Oedura monilis De Vis, 1888

Hoskin, Conrad J., 2019, Description of three new velvet geckos (Diplodactylidae: Oedura) from inland eastern Australia, and redescription of Oedura monilis De Vis, Zootaxa 4683 (3), pp. 242-270 : 252-256

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Oedura monilis De Vis, 1888


Oedura monilis De Vis, 1888

Ocellated velvet gecko

( Figs. 5A View FIGURE 5 , 6 View FIGURE 6 , 7 View FIGURE 7 , 8 View FIGURE 8 )

Holotype. QM J228 , Queensland, Australia. No other collection details recorded.

Other types. None.

Synonyms. Oedura attenboroughi Wells & Wellington, 1985 ; holotype AM R 65941 View Materials ; Fork Lagoon Road turnoff on the Capricorn Highway, 19 km west of Emerald, Queensland.

Material examined. QM J228 , Queensland ; QM J44297 View Materials , Warang Stn, White Mts (- 20.383° S, 144.800° E) GoogleMaps ; QM J48377 View Materials , Kirrama Forest Stn (- 18.198° S, 145.737° E) GoogleMaps ; QM J59781 View Materials , Collinsville SF (- 20.485° S, 147.896° E) GoogleMaps ; QM J59783 View Materials , Grahams Lagoon, Dipperu NP (- 21.963° S, 148.710° E) GoogleMaps ; QM J65147 View Materials , top of Cape Upstart (- 19.733° S, 147.816° E) GoogleMaps ; QM J80665 View Materials , Blackbraes NP, Gorge Creek Rd (- 19.576° S, 144.077° E) GoogleMaps ; QM J82981 View Materials , Lowestoff Rd, Clermont (- 22.925° S, 148.1480° E) GoogleMaps ; QM J83012 View Materials , Mt Pollux , Many Peaks Range NP (- 22.477° S, 147.872° E) GoogleMaps ; QM J83045 View Materials , Blair Athol–Charters Rd (- 22.768° S, 147.627° E) GoogleMaps ; QM J83273 View Materials , QM J83274 View Materials , Scotts Peak, Feez Creek Stn (- 22.862° S, 148.225° E) GoogleMaps ; QM J86482 View Materials , QM J86483 View Materials , Lethebrook, N of Proserpine (- 20.554° S, 148.664° E) GoogleMaps ; QM J86504 View Materials , QM J86505 View Materials , Proserpine Airport Rd (- 20.487° S, 148.562° E) GoogleMaps ; QM J90599 View Materials , QM J90605 View Materials , Mount Abbott (- 20.103° S, 147.756° E) GoogleMaps ; QM J91168 View Materials , QM J91169 View Materials , Magnetic Island , near The Forts (- 19.128° S, 146.867° E) GoogleMaps ; QM J91332 View Materials , Forty Mile Scrub (- 18.129° S, 144.813° E) GoogleMaps ; QM J91333 View Materials , White Mountains NP (- 20.686° S, 145.171° E) GoogleMaps ; QM J91352 View Materials , Hidden Valley , W of Paluma (- 19.004° S, 146.075° E) GoogleMaps ; QM J91353 View Materials , QM J91359 View Materials , Cape Cleveland (- 19.291° S, 147.022° E) GoogleMaps ; QM J91361 View Materials , Hidden Valley , W of Paluma (- 18.989° S, 145.994° E) GoogleMaps ; QM J91362 View Materials , Mt Zero / Taravale (- 19.018° S, 146.109° E) GoogleMaps ; QM J91373 View Materials , Blackbraes NP (- 19.577° S, 144.083° E) GoogleMaps ; QM J91381 View Materials , Emerald (- 23.563° S, 148.163° E) GoogleMaps ; QM J92080 View Materials , QM J92084 View Materials , Magnetic Island (- 19.127° S, 146.868° E) GoogleMaps ; QM J92224 View Materials , Mt Aberdeen (- 20.207° S, 147.907° E) GoogleMaps ; QM J92269 View Materials , QM J92270 View Materials , JCU field station, Kirrama Ra. (- 18.182° S, 145.740° E) GoogleMaps ; QM J92778 View Materials , Redcliffe Vale homestead, Redcliffe Tableland, N of Nebo (- 21.113° S, 148.116° E) GoogleMaps ; QM J92817 View Materials , South Rd , Redcliffe Tableland, N of Nebo (- 21.157° S, 148.093° E) GoogleMaps ; QM J92835 View Materials , Sandy Creek , Redcliffe Tableland, N of Nebo (- 21.046° S, 148.072° E) GoogleMaps ; QM J94662 View Materials , Mt Rooper , via Airlie Beach (- 20.285° S, 148.771° E) GoogleMaps ; QM J96295 View Materials , Magnetic Island (- 19.162° S, 146.842° E) GoogleMaps .

Diagnosis. Oedura monilis can be distinguished from all congeners by the following combination of traits: relatively large adult size (SVL mean 81.4, max 96.6 mm); original tail moderate in length (TL/SVL = 0.55–0.83) and roughly circular in cross section (TW/TL = 0.15–0.21; TD/TW = 0.67–0.90); rostral scale only partially divided by medial groove; single cloacal spur on each side; moderate number of interorbital scales (16–20); typically <18 pre-cloacal pores in males (mean 14, range 8–19), split medially by 0–3 scales without pores; iris dark; typically, unbroken pale bar on the nape; dorsal colouration consisting of a vertebral series of white bars or paired blotches, heavily interconnected (at least anteriorly) by dark markings; dark band extending from the back of the eye to the nape band and usually beyond; lateral markings including obscure white spot/s; no spots on limbs; original tail ringed with irregular white bands.

Particulars of the holotype ( Fig. 6 View FIGURE 6 ). QM J228, female, SVL = 77.6 mm; no tail; AG = 34.0 mm; FL = 8.3 mm; HLL = 9.8 mm; NL = 18.3 mm; HL = 17.3 mm; HW = 13.8 mm; HD = 8.5 mm; S = 7.8 mm; Eye = 3.5 mm; 18 interorbital scales; 10 supralabials; 9 infralabials; 2 scales contacting dorsal edge of rostral; rostral crease 50% of rostral depth; 6 scales bordering nostril; cloacal spurs 1/1; toe subdigital lamellae counts: I 5, II 6, III 8, IV 9, V 7; finger subdigital lamellae counts: I 6, II 6, III 7, IV 7, V 6.

Description of material examined. Data for size, shape and scalation is presented in Table 1. A large (SVL 66.8–96.6 mm, mean 81.4 mm) and moderately robust (AG/SVL 0.37–0.48) Oedura . Body slightly depressed, covered in small granular scales; scales on ventral surface about the same size as those on dorsum; 1 spur positioned laterally on either side of the cloaca in both sexes, typically more well-defined in males; row of 8–19 (mean 14.2) pre-cloacal pores in mature males, divided medially by 0–3 granular scales without pores, line of pores extending to underside of each thigh; pre-cloacal pores not evident in females; neck broad and moderately long (NL/SVL = 0.18–0.27). Head distinct from neck; moderately long (HL/SVL = 0.21–0.26; S/HL = 0.44–0.48), wide (HW/SVL = 0.17–0.22) and depressed (HD/SVL = 0.09–0.11); covered in small granular scales that are generally largest on the dorsal and lateral surfaces of the snout; scales rounded to hexagonal; interorbital counts 16–20 (mean 18.4); rostral scale approximately twice as wide as deep, divided 20–70% (mean 40%) vertically by a medial groove; rostral contacting nostril, bordered by 2 scales along its dorsal edge, and bordered laterally on each side by the first supralabial scales; typically, 6 scales contacting nostril (rarely, 5); supralabials 9–12 (mean 10.6); first supralabial narrower than second supralabial; infralabials 8–11 (mean 10.1); enlarged scales extending back from mental scale, starting as relatively large and hexagonally-shaped and decreasing in size and becoming rounded on throat; ear opening small and diagonally or horizontally elongate, or occasionally rounded; eye relatively large (Eye/SVL = 0.040 –0.053). Limbs moderately long (FL/SVL = 0.11–0.13; HLL/SVL = 0.13–0.15); digits dorsoventrally compressed, with enlarged subdigital lamellae in a series that starts with relatively small and undivided scales and increases in size and width to become paired, obviously expanded scales; the penultimate pair is slightly narrower; the apical pair is obviously enlarged and separated from the series; 3 rd toe subdigital lamellae counts 7–9 (mean 8.0) (including apical pair); 3 rd finger subdigital lamellae counts 6–8 (mean 6.9) (including apical pair). Original tail moderately long (TL/ SVL = 0.55–0.83) and narrow (TW/TL = 0.15–0.21); tapered; only slightly depressed (TD/TW = 0.67–0.90); scales arranged in concentric rings, about the same size on the dorsal and on ventral surfaces. Regrown tail moderately short (TL/SVL = 0.44–0.68) and bulbous (original TW/TL = 0.18–0.33); slightly depressed (TD/TW = 0.55–0.83); scales arranged in concentric rings, about the same size on the dorsal and ventral surfaces. Colouration in spirit. Dorsal pattern consists of prominent series of 5–8 (typically 6 or 7) transverse pale cream bars or paired blotches centred on the midline. The white blotches can be connected as dumbbells, paired side-by-side, or off-set and only approximately paired. A nape bar is the first in the prominent series of dorsal markings and is typically unbroken (but occasionally broken in the centre) and shaped as an arc (but sometimes straight) that extends forward towards the temporal region, often with a white spot immediately anterior on the posterior temporal region. The pale dorsal bars and blotches are surrounded by thick, dark (brown) edging that is either discrete for that bar or pair of blotches or extends to the next bar/pair. The nape bar and anterior dorsal markings are typically heavily connected by dark markings. In many individuals, the dorsal dark markings are more extensive, running the full length of the back and connecting most of the pale dorsal markings. The upper lateral surfaces tend to be paler and be less heavily mottled with dark markings, and the mid-lateral surfaces tend to be more heavily mottled. There is almost always an obscure series of pale spots (1–5) along the mid-lateral or dorsolateral line. A dark band extends from the naris to the eye, and then extends as the same thickness from the back of the eye to join the dark markings around the nape band and along the dorsolateral surface. This dark band is bordered below by a thin white line along the labial scales that continues through the ear opening and along the neck to the insertion of the forelimb. The top of the head is heavily mottled with variable dark markings but tends to be pale in the upper temporal regions posterior to the eye. A clearly defined or obscure pale band extends along each canthus rostralis to top of the eyes, and a dark band extends from the rostrum along the centre of the snout. Iris dark with a milky, opaque surface. The original tail is starkly marked with irregular pale, circular bands, each with dark edging approximately half the width of the band and separated by dark and light brown mottling. The regrown tail is either heavily and evenly mottled with dark and light markings or is dark with even, white flecking. The limbs are evenly mottled with dark markings. The background colour on all dorsal surfaces is pale yellowish cream or light brown. All ventral surfaces are even, yellowish cream, except the underside of the tail which is either yellowish cream or marked with a diffuse version of the dorsal and lateral tail pattern (particularly for regrown tails). Cloacal spur white.

Colouration in life ( Figs. 5A View FIGURE 5 , 7 View FIGURE 7 ). As described above but with the following differences. The dorsal bars/ blotches, obscure lateral spots, and bands on the original tail are all bright white in life. The dark markings on the dorsal and lateral surfaces of the head, body, tail and limbs are black or dark purple in life. The background colour in life is yellow, including between the bands on the original tail. Ventral surfaces in life are white, except on the tail where there is typically some indication of the dorsal and lateral tail pattern. Cloacal spur white. Iris appears black, but some indication of dark copper or brown under close inspection. The labial scales in life are white. Juveniles have a dark background colour, bright yellow bars and spots along the dorsal midline and tail, and a series of small, obscure, yellow spots on the lateral surface ( Fig. 7F View FIGURE 7 ).

Comparison with other species. The colour pattern of a white nape bar (unbroken or broken) enclosed by black, followed by prominent white dorsal blotches or bars distinguishes the four species of the monilis subgroup from all congeners outside the tryoni group. These congeners have a full pale nuchal band (except O. gemmata King & Gow ) and body marked with distinct or indistinct transverse bands ( O. bella , O. cincta , O. filicipoda King , O. fimbria Oliver & Doughty , O. gracilis King , O. luritja , O. marmorata Gray , O. murrumanu Oliver, Laver, Melville & Doughty ), or small spots or mottling ( O. gemmata ; mature individuals of O. bella , O. cincta , O. fimbria , O. marmorata ), or no bold body markings ( O. jowalbinna ). The four species of the monilis subgroup are further distinguished from O. cincta , O. bella , O. fimbria , O. marmorata and O. gemmata by having a single pre-cloacal spur on each side (versus typically> 1 in those species). Further distinguished from O. cincta , O. bella , O. marmorata and O. gemmata by partially divided rostral scale (versus fully divided in those species). The monilis subgroup is further distinguished from O. filicipoda , O. murrumanu and O. fimbria by lacking lateral expansions (frills) on the digital lamellae (versus present in those species). And they are further distinguished from O. marmorata , O. gemmata and O. filicipoda by relatively rounded, tapering tails (versus bulbous and more depressed in those species).

Oedura monilis is readily distinguished from other members of the tryoni group as follows.

Oedura monilis differs from O. castelnaui and O. argentea by having a nape bar enclosed in black (versus full nuchal band in those species) and dorsal pattern of blotches and bars (versus full body bands in those species) ( Fig. 2 View FIGURE 2 ). Distinguished from O. coggeri by lack of white spots on limbs (versus obvious white spots) and larger body size (max 96.6 mm versus 80.7 mm) ( Tables 1, 2). Distinguished from O. tryoni by, typically, unbroken bar on nape (versus many spots or few blotches), dorsum pattern of large blotches or bars on midline (versus, typically, evenly spotted or blotched), lack of white spots on limbs (versus usually spots at least on hindlimbs), original tail pattern of irregular white bands (versus spots or blotches), lower interorbital count (16–20 versus 19–26), and, typically, lower number of pre-cloacal pores in males (typically 17 or less versus typically 17 or more) ( Tables 1, 2).

Differs from O. elegans sp. nov. in having a dark band running from the back of the eye to the nape marking (versus a thin black line running from below the back of the eye to below the nape marking), black markings connecting at least the pale nape bar and anterior-most dorsal markings (versus dorsal markings surrounded by thin black edging but nape bar and none of the dumbbells connected to each other), at least some indication of obscure white spots on mid-lateral line (versus no spots), original tail pattern of irregular bands (versus paired blotches on dorsal midline), head broad (versus head relatively narrow), original and regrown tail relatively shorter and more bulbous ( Tables 1, 2).

Differs from O. picta sp. nov. in having prominent dorsal markings centred on the midline (versus more evenly spread across dorsum), having a dark band running from the back of the eye to the nape marking (versus an obscure, thin black line running from below the back of the eye to below the nape marking), black marking connecting at least the pale nape bar and anterior-most dorsal markings (versus nape and dorsal markings not connected), iris dark (versus gold), and larger size (max 96.6 mm versus max 79.7 mm) ( Tables 1, 2).

Differs from O. lineata sp. nov. in typically having an unbroken nape bar (versus V- or Y-shaped broken bar), a pattern of bars or connected large blotches on the dorsal midline (versus linearly-arranged lines, spots and black markings on either side of thin, pale midline), original tail patterned with irregular bands (versus paired blotches on dorsal midline), hindlimbs mottled (versus usually small white spots on at least base of hindlimbs), larger size (max 96.6 mm versus max 79.0 mm), lower interorbital count (16–20 versus 21–23), generally lower number of supralabials (9–12 versus 11–13), and series of pre-cloacal pores in males generally separated by fewer scales medially (0–3 versus 2–6) ( Tables 1, 2).

Distribution. Known from an extensive area of inland and coastal eastern Queensland ( Fig. 1 View FIGURE 1 ), from about Forty Mile Scrub National Park and Kirrama National Park in the north to about Emerald and Theodore in the south.

Ecology. Oedura monilis is found in a wide variety of habitats, from woodlands to dry rainforest vine thickets. It is arboreal and saxicoline, with some populations occurring primarily on trees, some populations being largely restricted to rock, and some populations utilizing both trees and rock. Individuals are typically found at night foraging on tree trunks, rock surfaces or fallen timber.

Conservation. Considerable areas of habitat have no doubt been lost due to clearing but the species remains widespread, and common at many sites.


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