Ctenotus Sp. And Dragons

Discussion in 'Reptile and Amphibian Identification' started by Erharst, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. Erharst

    Erharst New Member

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    Just finished a little herping trip to Australia, and being a first-time visitor to the continent, identification is not always straight forward. These guys puzzle me a little bit, so hopefully someone here can help me. All Photos are from the Litchfield area, NT.


    Ctenotus sp. nr.1
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    Ctenotus sp. nr.2, only got the back of this one
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    Also have a couple of dragons. To me these seemed somewhat different from the Amphibolurus temporalis I was used to seeing, I may be wrong though.
    264.JPG
    284.JPG
     
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  2. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 APS Veteran APS Veteran

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    Then dragon species are straight forward but the Ctenotus skinks are quite problematic. There are many similar species in the same area and patterning and colour is variable in some. Keys usually make use of specific head scales (numbers &/or arrangement), subdigital lamellae and mid-body scale counts. While I have some resources on the group, I have no field experience with them in this region – and that would be best. Nevertheless I can possibly narrow it down if you’d like me to try.

    Dragon sp1 is Amphibolurus gilberti.
    The lack of an erectile crest of enlarged spines on the neck distinguish it from A. temporalis and the area of pale striping on the head is also more consistent with a. gilberti. This species behaves differently to A. temporalis, particularly in there being less arm-waving.

    Dragon sp2 is Diporiphora lalliae.
    It is identifiable by the pronounced gular fold and the presence of both a post-auricular and scapular fold.
     
  3. Erharst

    Erharst New Member

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    Thanks for the help and the useful info!
    I realise that the Ctenotus skinks might be a bit of a challenge, but if you think you could narrow it down to a few species that would be greatly appreciated. Personally I have not been able to really find anything close to a match in the area, with the few resources I have
     
  4. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 APS Veteran APS Veteran

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    I have made a start on the Ctenotus but have not had much time this week - have been unwell and had other things to be done. There are twenty odd known species in that region and about half are possible contenders at a first look through.

    There appears light patterning on the upper flanks of sp 2. Can remember what it looked like in more detail than the photo shows?
     
  5. GBWhite

    GBWhite Well-Known Member

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    Hi Erharst,

    I was up in that area a couple of years back and I've attached a couple of links that you can reference. Just going off your pictures and what I saw up there I believe that the ctenotus are;

    Hill's Ctenotus (sp 1)

    http://www.arod.com.au/arod/reptilia/Squamata/Scincidae/Ctenotus/hilli

    Stripped Skink (sp 2)

    http://www.arod.com.au/arod/reptilia/Squamata/Scincidae/Ctenotus/robustus

    I believe the two photos of the dragons are of an adult and juvenile of the same species

    Arnhemland Two Lined Dragon.

    http://www.arod.com.au/arod/reptilia/Squamata/Agamidae/Diporiphora/arnhemica

    Cheers,

    George.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2017
  6. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 APS Veteran APS Veteran

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    I have to agree with George on the dragons and that mine were wrong.
     
  7. Erharst

    Erharst New Member

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    Hi!
    I'm sorry for being absent for so long.

    GBWhite: I can agree with the first skink being a Ctenotos hilli. And C. robustus certainly seems like a sensible option for the second one, and it was probably the largest of the Ctenotus Skinks I observed.

    When it comes to the dragons, D. arnhemica was one of the species I was considering. I was however under the impression that they both might be A. gilberti. but again, my experience with these species are zero. I can add that they both were found in close proximity to water.

    Thanks again,

    Erlend.
     
  8. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 APS Veteran APS Veteran

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    Eriehd, am glad you queried the dragons at this time.

    When I said I had not been, it because I suffer from severe depression which cannot be fully controlled by medication. So if something major unsettles me, like loss of a loved one, then it flares up. Unfortunately, when it is active I have discovered it affects my ability to focus on things properly and I make silly mistakes that I would not normally make. Problem is, because there are no outside signs, it can be hard to judge how active it is.

    Following George’s post I had another look at what I had suggested and immediately realized the D. lalliae does not even occur in that area. So I figured my depression was more active than I thought it was and I could not trust my judgement. Am still not 100% functional but definitely better these days and hopefully well enough to assist. I still think the first dragon is gilbertii. The second one, I reckon is a juvenile D. albilabris . It fits the bill in terms of dorsal scalation, neck folds, white lips and what can be seen of the pale striping.

    I don’t whether or not you saw them on the run but I am lead to believe that all Diporiphora are pretty much exclusively quadrupedal and so tend to scuttle away. Whereas Gilbert’s will change to bipedal for more speed if caught out in an open area and feeling threatened.
     
  9. Erharst

    Erharst New Member

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    Bluetongue1, I am very sorry to hear about that.

    When it comes to the dragons, I cannot claim to have taken to much notice of how they were running. But I do seem to recall that at least the juveniles were more bipedal when they ran away.
     

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