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Bradypodion venustum TOLLEY, TILBURY & BURGER, 2022

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Higher TaxaChamaeleonidae, Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymBradypodion venustum TOLLEY, TILBURY & BURGER 2022: 20 
DistributionRepublic of South Africa (Cape Province)

Type Locality: Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve, Western Cape Province, South Africa (−33.987, 20.806).  
TypesHolotype: PEM R26336, an adult male with everted hemipenes. Collected on 2 August 2017 by Andrew Turner and Kier Lynch.
Paratypes: PEM R5999, adult male. Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve (−33.983, 20.815, 435 m asl). Collected on 1 November 2003 by Pierre van der Berg and CapeNature staff; SAM 47811, juvenile male. Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve (−33.984, 20.819, 335 m asl). Collected on 15 November 1980 by Atherton de Villiers and Richard Boycott; PEM R26337, subadult male. Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve (−33.982; 20.884). Collected on 19 October 2020 by Krystal Tolley and CapeNature staff. All of the paratype localities are within the Western Cape Province, South Africa. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: With the exception of B. damaranum, adults of this new species differ from all other species of Bradypodion by having a much more prominent dorsal crest along the tail than along the vertebral keel. Principal differences from B. damaranum are that B. venustum sp. nov. appears to a smaller bodied and less rugose species with a maximum recorded snout-vent length of 73 mm (vs 83 mm in B. damaranum). Other differences are that B. venustum sp. nov. lacks the prominent tubercles arrayed between the gular grooves on the throat, lacks an enlarged pectoral tubercle above the foreleg insertion at the shoulder and also lacks the sometimes extensive, unpigmented areas of finely granular skin around the foreleg insertion, and along the flanks and subvertebral zones, as well as lacking a prominent midflank row of enlarged tubercles. 
EtymologyNamed after venustum, a Latin adjective meaning attractive, with reference to the colourful flanks and general good looks of this new species. 
  • Tolley, Krystal A; Colin R Tilbury & Marius Burger 2022. Convergence and vicariance: speciation of chameleons in the Cape Fold Mountains, South Africa, and the description of three new species of Bradypodion Fitzinger, 1843, African Journal of Herpetology, - get paper here
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