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Stone geckos
Diplodactylus - Gray, 1882

Pronunciation: DIP-low-DAK-till-us
 Etymology: 'double-toe'.1

Taxonomic notes:

Some members of this genus have been moved to Lucasium.

Notes:
Statistics: Reproductive modes:
Oviparous - 27 out of 27 Australian species

Size range:
Smallest Australian species: northern Pilbara beak-faced gecko (Diplodactylus galaxias) at 4.4 cm
 Longest Australian species: western stone gecko (Diplodactylus granariensis) at 7 cm
Number of Australian species: 27
 

Eastern deserts fat-tailed gecko (Diplodactylus ameyi)
Winton region, Queensland
Photo © Stephen Zozaya
Eastern deserts fat-tailed gecko (Diplodactylus ameyi) distribution range map Diplodactylus ameyi
Eastern deserts fat-tailed gecko
Year described
Couper & Oliver 2016
Description
Large (up to 60mm SVL. "first supralabial is small and does not contact the ventral edge of nasal scale". (Couper & Oliver 2016) Snout is broad and appears U-shaped from above. Snout is "convex along its dorsal edge and lacking a well-defined canthus rostralis". (Couper & Oliver 2016) "The canthal stripe is absent or poorly defined". (Couper & Oliver 2016)

Gulf fat-tailed gecko (Diplodactylus barraganae)
Doomadgee, Queensland
Photo © Stewart Macdonald
Gulf fat-tailed gecko (Diplodactylus barraganae) distribution range map Diplodactylus barraganae
Gulf fat-tailed gecko
Year described
Couper, Oliver & Pepper 2014
Description
"A small member of the D. conspicillatus group (max SVL 49 mm) with a bold canthal stripe and greatly enlarged first supralabial (contacting ventral edge of nasal scale). Mid-dorsal scales on trunk small and only slightly larger than the dorsolaterals. Original tail spade-like and lacking an acute attenuated extension at tip. Scales on dorsal surface of tail ar- ranged in transverse rows (which include rows of both large and small scales). Pattern not strongly contrasting, usually some indication of a pale, jagged-edged vertebral zone." "Tan to mid-brown, suffused with darker pigment on back and flanks. Pattern incorporates diffuse spotting and obscure reticulations and a pale, continuous or bro- ken, vertebral zone. Head with numerous dark scales that often form a fine netted pattern. A moderately well-developed pale canthal stripe present, extending from anterior edge of orbit to tip of snout and producing a distinctive 'v' shaped marking. A diffuse dark zone on side of face extends posteriorly beyond eye to temporal region. Limbs obscurely marked with vague spot- ting or netted pattern and inner digits of fore and hindlimb with reduced pigmentation. Ventral surfaces off-white, immaculate."

western fat-tailed gecko (Diplodactylus bilybara)
Hamersley Range, Western Australia
Photo © Jordan de Jong
western fat-tailed gecko (Diplodactylus bilybara) distribution range map Diplodactylus bilybara
Western fat-tailed gecko
Year described
Couper, Pepper & Oliver 2014
Description
"A large member of the D. conspicillatus group (max SVL 63 mm) with a well-de- fined canthal stripe and a greatly enlarged first supralabial (first supralabial contacts ventral edge of nasal scale). Dorsal scales on trunk plate-like and markedly larger than smaller dorso- laterals. Scales on nape granular and only slightly larger than granules on side of neck. Original tail with a short to moderate, acute attenuated extension at tip; scales on dorsal surface of tail arranged in transverse rows (often in a pattern of one large row followed by two small rows; scales in the small rows * 1⁄4 the size of the scales in the adjacent large rows. Pattern variable; reticulated or with obscure transverse bands and generally incorporating numerous small pale spots. Dark pigment on crown and snout contrast markedly with pale canthal stripe and lower jaw colour which extends posteriorly as a pale bar towards the ear opening."2 "Generally reddish-brown or grey. Most specimens with a series of irregular, dark wavy bands across back that usually extend across the vertebral zone (only one specimen, WAM R110027 has an unbroken, paler vertebral zone). There is usually some degree of fine spotting on back and flanks and in some specimens the spots extend across the dorsum in transverse rows. The delineation between the base colour and darker dorsal patterns ranges from moderate to sharply contrasting. Head generally with dark crown. A prominent, pale canthal stripe present, extending from anterior edge of orbit to tip of snout and producing a distinctive 'v' shaped marking which contrasts with the darker dorsal and lateral head markings. A broad dark zone on side of face extends posteriorly beyond eye to temporal region. A pale zone below eye extends to ear. Limbs mottled or spotted and inner digits of forelimb with reduced pigmentation. Ventral surfaces off-white, immaculate."2

south coast gecko (Diplodactylus calcicolus)
Eucla, Western Australia
Photo © Ray Lloyd
south coast gecko (Diplodactylus calcicolus) distribution range map Diplodactylus calcicolus
South coast gecko
Year described
Hutchinson, Doughty & Oliver 2009
Description
A medium-sized, member of the eastern stone gecko (Diplodactylus vittatus) complex. Typically with: longer tail; highly broken and spotted pattern, but showing considerable within-population variation; flanks marked with spots of various sizes; and dorsum background colour usually variegated by a mixture of lighter and darker scales.3

Cape Range stone gecko (Diplodactylus capensis)
Exmouth, Western Australia
Photo © Stephen Zozaya
Cape Range stone gecko (Diplodactylus capensis) distribution range map Diplodactylus capensis
Cape Range stone gecko
Year described
Doughty, Oliver & Adams 2008
Description
"Light reddish brown dorsal colouration with pale continuous dorsal stripe with transverse bars."4 Medium to large. Stout head. Tall labial scales. Mental scale similar in size to infralabials. Elongate tail. Wide scansors with a row of descrete, unbroken subdigital lamellae. Mideium-sized dorsal scales. 25 vertebrae.4

variable fat-tailed gecko (Diplodactylus conspicillatus)
Alice Springs, Northern Territory
Photo © Jordan de Jong
variable fat-tailed gecko (Diplodactylus conspicillatus) distribution range map Diplodactylus conspicillatus
Variable fat-tailed gecko
Year described
Lucas & Frost 1897
Description
"A large member of the D. conspicillatus group (max SVL 62 mm) with a bold canthal stripe and a greatly enlarged first supralabial (contacting ventral edge of nasal scale. Mid-dorsal scales on trunk plate-like and markedly larger than smaller dorsolateral scales. Scales on nape granular and only slightly larger than granules on side of neck. Original tail spade-like and lacking an acute attenuated extension at tip. Scales on dorsal surface of tail arranged in transverse rows (which usually include rows of both large and small scales). Pattern generally spotted and often with numerous dark blotches that contrast strongly with base colour".2 "Most specimens tan to mid-brown and heavily chequered with small dark blotches that may coalesce to produce a reticulated appearance (lighter individuals more uniform; mid-brown, finely peppered with darker markings and bearing pale spots on dorsal and lateral surfaces). Pale spots generally present, most prominent on flanks. In some specimens there is reduced pigmentation on the vertebral zone producing a ragged-edged vertebral stripe (one specimen, WAM R110770, has a well-defined dark vertebral stripe bordered on either side by a pale paravertebral stripe). Head generally with darker crown but paler towards periphery. A prominent, pale canthal stripe present, extending from anterior edge of orbit to tip of snout and producing a distinctive 'v' shaped marking which contrasts with the darker dorsal and lateral head markings. A broad dark zone on side of face extends posteriorly beyond eye to temporal region. A pale zone below eye extends to ear. Limbs mottled or spotted and inner digits of forelimb with reduced pigmentation. Ventral surfaces off-white, immaculate."2

Kimberley fat-tailed gecko (Diplodactylus custos)
North Kimberley, Western Australia
Photo © Brendan Schembri
Kimberley fat-tailed gecko (Diplodactylus custos) distribution range map Diplodactylus custos
Kimberley fat-tailed gecko
Year described
Couper, Oliver & Pepper 2014
Description
"A large member of the D. conspicillatus group (max SVL 61 mm) with a well-defined canthal stripe and a greatly enlarged first supralabial (first supralabial contacts ventral edge of nasal scale). Mid-dorsal scales on trunk plate-like and markedly larger than smaller dorsolaterals. Scales on nape granular and only slightly larger than granules on side of neck. Original tail with a short, acute attenuated extension at tip; scales on dorsal surface arranged in transverse rows generally of uniform size but if smaller scale rows are present, these rarely form a double row and the small scales are approximately half the size of the scales in the adjacent large rows. Dark pigment on crown and snout generally not contrasting sharply with pale canthal stripe and lower jaw colour. Body pattern often diffuse and generally without numerous pale spots; may incorporate wavy, dark transverse bands."2 Regenerated tail has "rounded distal end and more uniform scalation that is not arranged in clear transverse rows."2 "Tan to grey with darker overlay. Flanks and dorsum not strongly contrasting with ground colour and with or without pale spotting. Vertebral zone broken by dark, obscure to well-formed transverse bars. A pale canthal stripe present, extending from anterior edge of orbit to tip of snout and producing a distinctive 'v' shaped marking that does not contrast sharply with other facial markings. A dark zone on side of face extends posteriorly beyond eye to temporal region. Limbs mottled or spotted and inner digits of forelimb with reduced pig- mentation. Ventral surfaces off-white, immaculate."2

Lake Disappointment ground gecko (Diplodactylus fulleri)
Lake Disappointment, Western Australia
Photo © Brad Maryan
Lake Disappointment ground gecko (Diplodactylus fulleri) distribution range map Diplodactylus fulleri
Lake Disappointment ground gecko
Year described
Storr 1978
Description

ranges stone gecko (Diplodactylus furcosus)
Burra region, South Australia
Photo © Jordan de Jong
ranges stone gecko (Diplodactylus furcosus) distribution range map Diplodactylus furcosus
Ranges stone gecko
Year described
Peters 1863
Description
'Dorsal colour medium brown, grey-brown or tan. Beige vertebral stripe with strongly scalloped tozigzagged margins, sometimes broken into a chain of angular pale blotches. Vertebral stripe bifurcates on thenape forming a pair of pale stripes, margined with black, terminating at the eye, and leaving an invertedtriangular patch of the dorsal colour on the crown and occiput of the head. Blackish paravertebral margins ofvertebral stripe prominent but narrow (one to two scales wide) and contrasting sharply with both the lightvertebral colour and the medium shade of the upper lateral zone. Upper lateral zone usually well marked withone or more irregular series of small to moderate, well-defined, and sometimes dark-edged circular spots. Aswith the paravertebral markings, any dark margins of the spots tend to contrast sharply with the adjacentcolour. The background colour of the upper lateral zone is uniform, without a peppering of lighter or darkerscales. Venter immaculate off-white.'3

northern Pilbara beak-faced gecko (Diplodactylus galaxias)
Millstream, Western Australia
Photo © Jordan Vos
northern Pilbara beak-faced gecko (Diplodactylus galaxias) distribution range map Diplodactylus galaxias
Northern Pilbara beak-faced gecko
Year described
Doughty, Pepper & Keogh 2010
Description
Small-bodied gecko, cylindrical in body shape with a small, flattened head. Tail is cylindrical, increasing slightly in width towards tip but ultimately tapering. Small eyes. Upper eyelids lack spiny ridges. Long and pointed snout with a blunt tip. Supranasal scale contacts nostril, along with the 6 postnasal scales. Rostal scale is roughly hexagonal with a crease, and is bordered by enlarged supralabial, supranasal and internarial scales. Other scales on upper and lower jaw not enlarged, being similar in size to adjoining rows of scales. Mental scale is wider than long, with adjacent gular scales enlarged and in 2-3 rows. Limbs slender and of moderate length. Digits with moderately enlarged apical plates either side of a claw. 6-9 pairs of enlarged lamellae along underside of digit, decreasing to tubercles on the palmar and plantar surfaces. Dorsal and ventral scales approximately equal in size. Caudal scales on original tail are flattened and enlarged, tending towards forming transverse rows. Reddish colour with small pale yellow spots scattered irregularly across back and limbs. Dark streak through eyes, weakly connecting on neck. Ventral surface pale, with a gradual change from dorsal colour.5

helmeted gecko (Diplodactylus galeatus)
Macdonnell Ranges, Northern Territory
Photo © Stephen Zozaya
helmeted gecko (Diplodactylus galeatus) distribution range map Diplodactylus galeatus
Helmeted gecko
Year described
Kluge 1963
Description

western stone gecko (Diplodactylus granariensis)
Kalbarri, Western Australia
Photo © David Fischer
western stone gecko (Diplodactylus granariensis) distribution range map Diplodactylus granariensis
Western stone gecko
Year described
Storr 1979
Description

northern fat-tailed gecko (Diplodactylus hillii)
Daly River, Northern Territory
Photo © Brendan Schembri
northern fat-tailed gecko (Diplodactylus hillii) distribution range map Diplodactylus hillii
Northern fat-tailed gecko
Year described
Longman 1915
Description
"A moderate-sized member of the D. conspicillatus group (max SVL 52 mm) with a bold canthal stripe and greatly enlarged first supralabial (contacting ventral edge of nasal scale). Mid-dorsal scales on trunk small and only slightly larger than dorsolateral scales. Origi- nal tail spade-like and lacking an acute attenuated extension at tip. Scales on dorsal surface of original tail all large and not arranged in clearly defined transverse rows (pine cone-like appearance)."2 "Most specimens tan to mid-brown and heavily marked with dark, irregular bands that form a broad reticulum on upper lateral/paravertebral zone and may extend to lower flanks. Vertebral zone with a ragged dark edge; generally free of pattern but sometimes the dark flank pattern may bridge this zone or the vertebral line may carry a row of small dark blotches (some individuals with a finer, lighter reticulum over entire dorsal surface which is marked with numerous small pale spots). Head with a pale crown that is continuous with the vertebral zone. A pale canthal stripe present, extending from anterior edge of orbit to tip of snout and producing a distinctive 'v' shaped marking which has dark edging. A poorly defined pale zone below eye extends to the ear. Limbs finely spotted. Inner digits with reduced pigmentation. Original tail with little pattern or with darker bars similar to those on flanks. Ventral surfaces off-white, immaculate."2

No thumbnail available Kenneally's gecko (Diplodactylus kenneallyi) distribution range map Diplodactylus kenneallyi
Kenneally's gecko
Year described
Storr 1988
Description

Kluge's gecko (Diplodactylus klugei)
Monkey Mia, Western Australia
Photo © David Fischer
Kluge's gecko (Diplodactylus klugei) distribution range map Diplodactylus klugei
Kluge's gecko
Year described
Aplin & Adams 1998
Description

Desert fat-tailed gecko (Diplodactylus laevis)
Simpson Desert, Queensland
Photo © Jordan de Jong
Desert fat-tailed gecko (Diplodactylus laevis) distribution range map Diplodactylus laevis
Desert fat-tailed gecko
Year described
(Sternfield 1924)
Description
"A large member of the D. conspicillatus group (max SVL 65 mm) with a bold canthal stripe and a greatly enlarged first supralabial (contacting ventral edge of nasal scale). Mid-dorsal scales on trunk plate-like and markedly larger than smaller dorsolateral scales. Scales on nape and top of head also plate-like and whilst sometimes smaller than those on back, still considerably larger than the small granules on side of neck. Original tail sharply-pointed and terminating with an acute attenuated extension at tip. Scales on dorsal surface of tail arranged in transverse rows (which include rows of both large and small scales). Pattern generally reticulated."2 "Most specimens tan to mid-brown with a darker reticulated pattern of fine to moderate wavy lines that extend over the entire dorsum. Many specimens exhibit fine pale spotting that is most evident on the flanks. Head, as for body with dark reticulations on crown. A pale canthal stripe present, extending from anterior edge of orbit to tip of snout and producing a distinctive 'v' shaped marking which has dark edging. A broad dark zone on side of face extends posteriorly beyond eye to temporal region. A poorly to well-defined pale zone below eye extends to the ear. Limbs weakly mottled or spotted and inner digits with reduced pigmentation. Tail marked with small dark flecks. Ventral surfaces off-white, immaculate."2

speckled stone gecko (Diplodactylus lateroides)
Darling Range, Western Australia
Photo © Ray Lloyd
speckled stone gecko (Diplodactylus lateroides) distribution range map Diplodactylus lateroides
Speckled stone gecko
Year described
Doughty & Oliver 2013
Description
"A relatively small Diplodactylus characterised by flat, triangular head with low labial scales, first supralabial taller than second, rostral in contact with nostril, supranasals usually slightly wider than tall and separated by internasals or in short contact, 3–6 postnasals, mental similar in length to infralabials, small and similarly sized dorsal and ventral scales and short cylindrical tail. Dorsum with dark-brownish black ground colouration with scattered irregularly shaped and sized lighter blotches, interior of blotches with rusty- brown colouration with paler centres; dorsal blotches usually connecting to form a weakly-defined irregular vertebral stripe or broken series along midline."6

Pilbara stone gecko (Diplodactylus mitchelli)
Millstream, Western Australia
Photo © Jordan Vos
Pilbara stone gecko (Diplodactylus mitchelli) distribution range map Diplodactylus mitchelli
Pilbara stone gecko
Year described
Kluge 1963
Description

cloudy stone gecko (Diplodactylus nebulosus)
Gairdner Range, Western Australi
Photo © Ray Lloyd
cloudy stone gecko (Diplodactylus nebulosus) distribution range map Diplodactylus nebulosus
Cloudy stone gecko
Year described
Doughty & Oliver 2013
Description
"A medium-sized Diplodactylus characterised by stout head with tall labial scales (as tall as wide), ≤5 postnasals, mental similar size to adjacent infralabials, first supralabial equal or slightly taller than second, rostral in contact with nostril, dorsal scales only slightly larger than ventral scales, and tail long, cylindrical and tapering to a fine point. Dorsal ground colour light to dark brown with a series of large irregular pale blotches along midline, blotches usually containing a short transverse row of fine pale spots."6

ornate stone gecko (Diplodactylus ornatus)
Shark Bay, Western Australia
Photo © David Fischer
ornate stone gecko (Diplodactylus ornatus) distribution range map Diplodactylus ornatus
Ornate stone gecko
Year described
Gray 1845
Description

Eastern fat-tailed gecko (Diplodactylus platyurus)
Moranbah, Queensland
Photo © Stewart Macdonald
Eastern fat-tailed gecko (Diplodactylus platyurus) distribution range map Diplodactylus platyurus
Eastern fat-tailed gecko
Year described
Parker 1926
Description
"A large member of the D. conspicillatus group (max SVL 60 mm) lacking a well- defined canthal stripe and without a greatly enlarged first supralabial (first supralabial not in contact with ventral edge of nasal scale). Dorsal scales on trunk plate-like and markedly larger than smaller dorsolateral scales. Scales on nape granular and only slightly larger than granules on side of neck. Scales on dorsal surface of tail arranged in transverse rows (often of uniform size but can include rows of both large and small scales). Pattern generally with dark, heavily spotted flanks and a series of pale vertebral blotches or a continuous pale vertebral zone."2 "Most specimens tan to mid-brown with varying degrees of spotting; most prominent on flanks. Dorsum with an overlay of fine, dark reticulations or a more solid dark pattern. Vertebral zone with reduced pigment but often broken by transverse bars, isolating a series irregular pale blotches along back. In some specimens the vertebral zone is largely unpatterned and has a wavy edge where it borders the darker paravertebral zone. Head, as for dorsal ground colour with scattered dark flecks or blotches. Canthal stripe absent or very weak without sharply defined edges and not contrasting strongly with other facial markings. Limbs with fine reticulations, inner digits of forelimb with reduced pigmentation. Ventral surfaces off-white, immaculate."2

spotted sandplain gecko (Diplodactylus polyophthalmus)
Perth, Western Australia
Photo © Henry Cook
spotted sandplain gecko (Diplodactylus polyophthalmus) distribution range map Diplodactylus polyophthalmus
Spotted sandplain gecko
Year described
Günther 1867
Description
"A relatively small Diplodactylus characterised by flat, triangular head with low labial scales, first supralabial taller than second, rostral in contact with nostril, supranasals wider than tall and separated by an internasal in point or narrow contact, ≥5 postnasals, mental and infralabials similar in length, dorsal scales small and similar in size to ventrals, and short and cylindrical tail. Dorsum ground colouration brownish- grey with weakly-defined pale light brown spots often connecting to form irregular larger blotches and occasionally a weakly-defined vertebral stripe."6

fine-faced gecko (Diplodactylus pulcher)
Leonora, Western Australia
Photo © David Fischer
fine-faced gecko (Diplodactylus pulcher) distribution range map Diplodactylus pulcher
Fine-faced gecko
Year described
(Steindachner 1870)
Description

yellow-spotted Pilbara gecko (Diplodactylus savagei)
Nullagine, Western Australia
Photo © Jordan Vos
yellow-spotted Pilbara gecko (Diplodactylus savagei) distribution range map Diplodactylus savagei
Yellow-spotted Pilbara gecko
Year described
Kluge 1963
Description

tessellated gecko (Diplodactylus tessellatus)
Windorah, Queensland
Photo © Stewart Macdonald
tessellated gecko (Diplodactylus tessellatus) distribution range map Diplodactylus tessellatus
Tessellated gecko
Year described
Günther 1875
Description

eastern stone gecko (Diplodactylus vittatus)
Barakula State Forest, Queensland
Photo © Stewart Macdonald
eastern stone gecko (Diplodactylus vittatus) distribution range map Diplodactylus vittatus
Eastern stone gecko
Year described
Gray 1832
Description

desert wood gecko (Diplodactylus wiru)
Queen Victoria Spring, Western Australia
Photo © Brad Maryan
desert wood gecko (Diplodactylus wiru) distribution range map Diplodactylus wiru
Desert wood gecko
Year described
Hutchinson, Doughty & Oliver 2009
Description

References
  1. Ehmann, Harald (1992). Encyclopedia of Australian animals: Reptiles. Angus and Robertson. 495 pp - search web for this book
  2. Oliver, Paul M; Couper, Patrick J; & Pepper, Mitzy (2014). Independent Transitions between Monsoonal and Arid Biomes Revealed by Systematic Revison of a Complex of Australian Geckos (Diplodactylus; Diplodactylidae). PloS one, 9(12):e111895.
  3. Hutchinson, M.N.; Doughty, P.; & Oliver, P.M. (2009). Taxonomic revision of the stone geckos (Squamata: Diplodactylidae: Diplodactylus) of southern Australia. Zootaxa, 2167:25-46.
  4. Doughty, Paul; Oliver, Paul; & Adams, Mark (2008). Systematics of stone geckos in the genus Diplodactylus (Reptilia: Diplodactylidae) from northwestern Australia, with a description of a new species from the Northwest Cape, Western Australia . Records of the Western Australian Museum, 24:247-265.
  5. Doughty, P.; Pepper, M.; & Keogh, J.S. (2010). Morphological and molecular assessment of the Diplodactylus savagei species complex in the Pilbara region, Western Australia, with a description of a new species. Zootaxa, 2393:33-45.
  6. Doughty, Paul & Oliver, Paul M. (2013). Systematics of Diplodactylus (Squamata: Diplodactylidae) from the south-western Australian biodiversity hotspot: redefinition of D. polyophthalmus and the description of two new species. Records of the Western Australian Museum, 28:44-65. - search web for this article
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