Dr Andrew Amey

Andrew Amey

Andrew has been Collection Manager of Amphibians and Reptiles (herpetology) at the Queensland Museum since 1998. He is responsible for preparation and registration of new specimens, caring for the collection and facilitating access by researchers and members of the public.  Introducing members of the public and new researchers to the treasures of the collection is a constant pleasure. 

In collaboration with the curator of herpetology, Patrick Couper, Andrew’s research focuses on skinks and geckos, principally taxonomy (the discovery of new species).  Most research effort has focussed on the rainforests of Queensland, especially the leaftail geckos, but has also resulted in the revision of the Australian Ring-tailed Geckos (Cyrtodactylus) from one species to five, highlighting the tremendous diversity of these habitats that is still to be discovered. 

A current project is the taxonomy of the skink genus Lerista, an endemic Australian lineage that has undergone spectacular speciation, with 97 species currently recognised.  The genus is unusual in the diversity of its limb arrangements.  The specialisation to a burrowing lifestyle has led to a progressive reduction in the number of fingers and toes, such that some species retain the full complement of five fingers and five toes, some species lack fore limbs but have a hindlimb with a limited number of toes and some species have no limbs at all.  The genus includes the Retro Slider (Lerista allanae) a species found only in central Queensland, which was thought to be extinct until its rediscovery in 2009, when a specimen was donated to the Queensland Museum.  Preliminary investigation of the museum’s collections suggested that the diversity of Lerista in northern Queensland has been under-estimated.  A three year research project is now underway to sample this genus more extensively in northern Queensland and will result in new species descriptions and a much improved understanding of the relationships between species and the mechanisms producing such diversity.

The ecology of invasive species, especially the Asian House Gecko, now nearly ubiquitous in urban Queensland, and the taxonomy and distribution of Australian sea snakes, are other research interests.

Recent Publications

  • Revell, B., Couper, P.J., Wilson, S., Amey, A. & Hoskin, C.J. 2017. A significant range extension for the Border Ranges Leaf-tailed Gecko, Saltuarius swaini (Wells & Wellington, 1985) (Reptilia: Carphodactylidae). Memoirs of the Queensland Museum – Nature, 60: 185–191.
  • Amey, A.P. & Couper, P.J. (2017). A redescription of Lerista karlschmidti (Marx & Hosmer, 1959) (Reptilia: Scincidae) from the Northern Territory and removal of this species from the Queensland faunal list by rejecting its type locality. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum – Nature, 60: 177–183.
  • Amey, A.P. & Edwards, D.L. (2017) Taxonomy of the sand sliders of Western Australia's central coast (genus Lerista, Squamata: Scincidae): recognition of Lerista miopus (Günther, 1867). Zootaxa, 4317, 111–133.
  • Amey, A.P., Janetzki, H. and Hobson, R.G. (2017). Quinkan Bush Blitz Vertebrates. Queensland Museum, Brisbane, for Environment Australia/Bush Blitz, 24pp.
  • Amey, A. P. & Dudley, A. (2016) Southwest Tasmania Bush Blitz 2016 Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds and Mammals. Queensland Museum, Brisbane, for Environment Australia/Bush Blitz, 20 pp.
  • Amey, Couper and Worthington Wilmer (2016) Lerista vanderduysi sp. nov. pp. 73–76 IN: Couper, P. J., Amey, A. P. & Worthington Wilmer, J. (2016) Cryptic diversity within the narrowly endemic Lerista wilkinsi group of north Queensland—two new species (Reptilia: Scincidae). Zootaxa, 4162, 61-91.
  • Amey, Couper and Worthington Wilmer (2016) Lerista hobsoni sp. nov. pp. 76–81 IN: Couper, P. J., Amey, A. P. & Worthington Wilmer, J. (2016) Cryptic diversity within the narrowly endemic Lerista wilkinsi group of north Queensland—two new species (Reptilia: Scincidae). Zootaxa, 4162, 61-91.
  • Couper, P. J., Amey, A. P. & Worthington Wilmer, J. (2016) Cryptic diversity within the narrowly endemic Lerista wilkinsi group of north Queensland—two new species (Reptilia: Scincidae). Zootaxa, 4162, 61-91.
  • Amey, A. & Hobson, R. (2016) Olkola Bush Blitz 2015 Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds and Mammals, p. 65. Report for Bush Blitz, Dept. of Environment, Australian Government, Canberra, Queensland Museum, Brisbane.
  • Amey, A.P. and Janetzki, H. (2014). Carnarvon Bush Blitz 2014 – Vertebrates.  Report for Bush Blitz, Dept. of Environment, Australian Government, Canberra.
  • Rasmussen, A.R., Sanders, K.L., Guinea, M.L. & Amey, A.P. (2014). Sea snakes in Australian waters (Serpentes: subfamilies Hydrophiinae and Laticaudinae)—a review with an updated identification key. Zootaxa, 3869(4):351-371.
  • Amey, A.P. & Worthington Wilmer, J. (2014) Morphological diversity and genetic structure within Lerista kalumburu Storr, 1976 (Squamata: Scincomorpha: Sphenomorphidae)—taxonomic implications. Zootaxa, 3821, 239-252.
  • Amey, A.P. 2013. The reproductive cycle of the Asian House Gecko (Hemidactylus frenatus) in Brisbane, south-eastern Queensland: a tropical invader of a subtropical, seasonal environment. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum – Nature, 56(2): 271-278.
  • Amey, A.P., Couper, P.J. & Shea, G.M. (2012) Intellagama lesueurii (Gray, 1831), the correct binomial combination for the Australian Water Dragon (Sauria, Agamidae). Zootaxa, 3390, 65-67.
  • Couper, P. & Amey, A. 2012. The Reptiles of Brisbane. Queensland Museum, Brisbane, 68 pp.
  • Couper, P., Amey, A. & Borsboom, A. 2012. Retro slider, Lerista allanae (Longman, 1937). Pp. 229-230. In Curtis, L.K., Dennis, A.J., McDonald, K.R., Kyne, P.M. & Debus, S.J.S. (eds.) Queensland's Threatened Animals. (CSIRO: Collingwood).
  • Amey, A. 2012. Mount Cooper Striped Skink, Lerista vittata Greer, McDonald & Lawrie, 1983. Pp. 232-233. In Curtis, L.K., Dennis, A.J., McDonald, K.R., Kyne, P.M. & Debus, S.J.S. (eds.) Queensland's Threatened Animals. (CSIRO: Collingwood).
  • Shea, G., Couper, P., Worthington Wilmer, J & Amey, A. (2011). Revision of the genus Cyrtodactylus Gray, 1827 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) in Australia. Zootaxa, 3146:1-63.
  • Couper, P.J. & Amey, A.P. (2011). Tips for separating Carlia rostralis from Carlia longipes – resolving the inadequacies of existing keys. Herpetofauna, 40(1):13-15.
  • Borsboom, A.C., Couper, P.J., Amey, A. & Hoskin, C.J. (2010). Distribution and population genetic structure of the critically endangered skink Nangura spinosa, and the implications for management.  Aust. J. Zool., 58:369-375.
  • Oliver, P.M., Couper, P & Amey, A. (2010). A new species of Pygopus (Pygopodidae; Gekkota; Squamata) from north-eastern Queensland. Zootaxa, 2578:47–61.
  • Lyon, B.J., Couper, P.J., Amey, A., Roberts, L.J. & Covacevich, J.A. (2010). Frogs and reptiles of the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve, Cape York. Queensland Naturalist, 48:13–21.
  • Couper, P.J., Limpus, C.J., McDonald, K.R. & Amey, A.P. (2010). A new species of Proablepharus (Scincidae: Lygosominae) from Mt Surprise, north-eastern Queensland, Australia. Zootaxa, 2433:62-68.
  • Amey, A. (2009). An instance of senescence in a field population of the Eastern Bearded Dragon, Pogona barbata (Lacertilia, Agamidae). Herpetofauna, 39(2):69–73.
  • Couper, P. J. & Amey, A. P. (2009) Lerista karlschmidti (Marx and Hosmer, 1959) (Sauria: Scincidae): re-examination of the type series, reassignment of a paratype and distribution notes. Zootaxa, 2312, 39-48.
  • Amey, A.P. & Couper, P.J. (2009). A new limb-reduced skink (Scincidae: Lerista) from the dry rainforest of north Queensland.  Zootaxa 2173:19–30.
  • Couper, P. & Amey, A. (2007). Snakes Of South-East Queensland. Queensland Museum, Brisbane.
  • Couper, P., Amey, A. & Limpus, C. (2007). Freshwater Turtles. Pp237–240.  IN  Wildlife Of Greater Brisbane, 2nd Ed. Queensland Museum, Brisbane.
  • Wilson, S.K. & Amey, A.P. (2007). Lizards. Pp243–273.  IN  Wildlife Of Greater Brisbane, 2nd Ed. Queensland Museum, Brisbane.
  • Wilson, S., Couper, P. Amey, A. & Covacevich, J. (2007). Land Snakes. Pp275–295.  IN  Wildlife Of Greater Brisbane, 2nd Ed. Queensland Museum, Brisbane.
  • Couper, P.J., Covacevich, J.A., Amey, A.P. & Baker, A.M. (2006). The genera of skinks (Family Scincidae) of Australia and its island territories: Diversity, distribution and identification. Pp 367–383. IN: J.R. Merrick, M. Archer, G.M. Hickey & M.S.Y. Lee (eds.). Evolution and Biogeography of Australasian Vertebrates. Auscipub, Sydney.

Position

Collection Manager of Amphibians and Reptiles (herpetology)

Qualifications

BSc, University of Western Australia, 1991

BSc (1st Class Honours), The University of Queensland, 1992

PhD, The University of Queensland, 1999

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