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Animal Database
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Animal Database
Cape Melville Leaf-tailed Gecko
The Cape Melville Leaf-tailed Gecko (Saltuarius eximius). Photo by Conrad Hoskin
Information
Range Cape Melville in Northern Australia
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Reptilia
Order Squamata
Family Carphodactylidae
Genus Saltuarius
Species Saltuarius eximius

The Cape Melville leaf-tailed gecko, (Saltuarius eximius), is a species of gecko that is endemic to the Melville Range on Cape Melville in Northern Australia. The species was described in 2013 by Australian zoologists Conrad Hoskin (of James Cook University) and Patrick Couper (curator of herpetology at Queensland Museum). The lizards are about 20 cm long and are believed to be a relic species from the time period rainforests were more abundant in Australia. The name derives from the Latin word for "extraordinary" or "exquisite", and refers to the lizard's distinctive, camoflauged appearance. It hides among rocky boulders in the day and emerges at night to hunt on rocks and trees. The lizard has large eyes, a long and slender body, and specialized limbs adaptated to life in dimly lit boulder fields.

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