More new Gehyra species!

by Biologic Environmental Survey
in Blog
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More new Gehyra species, six to be exact, were just described in a recent paper co-authored by one of Biologic’s Senior Zoologists, Ryan Ellis.

The paper (available open access HERE) resolves the taxonomy of the Gehyra australis and Gehyra koira species complexes, which occur across the monsoon tropics of northern Australia.

The paper provides a redescription of two species (G. australis and G. koira), redescription of G. ipsa as a full species (formerly G. koira ipsa), description of three new species within the G. australis complex (G. arnhemica, G. gemina, and G. lauta) and three within the G. koira complex (G. calcitectus, G. chimera and G. lapistola).

The new species are a great example of cryptic species (i.e. species that are genetically distinct yet still look very similar) and that species can evolve to be genetically distinct without the way they look differing great deal (why change if you don’t need to?). For example, one of the new species (G. chimera) is genetically more closely related to G. koira but looks more similar to species in the G. australis complex.

The Biologic team is looking forward to getting up into the Kimberley and getting some of these new species in hand in the near future.


Photo: Gehyra Koira at Theda Station, Western Australia. Taken by R.J. Ellis