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Bradypodion atromontanum BRANCH, TOLLEY & TILBURY, 2006

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Higher TaxaChamaeleonidae, Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesSwartberg Dwarf chameleon 
SynonymBradypodion atromontanum BRANCH, TOLLEY & TILBURY 2006
Bradypodion atromontanum — TILBURY 2010: 230 
DistributionRepublic of South Africa (Western Cape Province, Cape Fold Mountains), elevation 1600-1800 m.

Type locality: 500 m along road to Die Hel, west from Swartberg Pass, Great Swartberg, Prince Alfred District, Western Cape Province, South Africa (33°20’50”S, 22°01’40”E)  
Reproductionovoviviparous. 
TypesHolotype: PEM R5744, adult male, collected by Colin Tilbury on 21 March 2002, DNA CT138. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Geographically closest to B. gutturale, but the two species do not occur in sympatry. Moreover, it differs from B. gutturalein having: a less pronounced casque; only slightly raised cranial crests; a gular crest that is composed only of small, simple, non-overlapping spines; and small, flattened flank tubercles arranged in only a single row. It differs in the latter also from B. ventrale (including the synonym B. karrooicum), and in the simple gular crest. It lacks the elongate gular grooves of B. occidentale, which also has a pronounced casque and large, overlapping (in part) flaps in the gular crest. Although B. damaranum is geographically close to B. atromontanum, it falls, genetically, into a different clade from that of gutturale-ventrale-atromontanum, and is also well diagnosed morphologically. In B. damaranum the tail is approximately 1.5 times the SVL(subequal in B. atromontanum and other members of the B. gutturale-ventrale clade); numerous very enlarged tubercles border the dorsal crest, especially on the tail; and it has a relatively longer leg length (adpressed limbs overlap considerably). 
Comment 
EtymologyEtymology.—The specific epithet is derived from atro(L), black; and montanus(L), mountain. The component elements allude to the black colouration of the flank area in excited individuals (see Fig. 3) and to the Mountain Fynbos habitat in which the species lives. In combination the components refer to the Swartberg (‘Black Mountain’), to which the chameleon is endemic. The name is constructed as neuter to correspond to the generic name. 
References
  • Bates, M.F.; Branch, W.R., Bauer, A.M.; Burger, M., Marais, J.; Alexander, G.J. & de Villliers, M.S. (eds.) 2014. Atlas and Red List of the Reptiles of South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland. Suricata 1. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, 512 pp.
  • Branch, Wiliam R., Krystal A. Tolley and Colin R. Tilbury 2006. A new Dwarf Chameleon (Sauria: Bradypodion Fitzinger, 1843) from the Cape Fold Mountains, South Africa. African Journal of Herpetology 55 (2):123-141. - get paper here
  • Glaw, F. 2015. Taxonomic checklist of chameleons (Squamata: Chamaeleonidae). [type catalogue] Vertebrate Zoology 65 (2): 167–246 - get paper here
  • Stuart-Fox, D. & Moussalli, A. 2008. Selection for Social Signalling Drives the Evolution of Chameleon Colour Change. PloS Biol. 6 (1): e25 (doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0060025|) - get paper here
  • Tilbury, C. 2010. Chameleons of Africa: An Atlas, Including the Chameleons of Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt M., 831 pp.
 
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