Abstract

With 34 described species (Cogger 1975), Lerista is the second largest genus of lizards in Australia, and like the largest genus—the scincid genus Ctenotus with 53 described species - it is widespread in the arid, semi-arid and seasonally dry parts of the continent. In contrast to the large, surface dwelling species of Ctenotus, however, the species of Lerista are small, attenuate forms with reduced or non-existent limbs and cryptozoic to fossorial habits.

As a result of the painstaking work of Dr Glen Storr of the Western Australian Museum, the alpha taxonomy of both genera in the western half of the continent is well known. In the eastern half, however, the alpha taxonomy of the two genera is still poorly known and several species await description in both groups. Both taxa are important to our understanding of how lizards have evolved in the vast arid regions of Australia (see for example Pianka's [1972] use of Ctenotus in his zoogeographical analysis of Australian desert lizards), and a sound and complete taxonomy of the two groups is therefore greatly to be desired.

The purpose of this paper is to describe a new species of Lerista from northern Queensland that is unusual in being legless and to comment on the origin of the genus.

 
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Bibliographic Data

Short Form
Greer, 1979, Rec. Aust. Mus. 32(10): 383–388
Author
Allen E. Greer
Year
1979
Title
A new species of Lerista (Lacertilia: Scincidae) from northern Queensland, with remarks on the origin of the genus
Serial Title
Records of the Australian Museum
Volume
32
Issue
10
Start Page
383
End Page
388
DOI
10.3853/j.0067-1975.32.1979.461
Language
English
Date Published
30 September 1979
Cover Date
30 September 1979
ISSN
0067-1975
CODEN
RAUMAJ
Publisher
The Australian Museum
Place Published
Sydney, Australia
Subjects
REPTILIA; TAXONOMY
Digitized
19 January 2009
Available Online
27 February 2009
Reference Number
461
EndNote
/Uploads/Journals/17540/461.enw
Title Page
/Uploads/Journals/17540/461.pdf
File size: 87kB
Complete Work
/Uploads/Journals/17540/461_complete.pdf
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