Rhampholeon acuminatus MARIAUX & TILBURY, 2006
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|Higher Taxa||Chamaeleonidae, Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)|
|Common Names||E: Nguru pygmy chameleon|
|Synonym||Rhampholeon (Rhinodigitum) acuminatus MARIAUX & TILBURY 2006|
Rhampholeon (Rhinodigitum) acuminatus — TILBURY 2010: 161
Rhampholeon (Rhinodigitum) acuminatus — GLAW 2015
Rhampholeon acuminatus — SPAWLS et al. 2018: 249
Rhampholeon acuminatus — MENEGON et al. 2022: 97
|Distribution||Tanzania (Nguru mountains)|
Type locality: Tanzania, Morogoro region, Nguru mountains,
Nguru South Catchment FR, Komkore Forest above Ubili village [6°2'29" S; 37°30'40.5" E], elevation 1500–1600 m.
|Types||Holotype: MHNG 2645.001 (field tag TZ 414), male, 21 October 2000. Collected by J. Mariaux & S. Loader. Paratype: PEM R16271, ZFMK 87393 (ex-MHNG 2645.003), male|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis. Chamaeleonidae, Rhampholeon (Rhinodigitum). With the characters of the subgenus. A small chameleon with SVL 47–57 mm (maximum TL 82 mm) and a tail 25–30% of TL. Adults are unmistakable due to their large discoid and vertically flattened rostral process (up to 5 × 3 mm) projecting forward off the rostrum (Figs 6-7), spinous supra-orbital and other cranial projections, prominent casque, exaggerated dorsal crest and numerous spines on the body, limbs |
and tail. No axillary or inguinal pits. Claws bicuspid. Parietal peritoneum unpigmented.
Differential diagnosis. Among the pygmy chameleons, only Rh. spinosus presents a similar rostral process. However, Rh. spinosus has a more rounded rostral proc-
ess, numerous spiny tubercles on the gular region, a slender overall appearance, and a significantly longer tail (up to more than 40% of TL); furthermore it is not
sympatric with Rh. acuminatus. Although several other species, like Rh. uluguruensis and related taxa, also have rather conspicuous naso-rostral processes, these are more cylindrical and much smaller. Furthermore these species do not show the characteristic body spines seen in Rh. acuminatus, thus making confusion unlikely.
Amendments to the original diagnosis: Rhampholeon acuminatus has not been sequenced for the ND2 gene. For the 16S gene, it differs by having an A at position 917 and from all other species except R. beraduccii at position 1269 by having an A. (Menegon et al. 2022)
|Comment||Abundance: only known from its original description (Meiri et al. 2017).|
|Etymology||From Latin acuminare (to sharpen), in reference to the numerous sharp spines found on the head and body.|
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