as a new species. We also redescribe D. pindan, D. valens, and D. winneckei, and return Caimanops amphiboluroides to Diporiphora based on the results of previous genetic studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
Issue number3518
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Caimanops amphiboluroides
  • Diporiphora adductus sp. nov.
  • Diporiphora paraconvergens sp. nov.
  • Diporiphora pindan
  • Diporiphora valens
  • Diporiphora vescus sp. nov.
  • Diporiphora winneckei
  • Great Sandy Desert
  • Morphology
  • Pilbara
  • Tanami

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