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Open-access, online, rapid taxonomy

Australian Journal of 




Three new species of north-eastern Australian earless dragons (Agamidae: Tympanocryptis)

Kirilee Chaplin, Steve K. Wilson, Joanna Sumner & Jane Melville

Author details ⏷

Kirilee Chaplin[1,2], Steve K. Wilson[3], Joanna Sumner[1] & Jane Melville[1,4*]

[1] Museums Victoria Research Institute, Museums Victoria, Carlton Gardens 3053, Victoria, Australia.
[2] School of BioSciences, University of Melbourne, Parkville 3053, Victoria, Australia.
[3] Queensland Museum, South Bank 4101, Queensland, Australia.
[4] School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, Clayton 3168, Victoria, Australia.


Earless dragons (Tympanocryptis spp.) are found in most open dry environments across the Australian continent, with the 23 currently described species inhabiting a variety of ecological niches, from stony desert to tropical woodland or cracking clay savannahs. Recent species delimitation research using genetics (mtDNA, nDNA, SNPs) and geometric morphometric analyses of CT scans identified three genetic lineages of earless dragons that are yet to be described in Queensland, supporting the need for a taxonomic revision. Focussing on this geographic region, we use supporting evidence from a mitochondrial DNA (ND2) phylogeny, along with external morphological assessment, to undertake a taxonomic revision of Queensland earless dragons. Based on these data, we describe three new species of Tympanocryptis from the cracking clay grasslands of the Darling Riverine Basin, the Queensland Central Highlands, and the stony open eucalypt woodlands on the Einasleigh Uplands. The revision of these north-eastern Australian earless dragon species provides further taxonomic clarity within the Tympanocryptis genus.

Cite this paper as: Chaplin K, Wilson SK, Sumner J & Melville J (2023). Three new species of north-eastern Australian earless dragons (Agamidae: Tympanocryptis). Australian Journal of Taxonomy 33: 1–15. doi:

This paper was published on: 9/8/2023





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