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Agama lebretoni WAGNER, BAREJ & SCHMITZ, 2009

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Higher TaxaAgamidae (Agaminae), Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Lebreton’s Agama 
SynonymAgama sp. 1 — CHIRIO & LEBRETON 2007
Agama lebretoni WAGNER, BAREJ & SCHMITZ 2009
Agama lebretoni — MEDIANNIKOV, TRAPE & TRAPE 2012: 132 
DistributionCameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Fernando Poo (Bioko Island), Nigeria

Type locality: Cameroon, north-east of Mamfe, Mukwecha, Amebisu, N 05°53.866’ E 009°33.495’.  
Reproductionoviparous (phylogenetic imputation, fide Zimin et al. 2022) 
TypesHolotype: ZFMK 87698 (field number MM075): leg. J. Wurstner & M. Barej, September, 2007. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A fairly large species of Agama (total length of adult male above 25 cm), which is characterized by a reticulated pattern on the throat, a bright vertebral stripe and a deep blue tail tip in adult males. Males of the new species are distinguishable from all other Agama-species by the combination of throat and tail colouration. The throat colouration (fig. 4.1) is a reticular pattern of red lines, which is so far only known from Agama paragama (fig. 4.2), Agama sylvanus (fig. 4.3) and an undescribed species from Uganda (fig. 4.5). The tail colouration is unique within the genus because of the blue tip of a tricoloured tail (see fig. 2d). Females are similar to those of other species of the Agama agama species complex, and can only be safely determined by their genetics.
From southern and eastern African species A. lebretoni sp. n. differs as follows:
From A. planiceps, A. turuensis, A. mwanzae, A. kaimosae and A. atra the new species differs in their unique throat colouration, the blue colouration of the tip of the tail and in having a vertebral stripe. From A. knobeli the new species differs additionally in not possessing a tail crest. From A. mucosoensis the new species differs in having a red head instead of a yellow. A. lebretoni sp. n. is very different in tail colouration (tri-coloured instead of banded narrow white and blue) from A. lionotus and A. kirkii.
Agama species occurring in Cameroon and Gabon differ from A. lebretoni sp. n. as follows:
Agama agama differs in having a black colouration of the tail tip instead a blue one in the new species. Both species also differ in characters of throat colouration: Agama agama has a more or less striated to uniform red throat (fig. 4.4), which is dissimilar to the reticulated throat of the new species. A. agama is also lacking the typical pale vertebral stripe which is present in nuptial coloured males of the new species. In contrast, Agama agama has a slightly lower count of scale rows around midbody. According to GRANDISON (1968) A. agama from Nigeria has 59 to 77 rows, whereas A. lebretoni sp. n. has 73 to 80 rows [23 specimens].
From Agama doriae benueensis the new species differs in having a different throat pattern in dominant males: A. doriae with a prominent black dot on the base of the throat (fig. 4.13, 4.14), instead of a reticulated throat in A. lebretoni sp. n. Additionally, A. doriae benueensis is one of the few Agama species which have the nostril below the canthus rostralis instead of on the canthus like in the most Agama’s.
Agama gracilimembris is much smaller in size (100 to 120 mm in A. gracilimembris in difference to more than 250 mm in A. lebretoni sp. n.) and does not have spinose scales around the ear opening as in the most other Agama species. Again, also this species differs in the colouration of the throat of adult males: striated in A. gracilimembris (fig. 4.16) and reticulated in the new species. In morphology, A. gracilimembris differs in possessing strongly keeled head scales and it is also one of the few Agama species which have the nostril below the canthus rostralis. However, both species are similar in the count of scale rows around midbody (70 to 85 in A. gracilimembris and 73 to 80 in the new species).
From Agama paragama the new species differs in possessing a lower nuchal crest, in having a red instead of a yellow-whitish head and in having a higher number of scale rows around midbody (Wagner, unpubl. data). Additionally, adult males of A. paragama show a black instead of blue tail tip. GRANDISON (1968) described the colouration of the throat of A. paragama (similar to the herein described new species) as ‘a dark network on a cream ground which takes the form of isolated, round, cream spots’ (fig. 4.2) and as dissimilar to Agama agama which has a ‘longitudinal arrangement of darker lines or blotches’. However, GRANDISON (1968) also mentioned, that the typical throat colouration of A. paragama is present in both sexes, which is not comparable with A. lebretoni sp. n.. A similar situation exists in Agama turuensis and Agama lionotus elgonis which have a very similar colouration of the throat to each other (see fig. 4) but are recognized as distinct taxa by WAGNER et al. (2008a).
Agama sankaranica is completely different in body colouration, but also in other aspects of morphology: this species is much smaller in size and it is one of the few Agama lizards which have the nostril below the canthus rostralis. Additionally, A. sankaranica has a fewer count of scale rows around midbody (64-78 [69.6] in sankaranica versus 73 to 80 [76.2] in lebretoni sp. n.) and a very large occipital scale, which is as large as one and half diameter of the tympanum.
Agama lebretoni sp. n. differs clearly from Agama sylvanus in having a vertebral stripe instead of a completely blue body in A. sylvanus, but both species show a similar pattern of throat colouration in adult males (figs 4.1, 4.3).
Agama lebretoni sp. n. differs from the holotype of Agama mehelyi (for comments see below) in having a homogenous body scalation.
From the three other proposed new species mentioned by CHIRIO & LEBRETON (2007) the new species differs as follows: from Agama sp. 2 in the larger size; from Agama sp. 3 in having the nostril on the canthus rostralis; from Agama sp. 4 in having a vertebral stripe and completely blue forelimbs instead of red and blue coloured ones in Agama sp. 4. (Wagner et al. 2009) 
CommentDistribution: For a map with localities in Equatorial Guinea see SÁNCHEZ-VIALAS et al. 2022. 
EtymologyThe new species is dedicated to MATTHEW LEBRETON, Yaoundé (Cameroon) in recognition of his contributions to the herpetology of Cameroon. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Chirio, L. & Lebreton, M. 2007. Atlas des reptiles du Cameroun. MNHN, IRD, Paris 688 pp.
  • Mediannikov, Oleg; Sébastien Trape, Jean-François Trape 2012. A Molecular Study of the Genus Agama (Squamata: Agamidae) in West Africa, with Description of Two New Species and a Review of the Taxonomy, Geographic Distribution, and Ecology of Currently Recognized Species. Russ. J. Herpetol. 19 (2): 115-142 - get paper here
  • Pauwels OSG, Morelle S, Albert J-L, Carlino P, Rahola N, Trape J-F. 2019. New reptile records from Lékédi Park and Haut-Ogooué Province, southeastern Gabon. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 13 (1) [General Section]: 143–161 (e174) - get paper here
  • Pauwels, O. S. G. B. Le Garff, I. Ineich, P. Carlino, I. Melcore, L. Boundenga, C. Vigna, T. Stévart, K. Jeffery, C. Orbell, J.-B. Squarcini, J. P. Vande weghe and L. J. T. White 2016. Miscellanea Herpetologica Gabonica V & VI. Bull. Chicago Herp. Soc. 51: 177 - get paper here
  • Pauwels, O. S. G., P. Carlino, L. Chirio and J.-L. Albert 2016. Miscellanea Herpetologica Gabonica IV. Bull. Chicago Herp. Soc. 51: 73 - get paper here
  • Pauwels, Olivier S. G.; Laila Bahaa-el-din , Jean-Louis Albert , Piero Carlino , Francesco Giannuzzi , Laurent Chirio , Jean-François Gillet , Eddy Poirier and Tariq Stévart 2018. Miscellanea Herpetologica Gabonica XIV. Bulletin of the Chicago Herpetological Society 53(9): 185-190 - get paper here
  • Portik DM, Jongsma GFM, Kouete MT, Scheinberg LA, Freiermuth B, Tapondjou WP, Blackburn DC. 2016. A survey of amphibians and reptiles in the foothills of Mount Kupe, Cameroon. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 10(2) [Special Section]: 37–67 (e131)
  • SÁNCHEZ-VIALAS, A., CALVO-REVUELTA, M. & DE LA RIVA, I. 2022. Synopsis of the terrestrial Reptiles of Equatorial Guinea. Zootaxa 5202 (1): 1-197 - get paper here
  • Trape, J.F.; Trape, S. & Chirio, L. 2012. Lézards, crocodiles et tortues d'Afrique occidentale et du Sahara. IRD Orstom, 503 pp. - get paper here
  • Wagner, P.; Barej, M.F. & Schmitz, A. 2009. Studies on African Agama VII. A new species of the Agama agama-group (Linnaeus, 1758) (Sauria: Agamidae) from Cameroon & Gabon, with comments on Agama mehelyi Tornier, 1902. Bonner zoologische Beiträge 56 (4): 285–297 - get paper here
  • Wagner, Philipp, Wolfram Freund, David Modrý, Andreas Schmitz & Wolfgang Böhme 2011. Studies on African Agama IX. New insights into Agama finchi Böhme et al., 2005 (Sauria: Agamidae) with the description of a new subspecies. Bonn zoological Bulletin 60 (1): 25-34 - get paper here
  • Zimin, A., Zimin, S. V., Shine, R., Avila, L., Bauer, A., Böhm, M., Brown, R., Barki, G., de Oliveira Caetano, G. H., Castro Herrera, F., Chapple, D. G., Chirio, L., Colli, G. R., Doan, T. M., Glaw, F., Grismer, L. L., Itescu, Y., Kraus, F., LeBreton 2022. A global analysis of viviparity in squamates highlights its prevalence in cold climates. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 00, 1–16 - get paper here
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