New lizard species discovered in Australia
Researchers have discovered two new species of lizards, which are small skinks belonging to the genus Carlia, in tropical Australia.
Conrad Hoskin from the James Cook University's School of Marine and Tropical Biology, and Patrick Couper from the Queensland Museum said the new lizards were named as Elegant Rainbow Skink and the Orange-flanked Rainbow Skink.
"The species' names are in reference to the bright colours sported by breeding males of each species. Decora (first one) means 'beautiful' in Latin, with males of that species marked with vivid orange and blue, while 'rubigo' (second one) translates to 'rust,' referring to the rusty orange of males of that species," Hoskin was quoted in the journal Zootaxa.
Hoskin said the Elegant Rainbow Skink was "one of the most common skinks in Townsville gardens and would be familiar to many Townsville residents as the small skink that scurries away into the garden bed," according to an university statement.
Hoskin said a third species was also described in the paper, the Whitsunday Rainbow Skink (Carlia inconnexa).
"This species had previously been recognized as a subspecies of another skink species, but our research found that it was sufficiently different from all other populations that it should be elevated from subspecies to full species status," he added.