Knowledge of the extraordinary species richness of Australian desert lizards has expanded as new approaches integrating morphological and genetic data reveal unsuspected differentiation. The genus Ctenophorus is a major arid zone radiation and the most species-rich Australian agamid clade. The monophyletic C. maculatus complex, the sand dragons, occupy most sandy arid and semiarid habitats across southern Australia. Published molecular data on nominal C. maculatus complex species, C. fordi, C. femoralis, and C. maculatus, suggested undescribed species presence, supported by dorsal color pattern and male throat and chest patch variation. We provide additional morphological data from all candidate species, recognizing a total of 11 species. Four taxa are elevations of subspecies to species, and four taxa are newly described species. Ctenophorus maculatus complex species vary interspecifically in sexual size dimorphism and dichromatism, with a mating system of nonterritorial males, contrasting with some other territorial Ctenophorus species. The diversity and high local abundance of these lizards make them a potential model group for furthering understanding of interactions between natural selection and sexual selection leading to speciation.

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