Lizard di­ver­sity

Australian Geographic - - Your Society -

RE­SEARCHERS SPON­SORED by your AG So­ci­ety are us­ing rep­tile scent to iden­tify lizard species in out­back

Aus­tralia. PhD can­di­date Stephen Zozaya and Dr Con­rad Hoskin, both from James Cook Univer­sity, and vol­un­teers spent two months catch­ing the widespread By­noe’s gecko, which they think may re­ally be many dis­tinct species. Stephen and Con­rad are try­ing to find how these dif­fer­ent species tell each other apart to pre­vent in­ter­breed­ing, and think they may be do­ing it by smell. “Us­ing chem­i­cal anal­y­sis, we’ve found that dif­fer­ent gecko pop­u­la­tions have dif­fer­ent scents,” Stephen ex­plains. “There’s more work to be done, but we hope this in­for­ma­tion can help us fig­ure out how many species there re­ally are in this group.”

This smallAus­tralian lizard, By­noe’s gecko, may turn out to be more than one species.

James Cook Univer­sity lizard re­searchers Stephen Zozaya (at left) and Dr Con­rad Hoskin.

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