Thursday, April 12, 2018

[Herpetology • 2018] Calumma uetzi, C. lefona & C. juliaeEndangered Beauties: micro-CT Cranial Osteology, Molecular Genetics and External Morphology reveal Three New Species of Chameleons in the Calumma boettgeri complex (Squamata: Chamaeleonidae)

Calumma uetzi 
Prötzel, Vences, Hawlitschek, Scherz, Ratsoavina & Glaw, 2018

Based on recent discoveries and an integrative study including external morphology, osteology and molecular genetics, we continue to revise the Madagascar-endemic chameleons of the Calumma boettgeri complex (within the Calumma nasutum species group). We describe three new species of these small-sized, occipital-lobed chameleons. Calumma uetzi sp. nov. is a species from the Sorata and Marojejy massifs (northern Madagascar), with a spectacular display coloration in males, clearly notched occipital lobes, and females with a dorsal crest. Calumma lefona sp. nov. is described based on a male specimen from Tsaratanana (northern Madagascar), with widely notched occipital lobes, a long and pointed rostral appendage, a dorsal crest, and a frontoparietal fenestra in the skull roof. This last character also occurs in six other Calumma species, and its presence and width are correlated with the elevational distribution of the species. Calumma juliae sp. nov. is known only from a small, isolated forest fragment near Moramanga in eastern Madagascar, and only females have been found so far. It is a relatively large member of the C. nasutum group, with a distinct dorsal crest and numerous infralabial scales. Two of the new species are known exclusively from their type localities, and we recommend protection of the habitats of all three as soon as possible.

 KEYWORDS: Calumma nasutum species group – conservation – frontoparietal fenestra – hemipenis morphology – Madagascar.

 Family Chamaeleonidae Rafinesque, 1815
 Genus Calumma Gray, 1865

  Calumma uetzi sp. nov. male holotype (ZSM 1688/2012, left) in spectacular display.

Figure 2. Calumma uetzi sp. nov. in life., male holotype (ZSM 1688/2012, left) in spectacular display, with adult female (right, UADBAR-FGZC 3628) in stress coloration, repelling the male. 

 Calumma uetzi sp. nov.
Etymology: This species is dedicated to our colleague and friend Peter Uetz, who developed and has maintained the Reptile Database ( voluntarily for > 20 years. This database is the most important online resource for information on reptile species, thereby providing a priceless service to herpetology and a model for what should be available for all organism groups.

  Calumma lefona sp. nov.

Etymology: Calumma lefona sp. nov. is the only species in the C. nasutum group with a relatively long and pointed/constantly tapering rostral appendage (with the exception of C. gallus). This shape reminds of a spearhead; accordingly, we chose the Malagasy word ‘lefona’ (meaning ‘spear’) as its species epithet. It is used as an invariable noun in apposition to the genus name

Figure 7. Calumma juliae sp. nov. coloration in life during day. portrait of female ZSM 254/2016 with slightly displaying.

Calumma juliae sp. nov.

Etymology: The first author dedicates the first new species he discovered himself to Julia Forster, in recognition of her generous support and understanding of our research on Madagascan chameleons and her help in collecting specimens of this species.

David Prötzel, Oliver Hawlitschek, Mark D. Scherz, Fanomezana M. Ratsoavina and Frank Glaw. 2018. Endangered Beauties: micro-CT Cranial Osteology, Molecular Genetics and External Morphology reveal Three New Species of Chameleons in the Calumma boettgeri complex (Squamata: Chamaeleonidae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. zlx112, DOI: 10.1093/zoolinnean/zlx112

Marvels and mysteries: three threatened new chameleons from Madagascar via @MarkScherz
All the colours of the rainbow