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IUCN Red List - Calumma tarzan - Critically Endangered, CR

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Higher TaxaChamaeleonidae, Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
DistributionCE Madagascar (Anosibe An’Ala region)

Type locality: forest fragment near Tarzanville (19°19’50.3’’ S, 48°13’22.5’’ E, 847 m elevation), Moramanga Province, central eastern Madagascar.  
TypesHolotype: ZSM 219/2010 (FGZC 4510), adult male with incompletely everted hemipenes, collected on 12 April 2010 by P.-S. Gehring, F. Glaw, J. Köhler, K. Mebert, E. Rajeriarison & F. M. Ratsoavina. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A medium-sized green chameleon (snout-vent length 61–72 mm, total length 119–150 mm) with a charac- teristic rostral profile, consisting of the rostral crests which are fused anteriorly to form a spade-like ridge that slightly projects beyond the snout tip (less than 1 mm), and a distinct colour pattern in life, consisting of a green to bright yellow ground colouration (with dark transversal bands when stressed) and a brown to blackish casque and neck in males. The following combination of characters leads us to assign the new species to the C. furcifer group: the small to moderate adult body size, the absence of occipital lobes (although small rudimentary lobes are present in males of C. glawi), a very low casque, absence of gular and ventral crests, and a more or less uniformly green colouration usually with a dark line running through the eyelids, and a broad brownish mid-ventral band that is bordered by a narrower white band on each side (except for C. peyrierasi that has only a single whitish ventral band). Calumma tar- zan differs from all the other species in this group by the unique “spade-like” rostral profile (the two rostral crests unite anteriorly on the snout forming a rectangular ridge when viewed from above instead of a pointed snout tip in most other species of the group), and the blackish-brown casque and neck in males. Beside these unique characteristics, males of C. tarzan differ from those of C. furcifer by the absence of a dorsal crest and the absence of a bifid ros- tral appendage; from C. gastrotaenia by the much lower casque, absence of a dorsal crest and absence of a white lateral band; from C. guillaumeti by the lower casque, the absence of a dorsal crest and absence of a white lateral band; from C. andringitraense by a lower casque and the absence of a white lateral band with two rows of white spots along the flanks; from C. glawi by the absence of occipital lobes and absence of a yellow lateral band; from C. marojezense by the absence of a white lateral band and presence of only one light spot on the flank (instead of two); from C. peyrierasi by a much lower casque, the absence of a dorsal crest and absence of reddish inner sides of legs; from C. vatosoa by the absence of a parietal crest, absence of a vein-like dor- sal pattern and absence of a large orange spot at mid-flank; from C. vencesi by the absence of a nuchal fold and absence of a dorsal crest. The females of C. tarzan differ from the females of the other species (as far as they are known and with the possible exception of C. furcifer) by the rectangu- lar rostral profile which, however, is less pronounced than in the males. In addition, C. tarzan differs from C. andrin- gitraense, C. furcifer, C. gastrotaenia, C. glawi and C. maro- jezense by substantial genetic differentiation (from GEHRING et al. 2010). 
CommentPhoto in Elaphe 18 (4): 20 [2010]. 
EtymologyThe species was discovered in a small rainforest fragment very close to the village formerly known as Tarzanville (since recently called Ambodimeloka, meaning “place of the curve”). Therefore, Gehring et al. dedicated the new species to the fictional forest man “Tarzan” in the hope that this famous name will promote awareness and conservation activities for this apparently highly threatened new species and its habitats, in the mid-altitude rainforest. The epithet is an invariable noun in apposition. 
  • Andriantsimanarilafy, R. R., Randrianantoandro, C. J. and Andrihery, S. 2020. Calumma tarzan (Tarzan chameleon). Density. Herpetological Review 51: 122 - get paper here
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Gehring, P.-S., M. Pabijan, F. M. Ratsoavina, J. Köhler, M. Vences & F. Glaw 2010. A Tarzan yell for conservation: a new chameleon, Calumma tarzan sp. n., proposed as a flagship species for the creation of new nature reserves in Madagascar. Salamandra 46 (3): 167-179 - get paper here
  • Gehring, P.-S.; M. Pabijan, F. M. Ratsoavina, J. Köhler, K. Mebert & F. Glaw 2010. Calumma tarzan. Eine neue Chamäleonart aus Madaskar braucht dringend Hilfe!. Reptilia (Münster) 15 (86): 60-64 - get paper here
  • Glaw, F. 2015. Taxonomic checklist of chameleons (Squamata: Chamaeleonidae). [type catalogue] Vertebrate Zoology 65 (2): 167–246 - get paper here
  • Randrianantoandro, Christian R 2012. New distribution record of the critically endangered chameleon Calumma tarzan west of the Mangoro river in eastern Madagascar. Herpetology Notes 6: 165-166
  • Rösler, H., Glaw, F.& R. Günther 2005. Aktualisierte Liste der Geckos von Neuguinea (Sauria: Geckonidae: Gekkoninae) mit vorläufiger Charakterisierung von neun Formen aus den Gattungen Cyrtodactylus Gray, 1827, Gehyra Gray, 1834 und Nactus Kluge, 1983. Gekkota 5: 33-64 - get paper here
  • Ziegler, Thomas; Joel Kamphausen, Frank Glaw, Angelica Crot- tini,, Gerardo Garcia, Dennis Rödder, Anna Rauhaus, Lilli Sten- ger & Anna Wahle 2022. Threatened Malagasy amphibians and reptiles in zoos – a call for enhanced implementation of the IUCN’s One Plan Approach Zool. Garten N.F. 90: 21-69 - get paper here
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