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Calumma lefona PRÖTZEL, VENCES, HAWLITSCHEK, SCHERZ, RATSOAVINA & GLAW, 2018

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Higher TaxaChamaeleonidae, Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymCalumma lefona PRÖTZEL, VENCES, HAWLITSCHEK, SCHERZ, RATSOAVINA & GLAW 2018 
DistributionN Madagascar (Mahajanga)

Type locality: Andrevorevo southeast of Tsaratanana Massif (14.3464°S, 49.1028°E, 1717 m elevation), Mahajanga Province, northern Madagascar.  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: ZSM 2849/2010 (DRV 6287), adult male with incompletely everted hemipenes, left hemipenis removed for micro-CT scanning, collected on 21 June 2010 by F. M. Ratsoavina and F. Randrianasola. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Calumma lefona 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 ~0.5 mm diameter. Within the genus, it is a small sized chameleon (SVL 51.3 mm, TL 113.7 mm) that is characterized by a long and pointed rostral appendage, occipital lobes that are widely notched and completely separated, a distinctly elevated rostral crest, a dorsal and caudal crest, absence of axillary pits and unique skull morphology.
Calumma lefona 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. boettgeri and C. linotum in the clearly notched occipital lobes with a depth of 1.8 mm (vs. not or slightly notched with 0–0.7 mm), presence of a frontoparietal fenestra with a width of 1.9 mm (14.7% of skull length; vs. completely closed brain case), prefrontal, frontal and parietal with many tubercles (vs. smooth or only a few tubercles); addition- ally, from C. boettgeri by the higher number (21 in line) of large, juxtaposed tubercle scales on the extremities (vs. seven to 14 isolated tubercles).
From the other three taxa with notched occipi- tal lobes, C. gehringi, C. guibei, and C. uetzi sp. nov., C. lefona sp. nov. differs by the long (5.6 mm) and pointed rostral appendage (vs. 3.1–5.4 mm in males, rounded), with 60 large scales (diameter > 0.3 mm) on the right side of the rostral appendage (vs. 20–42 in males), dorsal crest of 23 small conical scales (vs. absence or 5–15 large conical scales), clearly and widely separated occipital lobes with a notch of 1.8 mm (vs. tightly separated or connected with a notch of 0.5–1.5 mm in males); furthermore, in skull morphol- ogy by a narrower frontal, e.g. at the border to the postorbitofrontal with 30.5% of SkL (vs. 35.5–39.7%) and strongly raised maxillae; from C. gehringi and C. guibei in a broader parietal at midpoint with 18.3% of SkL (vs. 9.9–15.3%); from C. uetzi sp. nov. by posses- sion of a frontoparietal fenestra (vs. completely closed brain case) and a narrower head (e.g. RFWPo of 30.5 vs. 35.6–39.4%); from C. guibei by a smaller frontopari- etal fenestra with 14.7% of SkL (vs. 21.0%), prefrontal fontanelle and naris separated by contact of prefrontal with maxilla (vs. fused), thick squamosal (vs. thin) in broad dorsal contact with the parietal (vs. not meeting parietal or only in weak contact); and from C. gehringi by possession of a larger frontoparietal fenestra (21.0% of SkL vs. 5.8–9.1%). 
CommentHabitat: The habitat consisted of primary forest with closed canopy cover and small streams.

Behavior: Calumma lefona sp. nov. was found roosting at night on tree branches ~2 m above the ground.

Conservation: the species is known from a single specimen and a few additional observations. To avoid inflation of perceived risk, we recommend that this species be considered Data Deficient by the IUCN until more data become available. 
EtymologyCalumma lefona sp. nov. is the only species in the C. nasutum group with a relatively long and pointed/constantly tapering rostral appendage (with the exception of C. gallus). This shape reminds of a spearhead; accordingly, we chose the Malagasy word ‘lefona’ (meaning ‘spear’) as its species epithet. It is used as an invariable noun in apposition to the genus name. 
References
  • Prötzel, David; Miguel Vences, Oliver Hawlitschek, Mark D Scherz, Fanomezana M Ratsoavina, Frank Glaw 2018. Endangered beauties: micro-CT cranial osteology, molecular genetics and external morphology reveal three new species of chameleons in the Calumma boettgeri complex (Squamata: Chamaeleonidae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 184: 471–498 - get paper here
 
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