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Kinyongia msuyae MENEGON, LOADER , DAVENPORT, HOWELL, TILBURY, MACHAGA & TOLLEY, 2015

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Higher TaxaChamaeleonidae, Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymKinyongia msuyae MENEGON, LOADER , DAVENPORT, HOWELL, TILBURY, MACHAGA & TOLLEY 2015 
DistributionTanzania

Type locality: Mdandu Forest Reserve, Livingstone Mountains 1900 m above sea level, Mbeya Region, South Eastern Tanzania (-9.769549621; 34.78832024)  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: MTSN 9374, adult male (Science Museum of
Trento), collected in Mdandu Forest Reserve, Livingstone Mountains in January 2011 by Michele Menegon, Tim Davenport, Simon Loader, Sandra Dürrenberger, Sandra Rudolf and Sophy Machaga.
Paratype: MTSN 9375, adult male, MTSN 9373, MTSN 9377, adult females; MTSN 9378, juvenile, same data as holotype. MTSN 7497 collected in Sakara Nyumo Forest Reserve (Livingstone Mountains) in January 2011 by Michele Menegon, Tim Davenport, Simon Loader and Sophy Machaga; MTSN 8686 (adult male) collected in Kigogo Forest Reserve, Udzungwa Mountains in Febru- ary 2006 by Michele Menegon. 
CommentDiagnosis: A small, elongated chameleon, lacking distinctive colours or pattern, with a tail longer than the snout-vent length. It has a short, bone-based rostral appendage formed by a converging, scaly elongation of the canthi rostrales, the areas bound by the two canthi is concave and covered in flattened scales. The tips of these elongations are free and they appear like a double-tipped short horn protruding over the snout by 3 to 5 mm. The appendage is plated with subequal rounded tubercules. Laterally, the appendage continues from the supra-orbital crest, formed by low peaked tubercles, becoming more serrated over the anterior rim, from where it continues forward as a scaly rostral short horn. In the males exam- ined it extends between 3 and 4 mm beyond the ante- rior margin of the rostral scale. Females lack any rostral appendage and have a lower casque.
K. msuyae does resemble K. vanheygeni Necas, 2009 and, to a lesser extent, K. uthmoelleri (Müller, 1938) in size, general body and head shape and by possession of a single, bone-based rostral appendage in males. It differs from K. vanheygeni in the length of the rostral append- age being longer, formed by more than ten scales and pointing straight forward (less than ten scales and slight- ly pointing upward in K. vanheygeni), from K. uthmoe- lleri by having a horn-like longer rostral appendage (can- thal scales in K. uthmoelleri males meet to form a ‘rostral wall’, or protruding in form of a very short rostral pro- jection).
Kinyongia msuyae can easily be distinguished from the other known Kinyongia species by the combination of the following characters: (1) presence of rostral process in males formed by the partial fusion of the canthi rostrales and protruding forward over the snout by 3 to 5 mm. (2) tail longer than SVL in both sexes, and (3) gular, ventral and dorsal crest absent. 
EtymologyThe species is named after and dedicated to Charles A. Msuya, a pioneer of Tanzanian herpetology, who collected the first known specimen attributable to this species and has spent most of his life studying Tanzanian wildlife. 
References
  • Menegon, Michele; Simon P. Loader, Tim R.B. Davenport, Kim M. Howell, Colin R. Tilbury, Sophy Machaga, Krystal A. Tolley 2015. A new species of Chameleon (Sauria: Chamaeleonidae: Kinyongia) highlights the biological affinities between the Southern Highlands and Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania. Acta Herpetologica 10 (2): 111-120 - get paper here
 
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