Calumma juliae PRÖTZEL, VENCES, HAWLITSCHEK, SCHERZ, RATSOAVINA & GLAW, 2018
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Calumma juliae?
|Higher Taxa||Chamaeleonidae, Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)|
|Synonym||Calumma juliae PRÖTZEL, VENCES, HAWLITSCHEK, SCHERZ, RATSOAVINA & GLAW 2018|
|Distribution||E Madagascar (Toamasina)|
Type locality: small forest fragment 5 km east of Moramanga, just south of the Route Nationale 2 (18.9520°S, 48.2707°E, at 950 m elevation), Toamasina Province, eastern Madagascar.
|Types||Holotype: ZSM 143/2016 (FGZC 5235), adult female, collected on 6 January 2016 by F. Glaw, D. Prötzel and L. Randriamanana.|
Paratypes: ZSM 142/2016 (FGZC 5233), FGZC 5232 and FGZC 5234 (two uncatalogued specimens in UADBA), all three adult females, collected from the same location as the holotype (18.9519°S, 48.2705°E, within a radius of 50 m, at 950 m a.s.l.) on 6 January 2016 by F. Glaw, D. Prötzel, and L. Randriamanana. ZSM 254/2016 (FGZC 5274), adult female, and ZSM 255/2016 (FGZC 5275) and FGZC 5276 (uncatalogued specimen in UADBA), both juveniles, all three collected on 30 July 2016; FGZC 5277 (uncatalogued specimen in UADBA), subadult, collected on 31 July 2016 at the same location as above by F. Glaw, D. Prötzel, and N. Raharinoro.
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis: Male specimens are unknown so far, hence the diagnosis refers only to females of this species. Calumma juliae sp. nov. is a member of the phenetic C. nasutum species group (Prötzel, Ruthensteiner & Glaw, 2016), on the basis of the presence of a soft, dermal unpaired rostral appendage, absence of gular or ventral crests, and heterogeneous scalation on the lower arm, consisting mostly of tubercles of a diameter of 0.7–0.8 mm. Within the group, it is a large (TL 105.3–111.6 mm), grey–beige chameleon that is characterised by a long and distally rounded rostral appendage, a dorsal crest of 11–14 tubercles, occipital lobes that are clearly notched but not completely separated, and absence of axillary pits.|
Calumma juliae sp. nov. differs from C. fallax, C. gallus, C. nasutum, C. peyrierasi, C. vatosoa, and C. vohibola of the C. nasutum group by the presence of occipital lobes; from C. gehringi, C. guibei, and C. lefona sp. nov. in the completely closed brain case (vs. frontoparietal fenestra); additionally, from female C. gehringi and C. guibei in body size of 53.3–59.4 mm SVL (vs. 47.5–52.3 mm); from female C. gehringi in the shorter rostral appendage of 2.3–2.7 mm (vs. 3.2–4.4 mm); from C. guibei (both sexes) in the notch between the occipital lobes of 0.2–0.8 mm (vs. completely separated with notch of 1.2–1.9 mm; see Brygoo, 1971); from C. lefona sp. nov. (one male) in the shorter (2.3–2.7 mm) and rounded rostral appendage (vs. 5.6 mm, pointed), the absence of a temporal and parietal crest (vs. presence) and the number of dorsal cones of 11–14 (vs. 23); from C. boettgeri (both sexes) by the higher number of large (0.7–0.8 mm diameter) juxtaposed tubercle scales on the extremities (17–19 in line vs. 7–14, diameter of 0.2–0.5 mm and isolated from each other); from female C. uetzi sp. nov. in the larger body size of 53.3–59.4 mm SVL (vs. 42.0 mm SVL in females), the absence of a temporal and pari- etal crest (vs. presence of both) and the higher number of infralabial scales of 14–15 (vs. 11–12); from its most similar taxon C. linotum by the clearly notched occipi- tal lobes with a depth of 0.2–0.8 mm (vs. not or slightly notched with depth 0–0.2 mm), presence of a dorsal crest in females consisting of 11–14 conical scales in C. juliae sp. nov. (vs. zero in C. linotum and six in C. cf. linotum; one specimen from Andampy), higher number of infralabial scales in females of 14–15 (vs. 12–13), absence of temporal and parietal crest in females (vs. both present), and in generally larger body size in females of 53.3–59.4 mm SVL (vs. 42.7–54.5 mm). In skull morphology, the squamosal and parietal do not meet in female C. juliae sp. nov. (vs. broad in contact in male and female C. linotum (Prötzel et al., 2015); fron- tal of triangular shape and narrower, e.g. 16.8–18.2% of SkL at border to prefrontal (vs. 22.1–24.4%), 30.7– 31.1% of SkL at border to postorbitofrontal (vs. 34.4– 35.8%) and 25.0–26.3% of SkL bordering the parietal (vs. 32.5–33.6%); also, parietal is narrower at border to frontal with 28.5–29.5% of SkL (vs. 34.1–35.1%).
|Comment||Conservation: The forest in which it occurs is under heavy active anthropogenic pressure and is, in our opinion, in imminent danger of disappearance [criterion B, subcriterion b(iii)]. As the AOO of the species is considerably < 10 km2, consists of a single threat-defined location, and is experiencing on-going decline in its quality and extent, the species qualifies as Critically Endangered under IUCN criterion B1ab(iii).|
Habitat: primary rainforest
Behavior: Calumma juliae sp. nov. is an arboreal, diurnal species found in bushes and trees. Roosting sites at night were thin branches or, rarely, leaves that were not exposed, but hidden inside tree/bush cover 0.3–2 m above the ground. In contrast to the syntopically occurring population of C. cf. nasutum, the present species preferred a horizontal sleeping position (vs. head pointing downwards). When disturbed, some specimens dropped immediately and stayed curled and motionless on the ground.
|Etymology||D.P. 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.|
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