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Rhampholeon hattinghi TILBURY & TOLLEY, 2015

IUCN Red List - Rhampholeon hattinghi - Critically Endangered, CR

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Higher TaxaChamaeleonidae, Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymRhampholeon (Rhinodigitum) hattinghi TILBURY & TOLLEY 2015
Rhampholeon boulengeri — TILBURY 2010
Rhampholeon (Rhinodigitum) hattinghi — GLAW 2015 
DistributionDemocratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire, Katanga)

Type locality: path side vegetation at 1700 metres a.s.l., Mount Nzawa, Moba District, Katanga Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo (6° 51.07’ S; 29° 35.87’ E).  
TypesHolotype: PEM R19194, an adult male with everted hemipenes, collected by Colin Tilbury and Isak Hattingh on 21st March 2010. Paratypes. PEM R 19193, adult male; PEM R19195, adult male, PEM R19196, adult female; PEM R19197, adult female; PEM R19198, adult female; all collected on the same date and locality as the holotype. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Due to its markedly bicuspid claws, amelanotic parietal peritoneum and acalyculate bag-like hemipenes with dual apical horns, this taxon can be placed within the sub-genus Rhampholeon (Rhinodigitum) Matthee et al. 2004. In spite of the remarkably conserved external morphology within this genus, this new taxon is easily distinguishable from congeners by virtue of the following identifying characteristics: The consistent absence of deep mite pockets (or pits) in the inguinal flexure distinguishes this taxon from Rh. beraduccii Mariaux & Tilbury and the six species of the Rh. platyceps Günther complex (Branch et al. 2014), including Rh. platyceps, Rh. chapmanorum Tilbury, Rh. maspictus Branch et al., Rh. tilburyi Branch et al., Rh. bruessoworum Branch et al. and Rh. nebulauctor Branch et al.; the presence of deep pits in the axillae of this taxon distinguishes it from Rh. nchisiensis Loveridge and Rh. acuminatus Mariaux & Tilbury; the relatively smooth supra-orbital and canthal crests distinguish this taxon from Rh. boulengeri, Rh. uluguruensis Tilbury & Emmrich and Rh. moyeri Menegon et al., in all of which a peaked cluster of tubercles forms distinct protuberances above the eye and the nasal aperture (Fig. 5).
CommentHabitat. All specimens were found in closed canopy Afrotemperate montane forest on low vegetation alongside a path. Perch heights varied from a few centimetres up to 50 cm from the ground.

Abundance: only known from its original description (Meiri et al. 2017). 
EtymologyNamed for Isak Hattingh, who enthusiastically but unwittingly agreed to accompany the first author on a trip which tested many boundaries. He never complained once. 
  • CONRADIE, WERNER; WILLIAM R. BRANCH, & GILLIAN WATSON 2019. Type specimens in the Port Elizabeth Museum, South Africa, including the historically important Albany Museum collection. Part 2: Reptiles (Squamata). Zootaxa 4576 (1): 001–045 - get paper here
  • Glaw, F. 2015. Taxonomic checklist of chameleons (Squamata: Chamaeleonidae). [type catalogue] Vertebrate Zoology 65 (2): 167–246 - get paper here
  • Meiri, Shai; Aaron M. Bauer, Allen Allison, Fernando Castro-Herrera, Laurent Chirio, Guarino Colli, Indraneil Das, Tiffany M. Doan, Frank Glaw, Lee L. Grismer, Marinus Hoogmoed, Fred Kraus, Matthew LeBreton, Danny Meirte, Zoltán T. Nagy, Cristiano d 2017. Extinct, obscure or imaginary: the lizard species with the smallest ranges. Diversity and Distributions - 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.
  • TILBURY, COLIN R. & KRYSTAL A. TOLLEY 2015. Contributions to the herpetofauna of the Albertine Rift: Two new species of chameleon (Sauria: Chamaeleonidae) from an isolated montane forest, south eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Zootaxa 3905 (3): 345–364 - get paper here
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