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Biology – Spiny Mini Dragon: New Species of Gecko Discovered in Australia

A new species of gecko has been discovered on a remote Australian island. According to James Cook University, the species has a “beak-like” face and spiny tail.

Scientist Conrad Hoskin discovered the species on Scafell Island off the coast of north-east Queensland. The gecko, with its slender legs and leaf-shaped tail, is said to have adapted perfectly to the reefs of the uninhabited island, surrounded by a fringe of spines. During the day the animals hide among piles of boulders and at night they move.

This species was listed in the journal Zootaxa as “Scawfell Island leaf-tailed gecko” (Phyllurus fimbriatus). According to Hoskin, there could only be 30 specimens of the four-inch-long animal without a tail. However, population size is difficult to estimate well, and occurrences on neighboring islands cannot be ruled out.

“It’s incredible that large and spectacular new species are still being found today,” the researcher said. “The fact that this gecko remains undiscovered by science shows that Australia still has areas of hidden secrets.” (apa/dpa)