Tympanocryptis pinguicolla (Mitchell, 1948:70)

Victorian grassland earless dragon



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Tympanocryptis lineata pinguicolla Mitchell, 1948 (basionym)


Conservation Status

Last record: 1969

Rediscovered in the summer of 2022-2023 by Emi Arnold and Pat Monarca


The species was previously considered to have been rediscovered in New South Wales (Dimond et al., 2012), however a recent taxonomic revision of the genus Tympanocryptis has determined that that population does not actually refer to T. pinguicolla (Melville et al., 2019). The true rediscovery of the species was made by ecologists Emi Arnold and Pat Monarca in the summer of 2022-2023 (i.e. December-February), as told by Emi Arnold in an exclusive first-hand account.



Victoria, Australia


Biology & Ecology




Holotype: SAMA R2468a

Type locality: southern Victoria






Original scientific description:

Mitchell, F. J. (1948). A revision of the lacertilian genus Tympanocryptis. Rec. S. Aust. Mus. 9: 57-86.


Other references:

Chapple, D., Tingley, R., Mitchell, N., Macdonald, S., Keogh, J. S., Cox, N., Bowles, P., Shea, G., & Woinarski, J. (2019). The action plan for Australian lizards and snakes 2017. CSIRO Publishing.

Cogger, Harold G., Cameron, Elizabeth E. and Cogger, Heather M. (1983). Agamidae, pp. 108-125. In: Zoological Catalogue of Australia. I. Amphibia and Reptilia. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service. vi + 313 pp. [p. 124]

DEECA [Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action]. (2023). Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 Threatened List: June 2023. Published report by The State of Victoria Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action, Melbourne, Victoria.

Dimond, W. J., Osborne, W. S., Evans, M., Gruber, B. and Sarre, S. D. (2012). Back to the brink: population decline of the endangered grassland earless dragon (Tympanocryptis pinguicolla) following its rediscovery. Herpetological Conservation and Biology 7(2): 132-149.

Garnett, Stephen T., Hayward-Brown, Brittany K. et al. (2022). Australia's most imperilled vertebrates. Biological Conservation 270: 109561.

Geyle, Hayley M. et al. (2021). Reptiles on the brink: identifying the Australian terrestrial snake and lizard species most at risk of extinction. Pacific Conservation Biology 27: 3-12.

Low, Tim and Booth, Carol. (2023). GONE: Australian animals extinct since the 1960s. Invasive Species Council Inc.

Melville J, Chaplin K, Hutchinson M, Sumner J, Gruber B, MacDonald AJ, Sarre SD. (2019). Taxonomy and conservation of grassland earless dragons: new species and an assessment of the first possible extinction of a reptile on mainland Australia. R. Soc. open sci. 6: 190233.

Melville J, Chapple DG, Keogh JS, Sumner J, Amey A, Bowles P, et al. (2021). A return-on-investment approach for prioritization of rigorous taxonomic research needed to inform responses to the biodiversity crisis. PLoS Biol 19(6): e3001210.

Robertson, P. and Evans, M. (2009). National Recovery Plan for the Grassland Earless Dragon Tympanocryptis pinguicolla. As varied October 2012. ACT Department of Territory and Municipal Services.


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