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Kinyongia fischeri (REICHENOW, 1887)

IUCN Red List - Kinyongia fischeri - Near Threatened, NT

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Higher TaxaChamaeleonidae, Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: English common name not available
G: Fischers Chamäleon 
SynonymChamaeleon fischeri REICHENOW 1887: 371
Chamaeleon tornieri WERNER 1902
Bradypodion fischeri — NECAS 1999: 191
Bradypodion fischeri fischeri — BROADLEY & HOWELL 1991: 12
Kinyongia fischeri — TILBURY et al. 2006
Kinyongia fischeri — MARIAUX et al. 2008
Kinyongia fischeri — TILBURY 2010: 369
Kinyongia fischeri — SPAWLS et al. 2018: 268 
DistributionTanzania (Nguru Mts.)

Type locality: Nguru Mts., Tanzania.  
TypesHolotype: ZMB 10744 
DiagnosisDescription (genus): No morphological synapomorphy is known to define all members. Cranial structure has only been studied in K. fischeri (Rieppel & Crumley 1997). The parietal is reduced to a narrow posteriorly projecting sagittal process that meets the ascending squamosal processes at the apex of the casque to completely enclose the temporal fossa. This derived condition is similar to that found in the genera Chamaeleo, Furcifer and Calumma (Rieppel 1981, 1987, Rieppel & Crumley 1997). Scalation is generally of finely heterogeneous granules or flattened polygonal tubercles. In those species that are characterized by a head ornamentation of fused rostronasal projections (carpenteri, xenorhinum, tenue and oxyrhinum), the scalation is generally an unordered heterogeneous mix of tubercles. In species with paired rostronasal projections (fischeri, tavetanum, uthmoelleri) the flanks are adorned with tubercles clustered into “rosettes”, especially on the lower flanks. This rosetting is also seen in the hornless species excubitor. Plantar surfaces are smooth and claws are simple. None of the species have midline gular or ventral crests, occipital lobes, or annulated horns. Cranial ornamentation in some species, e.g. paired rostronasal blade-like horns in fischeri and tavetanum, and fusion of the canthal ridges into a single vertically flattened process in carpenteri, xenorhinum, tenue and oxyrhinum, are similar to features found in the Malagasy genera Calumma and Furcifer. Lung structure is relatively plesiomorphic. They are similar to those of Bradypodion and Malagasy Calumma and Furcifer, being generally simple with a number of small septae on the dorsal, cephalic and ventral walls. The lungs of Kinyongia appear to lack the accessory gular pouch and usually have trailing diverticulae from the posteroinferior surface of the lung (tavetanum, fischeri, tenue, and adolfifriderici) although these are lacking in K. xenorhinum (Klaver 1977, 1981). The lungs in the rest of the species of Kinyongia have not as yet been described. The hemipenes are calyculate with a plesiomorphic 4 rotulae apical ornamentation, and all the species are oviparous (Tilbury et al. 2006: 34).

Diagnosis: Differs from K. tavetana in the section of its horns (flattened versus triangular); from K. multituberculata by its shorter dorsal crest in males; from K. uluguruensis and K. boehmei by its lateral crest originating above eyes (versus behind) and by its apically convergent horns in males; from K. matschiei by its apically convergent horns in males and by the rudimentary horns in females; and from K. vosseleri by its straighter lateral crest, flattened interorbital scales and very short female horns. 
CommentDistribution: not in the Usambara or Uluguru Mountains.

Type species: Chamaeleon fischeri REICHENOW 1887 is the type species of the genus Kinyongia TILBURY et al. 2006.

Synonymy: Chamaeleon matschiei WERNER 1895 and Chamaeleon fischeri vosseleri NIEDEN 1913 have been removed from the synonymy of K. fischeri.

Subspecies: Both Kinyongia fischeri multituberculatus (NIEDEN 1913) and K.f. uluguruensis have been elevated to species status.

van Hoof et al. (2006) give REICHENOW 1894 as author of B. f. multituberculatum. 
EtymologyNamed after Johann Gustav Fischer (1819-1889), German herpetologist working in Hamburg.

This genus is named after the generic Swahili name for chameleon “Kinyonga” and identifies it as a genus that is largely confined to Swahili speaking countries (Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda). The name is Latinized by terminating the name spelling with the letters ia giving it a feminine gender. Thus the specific names remain unaltered.
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Böhme, W. & C. Klaver 1990. Zur Kenntnis von Bradypodion uthmoelleri (MÜLLER, 1938). Salamandra 26 (4): 260-266 - get paper here
  • Broadley, D. G. & HOWELL, K. M. 1991. A check list of the reptiles of Tanzania, with synoptic keys. Syntarsus 1: 1—70
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  • Necas, P. 1994. Bemerkungen zur Chamäleon-Sammlung des Naturhistorischen Museums in Wien, mit vorläufiger Beschreibung eines neuen Chamäleons aus Kenia (Squamata: Chamaeleonidae). Herpetozoa 7 (3/4): 95-108. - get paper here
  • Necas, Petr 1999. Chameleons - Nature's Hidden Jewels. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt; 348 pp.; ISBN 3-930612-04-6 (Europe)<br />ISBN 1-57524-137-4 (USA, Canada)
  • Nieden, F. 1913. Chamaeleon fischeri Rchw. und seine Unterarten. Sber. Ges. naturf. Freunde, Berlin 1913: 231-249.
  • Okajima Y, Kumazawa Y 2010. Mitochondrial genomes of acrodont lizards: timing of gene rearrangements and phylogenetic and biogeographic implications. BMC Evolutionary Biology 10:141 - get paper here
  • Reichenow, A. 1887. Neue Wirbelthiere des Zoologischen Museums in Berlin. Zool. Anz. 10: 369- 372. - get paper here
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  • Spawls, Steve; Kim Howell, Harald Hinkel, Michele Menegon 2018. Field Guide to East African Reptiles. Bloomsbury, 624 pp. - get paper here
  • Tilbury C.R., Tolley K.A. & Branch W.R. 2006. A review of the systematics of the genus Bradypodion (Sauria: Chamaeleonidae), with the description of two new genera. Zootaxa 1363, 23–38 (correction in Zootaxa 1426: 68) - get paper here
  • Tilbury, C. 2010. Chameleons of Africa: An Atlas, Including the Chameleons of Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt M., 831 pp.
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  • Werner, F. 1895. Über einige Reptilien aus Usambara (Deutsch-Ostafrika). Verhandlungen der Kaiserlich-Königlichen Zoologisch-Botanischen Gesellschaft in Wien, 45: 190—194 - get paper here
  • Werner, F. 1902. Prodromus einer Monographie der Chamäleonten. Zool. Jahrb. Syst. 15: 295- 460. - get paper here
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