Ctenotus fallens 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Scincidae

Scientific Name: Ctenotus fallens Storr, 1974
Common Name(s):
English West-coast Laterite Ctenotus
Taxonomic Source(s): Cogger, H.G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia: Seventh Edition. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Victoria.
Taxonomic Notes: A recent genetic study by Rabosky et al. (2014) found Ctenotus robustus, formerly understood to be a wide-ranging Australian and New Guinean species, to be a polyphyletic species consisting of at least two major clades in Australia (genetic studies of New Guinean and Cape York populations have not been undertaken - G. Shea pers. comm. 2017). Accordingly, Rabosky et al. (2014) synonymized eastern populations within C. spaldingi and applied the name C. robustus to a clade containing Northern Territory and Western Australian populations.

While this treatment resolved paraphyly within C. robustus, both taxonomic and nomenclatural issues remain, as the resulting concepts of C. spaldingli and C. robustus cannot be distinguished morphologically (Rabosky et al. 2014 did not fully redescribe either species, and their comparative diagnosis provided no distinguishing characters other than a slight difference in size) . Additionally, in view of uncertainty over the provenance of the C. robustus holotype (Rabosky et al. 2014), it is uncertain to which clade the name C. robustus properly belongs (G. Shea pers. comm. 2017).

In order to retain taxonomic stability pending resolution of these issues, this account adopts a traditional concept of C. robustus as a widespread Australian species following Cogger (2014), while noting that at least two species are likely to be included under this name.
Identification information: C. fallens is identified by six pale stripes and a row of upper lateral spots. This species is pale to dark greyish brown with dark brown upper flanks. The limbs are brown, striped with darker brown or black (Cogger 2000, Wilson and Swan 2013).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2017-02-21
Assessor(s): Craig, M., Lloyd, R., Gaikhorst, G., Sanderson, C. & Ford, S.
Reviewer(s): Bowles, P.
Contributor(s): Harrison, N.
Listed as Least Concern on the basis that this species is adaptable and somewhat widespread, and persists even in urban areas where remnant vegetation survives. It has experienced localized declines as a result of cat predation, but is common and the overall population is thought to be stable.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to Australia, found across the coastline of the south west of Western Australia, from Cape Cuvier, south to south of Bunbury, including some offshore islands (Wilson and Swan 2013).
Countries occurrence:
Australia (Western Australia)
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This is a very common species with a stable population.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Ctenotus fallens prefers low coastal vegetation on sandy pale soils, but also extends inland to the granite and laterite habitats of the Darling Ranges (Wilson and Swan 2013). It is among the most resistant members of its genus to habitat loss, and can be found in heavily disturbed habitats such as gardens.

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There is no known use of or trade in this species.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Cats are known to have a negative impact on Ctenotus fallens, by dramatically reducing population numbers and preventing the species from recolonizing areas (Bamford and Calver 2012). Nevertheless the species survives even in urban areas at low densities, and so cats do not represent a threat to the species' survival. No further threats have been identified to this species. This species is highly tolerant of disturbance and is known to successfully persist in fragmented bushland in urban areas (How 1998).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no conservation actions in place for Ctenotus fallens. This species is found in protected areas. Taxonomic research is underway to clarify its relationships with other species of Ctenotus.

Citation: Craig, M., Lloyd, R., Gaikhorst, G., Sanderson, C. & Ford, S. 2017. Ctenotus fallens. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T109463375A109463378. . Downloaded on 16 October 2018.
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