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Brookesia desperata GLAW, KÖHLER, TOWNSEND & VENCES, 2012

IUCN Red List - Brookesia desperata - Critically Endangered, CR

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Higher TaxaChamaeleonidae (Brookesiinae), Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymBrookesia desperata GLAW, KÖHLER, TOWNSEND & VENCES 2012 
DistributionN Madagascar (Antsiranana)

Type locality: Forêt d’Ambre Special Reserve, ca. 5 km southwest of Sakaramy village, 12°28’00’’S, 49°13’37’’ E, 470 m elevation, Antsiranana Province, northern Madagascar.  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: ZSM 2170/2007 (FGZC 1250), adult male (hemipenes everted), collected on 12 March 2007 by F. Glaw, J. Köhler and A. Razafimanantsoa. Paratypes: ZSM, UADBA 
DiagnosisDiagnosis.— A member of the Brookesia minima group based on small body size (SVL 25–30 mm) and molecular phylogenetic relationships. Brookesia desperata is distinguished from all other species in the group by the presence of three enlarged tubercles on lateral head surface (versus 0–2). In addition it differs as follows: from B. confidens by a larger adult body size (male SVL 25.0–26.7 vs. 18.3–20.1 mm), supranasal cone present (vs. absent), and hemipenis with two apical processes each with a distinct spine (vs. narrow hemipenis without apical ornaments); from B. dentata by presence of well-developed lateral spines on the tail (vs. absence); from B. exarmata by a larger adult body size (female SVL 27.3– 30.0 mm vs. 25.7–26.5 mm), and presence of well-developed lateral spines on the tail (vs. absence); from B. micra by a larger adult body size (male SVL 25.0–26.7 vs. 15.3–15.8 mm), presence of well-developed lateral spines on the tail (vs. absence), and hemipenis with two apical processes each with a distinct spine (vs. comb-like arranged papillae on apex); from B. minima by a larger adult body size (male SVL 25.0–26.7 vs. 15.0–20.6 mm), presence of well-developed lateral spines on the tail (vs. indistinct), pelvic spine present (vs. absent or indistinct), and hemipenis with two apical processes each with a distinct spine (vs. balloon-like hemipenis without ornaments); from B. peyrierasi by a larger adult body size (male SVL 25.0–26.7 vs. 19.7–22.4 mm), presence of well-developed lateral spines on the tail (vs. indistinct), and hemipenis with two apical processes each with a distinct spine (vs. four spines on each lobe); from B. ramanantsoai by presence of well- developed lateral spines on the tail (vs. absence), and hemipenis with two apical processes each with a distinct spine (vs. balloon-like hemipenis without ornaments); from B. tristis by a larger adult body size (male SVL 25.0–26.7 vs. 18.0–18.2 mm), and hemipenis with two apical processes each with a distinct spine (vs. small spine- like papillae on apex); and from B. tuberculata by a larger adult body size (male SVL 25.0–26.7 vs. 14.4–18.8 mm), presence of well- developed lateral spines on the tail (vs. absence), and hemipenis with two apical processes with a distinct spine (vs. a single crown- like structure on apex).
B. desperata is most similar to B. karchei in body size, number of dorsolateral pointed tubercles (12–13) and distinct lateral tubercles on tail (Fig. 9B). However, B. karchei differs from the new species by more pronounced supraocular and supranasal cones, more prominent and spiny posterior crest and only one enlarged tubercle at lateral side of head (three in B. desperata). 
CommentAbundance: only known from the type locality (Meiri et al. 2017). 
EtymologyEtymology.— The species epithet is an adjective derived from the Latin ‘‘desperatus’’ meaning ‘‘desperate’’. Although the known range of the species is within a nature reserve established decades ago, its habitat is in truth barely protected and subject to numerous human-induced environmental problems resulting in severe habitat destruction [41], thus threatening the survival of the species. 
References
  • Glaw F, Köhler J, Townsend TM, Vences M 2012. Rivaling the World’s Smallest Reptiles: Discovery of Miniaturized and Microendemic New Species of Leaf Chameleons (Brookesia) from Northern Madagascar. PLoS One 7 (2): e31314. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0031314 - get paper here
  • Glaw, F. 2015. Taxonomic checklist of chameleons (Squamata: Chamaeleonidae). [type catalogue] Vertebrate Zoology 65 (2): 167–246 - get paper here
  • Kowala, Julia, 2017. A Study of Reptile Community Diversity Related to Habitat Characteristics at Marojejy National Park. Independent Study Project (ISP) Collection. - get paper here
  • Kwet, A. 2012. Die kleinsten Reptilien der Welt - neu entdeckte Zwergchamäleons aus Madagaskar. Reptilia (Münster) 17 (95): 4-6 - get paper here
  • Kwet, Axel 2013. Liste der im Jahr 2012 neu beschriebenen Reptilien. Terraria-Elaphe 2013 (3): 52-67 - get paper here
  • Meiri, Shai; Aaron M. Bauer, Allen Allison, Fernando Castro-Herrera, Laurent Chirio, Guarino Colli, Indraneil Das, Tiffany M. Doan, Frank Glaw, Lee L. Grismer, Marinus Hoogmoed, Fred Kraus, Matthew LeBreton, Danny Meirte, Zoltán T. Nagy, Cristiano d 2017. Extinct, obscure or imaginary: the lizard species with the smallest ranges. Diversity and Distributions - get paper here
 
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