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Synthesising Our Current Knowledge of New Zealand Lizards

Chapter

Abstract

The New Zealand lizard fauna, comprising of skinks (Scincidae: Eugongylinae) and geckos (Diplodactylidae), is the most diverse squamate reptile assemblage of any cool temperate region on Earth. It is characterised by its ecological, evolutionary and physiological diversity, rather than its morphological diversity. New Zealand lizards have traditionally been underappreciated, and the recognised fauna (both described and undescribed) has almost trebled since the 1980s, from 38 to 104 taxa. A range of factors have delayed research and broader recognition of the New Zealand lizard fauna, particularly the fact that 45 % of recognised species remain undescribed. This book brings together the world’s leading experts on this group of lizards to produce the first authoritative overview of the history, fossil record, taxonomy, biogeography, ecology, life history and reproduction, diseases, physiology, sampling methods and conservation of New Zealand lizards. In doing so, it highlights what is currently known, what is not and where future research efforts should be directed. It is hoped that by showcasing New Zealand lizards and the diverse array of ecological, evolutionary and physiological adaptations that the fauna possesses, the book will stimulate research on this group of lizards, particularly in the areas of greatest need or importance.

Keywords

Biogeography Conservation Disease Ecology Fossil record Gecko Life history Physiology Reproduction Sampling methods Skink Species discovery Taxonomy 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia

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