Posted by: Loren Coleman on October 31st, 2008
Two species of gecko have been discovered in the southern deserts of Western Australia and South Australia, report researchers from the Western Australian Museum.
The Cape Range Gecko (Diplodactylus capensis) is found only on the Northwest Cape near Exmouth, while the Southern Sandplain Gecko (Lucasium bungabinna), occurs in the southern deserts in Western Australia and South Australia, north of the Nullarbor Plain.
Western Australian Museum curator of herpetology Dr. Paul Doughty said the Cape Range Gecko had previously been confused with a similar-looking Pilbara species, but is more closely-related to southern species.
Male Cape Range Gecko (top) and Male Southern Sandplain Gecko (bottom). Image courtesy of the Western Australian Museum “What is fascinating about this species is its evolution in isolation on the northwest Cape, far from its nearest relatives more than 600 kms away,” he said. “The Cape Range is made up of an ancient block of limestone which has created a unique habitat to which the species has adapted.”
“Little is known of this new species and we are still in the process of describing other new species of reptiles from this special area of Western Australia.”
The second species is notable in that unlike closely-related ground-dwelling species which have lost the sticky toe pads used by climbing geckos, the Southern Sandplain Gecko has small toe pads for climbing low shrubs.
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.