Phyllurus geckos are chiefly notable for their highly effective camouflage which is in part aided by the spiny tubercles that cover every part of their body. All of them apart from P. caudiannulatus have very flattened, leaf-shaped tails. Cogger gives some of the characteristics of the genus as follows: rostral and mental shields rounded; labials larger than adjacent scales; postmentals and adjacent gulars subequal; clawed digits on bird-like feet, the claws being conspicuous free and the base of each between two scales; preanal pores absent.
The genus has changed over the past few years, some former members since being reassigned to the Saltuarius genus while others have been named. Of these, P. isis, P. nepthys and P. ossa are quite similar to P. platurus. All three of these "new" species occupy extremely restricted ranges in Queensland.
Phyllurus species are smaller than those of Saltuarius and their nostril does not contact the rostral, in contrast with Saltuarius. The tail lacks the convoluted flange found in Saltuarius species. Saltuarius species have preanal pores, which Phyllurus lack.
|Scientific name||Common name||Distribution||Size (max)||Notes|
|P. caudiannulatus||?||Australia (C Queensland)||8cm SVL||Very isolated populations.|
|P. gulbaru||?||Australia (Queensland)||?|
|P. isis|| ||Australia (Queensland)||7½cm SVL|
|P. nepthys||Australia (Queensland)||10cm SVL|
|P. ossa||Australia (Queensland)||9cm SVL|
|P. platurus||Southern Leaf-Tailed Gecko||Australia (NSW)||8cm SVL|
Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, Harold Cogger, 6th edition - absolutely indispensable for overview of Australian lizards.
Lizards of the World, Mattison
Breeding and Keeping Geckos, Coborn, TFH 1995 - a particularly valuable book for lesser known geckos, especially the Diplodactylines, although some of the taxonomic data now appears to be out of date.
Keeping and Breeding Lizards, Mattison
Geckos: Keeping and Breeding Them in Captivity, Walls and Walls, TFH 1999.
Reptiles of the Townsville Region has some good pictures of various of the above geckos.
See also Index of Gecko-related articles for more sources on geckos.
Coming soon.... the other gecko genera.
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