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Leaf-tailed Gecko: Look Hard to See This One
Top 10 New Species of 2014

  • The Cape Melville leaf-tailed gecko, a spectacular new species from remote northern Australia
    Photo credit: Conrad Hoskin

  • The Cape Melville leaf-tailed gecko, a spectacular new species from remote northern Australia
    Photo credit: Conrad Hoskin

  • The Cape Melville leaf-tailed gecko, a spectacular new species from remote northern Australia
    Photo credit: Conrad Hoskin

  • The dramatic boulder-strewn landscape of Cape Melville; habitat of Saltuarius eximius
    Photo credit: Conrad Hoskin

  • The Cape Melville leaf-tailed gecko, a spectacular new species from remote northern Australia
    Photo credit: Conrad Hoskin

  • The Cape Melville leaf-tailed gecko, a spectacular new species from remote northern Australia
    Photo credit: Conrad Hoskin

Leaf-tailed Gecko: Look Hard to See This One
Top 10 New Species of 2014

About the Leaf-tailed Gecko

Name: Saltuarius eximius

Kingdom: Animalia

Family: Carphodactylidae

How it made the Top 10: It's not easy to spot this gecko, which has an extremely wide tail that is employed as part of its camouflage. With longer limbs, a more slender body and larger eyes than other Saltuarius species, this one has a mottled coloration that allows it to blend in with its surroundings. Native to rainforests and rocky habitats, this gecko is a bit of a night owl. It is found on the vertical surfaces of rocks and trees as it waits for prey. Surveys of similar habitat near the area where this species was found did not reveal additional populations, so this may be a rare species. The gecko was discovered on rocky terrain in isolated rain forests of the Melville Range of northeastern Australia.

Etymology: Eximius; from the Latin meaning exceptional, extraordinary, exquisite. In recognition of the particularly fine form and distinctiveness of this species. The species epithet is treated as a noun in apposition.

Type material: Holotype and paratypes at Queensland Museum, Queensland, Australia

Type locality: Melville Range, Cape Melville National Park, northeast Queensland

Reference: Hoskin CJ, Couper P. 2013. A spectacular new leaf-tailed gecko (Carphodactylidae: Saltuarius) from the Melville Range, northeast Australia. Zootaxa 3717: 543–558.

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