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Spiny Mini Dragon: New Species of Gecko Discovered in Australia

The gecko species “Scaffell Island leaf-tailed gecko” (Phillurus fimbriatus) was newly discovered in Australia. James Cook University / Conrad Hoskin sda-ats

This content was published on March 03, 2023 – 13:33

(Keystone SDA)

A new species of gecko has been discovered on a remote Australian island. The species has a “beak-like” face and pointed tail, James Cook University said on Friday (local time).

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 flanked by a spiky border, fits the uninhabited island’s rocks perfectly, it said. During the day the animals hide among piles of boulders and at night they move.

Limited to 30 copies

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.”