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Kinyongia itombwensis HUGHES, KUSAMBA, BEHANGANA & GREENBAUM, 2017

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Higher TaxaChamaeleonidae, Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards) 
Common NamesItombwe forest chameleon 
SynonymKinyongia itombwensis HUGHES, KUSAMBA, BEHANGANA & GREENBAUM 2017
K. adolfifriderici – GREENBAUM et al., 2012a: fig. 2
K. adolfifriderici – TILBURY & TOLLEY, 2015: fig. 4 
DistributionDemocratic Republic of Congo (Katanga; South Kivu Province)

Type locality: DRC, South Kivu Province, Mwenga Territory, Itombwe Plateau, near Bichaka village, 03°20′27.6′′S 28°47′40.0′′E, 2208 m elevation  
TypesHolotype: UTEP 20371 (field no. EBG 1605), adult female, 20 June 2008, col- lected by E. Greenbaum, C. Kusamba, M.M. Aristote and W.M. Muninga (Fig. 9A, D).
Paratypes: One adult female, UTEP 21479 (field no. ELI 3357), DRC, South Kivu Province, Mwenga Territory, Itombwe Plateau, Kilumbi village, 03°25′56.0′′S 28°34′34.5′′E, 2020 m elevation, 16 June 2015, col- lected by M.M. Aristote (Fig. 9B–C); one adult male, UTEP 21480 (field no. CFS 908), DRC, South Kivu Province, Mwenga Territory, Itombwe Plateau, Miki village, 03°21′24.4′′S 28°41′24.4′′E, c. 2200 m elevation, 1 October 2010, collected by M.M. Aristote. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Kinyongia itombwensis sp. nov. can be distinguished from all other Kinyongia species by the following combination of traits: (1) lack of rostro-nasal ornamentation in both sexes; (2) small body size (mean SVL = 51.1 mm); (3) few conical tubercles on dorsal crest (6–7); (4) casque almost indistinct from nape; (5) absence of both a gular and ventral crest; (6) 13–16 upper and 15–16 lower labials; (7) slightly bilobed shape of the upper casque; (8) tail length longer than SVL in both sexes; (9) parietal crest composed of several raised tubercles forming a semi-circle with an extension that connects posteri- orly to apex of the casque; (10) background coloration of the body in adult females is generally shades of green and yellow; (11) darker brown pigment covers the cloacal region and extends distally onto hidden parts of the hind limbs and tail in adult females; (12) interstitial skin between the tubercles on the body is black, which is lighter in colour anteriorly and off-white on the nape; (13) a brown stripe passes through the middle of the eye, extending from the canthal ridge to the temporal crest, and the eye skin above and below the stripe is yellowish-green with flecks of blue; (14) the top of the head is darker brown than elsewhere; (15) tubercles on the casque converge to form a weakly raised peak posteriorly; (16) dorsal keel that is darker green-brown than elsewhere, with incomplete vertical black bands.

Differential diagnosis: A small-sized forest chameleon that is distinguished from most other congeners by the absence of a rostral process in both sexes (K. asheorum, K. boehmei, K. carpenteri, K. fischeri, K. magomberae, K. matschiei, K. msuyae, K. multituberculata, K. oxyrhina, K. tavetana, K. tenuis, K. uluguruensis, K. uthmoelleri, K. vanheygeni, K. vosseleri and K. xenorhina). The new species can be distinguished from K. adolfifriderici by more lower labials (15–16 vs. 12–15). For differences between K. rugegensis sp. nov. and K. tolleyae sp. nov. to K. itombwensis sp. nov., see their respective sections on Differential diagnosis. The new species can be distinguished from K. mulyai and K. excubitor by the presence of a dorsal crest with 6–7 conical tubercles and marked mitochondrial sequence divergence. The new species can be distinguished from K. gyrolepis by a smaller mean body size (51.1 vs. 67.3 mm) and current distribution in moist Afromontane rainforest. 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is derived from the massif, Itombwe, where this species was found, with the Latin suffix –ensis denoting a place or locality. 
  • Hughes, Daniel F.; Chifundera Kusamba, Mathias Behangana, Eli Greenbaum 2017. Integrative taxonomy of the Central African forest chameleon, Kinyongia adolfifriderici (Sauria: Chamaeleonidae), reveals underestimated species diversity in the Albertine Rift. Zool J Linnean Soc. 181 (2): 400–438 - get paper here
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