Abstract

The existence of the Kaputar Rock Skink, a morphologically distinct Egernia population restricted to the Nandewar Ranges in northern New South Wales, has been known for decades. However, no comprehensive description or diagnosis of the taxon has been published in the scientific literature, and its distinctiveness largely assumed. As part of a study investigating the genetic differentiation of faunal populations on the Nandewar Range, comparisons between the Kaputar Rock Skink and east Australian Egernia striolata-group species were undertaken. The results indicate that the Kaputar Rock Skink is a distinct genetic lineage, showing species-level divergence from other Egernia species. Field studies suggest the Kaputar Rock Skink is restricted to an extremely narrow band of rock habitat above 1000 m or more in elevation, and only occupies retreat and sheltering sites near cliff edges or in areas of extensive outcropping rock. It now appears to be a cool-adapted species constrained to high elevation habitat by niche conservatism. Field studies suggest the availability of suitable habitat on the summit areas of the Nandewar Ranges is highly limited, making it vulnerable to several potentially threatening processes, including anthropogenic climate change. The name Contundo roomi was erected for the Kaputar Rock Skink by Wells & Wellington in 1985, and we recommend Egernia roomi (Wells & Wellington, 1985) as the name for the Kaputar Rock Skink.

 
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Bibliographic Data

Short Form
Sadlier et al., 2019. Rec. Aust. Mus. 71(5): 183–197
Author
Ross A. Sadlier; Greta J. Frankham; Cecilie A. Beatson; Mark D. B. Eldridge; Jodi J. L. Rowley
Year
2019
Title
Genetic evidence in support of the recognition of the Kaputar Rock Skink, one of New South Wales’ most range-restricted vertebrate species
Serial Title
Records of the Australian Museum
Volume
71
Issue
5
Start Page
183
End Page
197
DOI
10.3853/j.2201-4349.71.2019.1716
Language
English
Date Published
28 August 2019
Cover Date
28 August 2019
ISSN
ISSN 0067-1975 (print); ISSN 2201-4349 (online)
CODEN
RAUMAJ
Publisher
The Australian Museum
Place Published
Sydney, Australia
Subjects
REPTILIA; GENETICS; TAXONOMY
Digitized
28 August 2019
Available Online
28 August 2019
Reference Number
1716
EndNote
1716.enw
Title Page
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1716_complete.pdf
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