Rhampholeon viridis MARIAUX & TILBURY, 2006
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Rhampholeon viridis?
|Higher Taxa||Chamaeleonidae, Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)|
|Common Names||Green pygmy chameleon|
|Synonym||Rhampholeon (Rhampholeon) viridis MARIAUX & TILBURY 2006|
Rhampholeon (Rhampholeon) viridis — GLAW 2015
Rhampholeon viridis — SPAWLS et al. 2018: 25
Rhampholeon viridis — SPAWLS et al. 2018: 256
|Distribution||Tanzania (South Pare mountains)|
Type locality: Tanga region, South Pare mountains, from a patch of forest next to the Hingili stream, just north of the Shengena Mountain FR [4°14' 50" S, 37°59'28" E], 1450 m elevation.
|Types||Holotype: NMZB 16905 (field tag CT 119), male; allotype NMZB 16906 (CT 120), female, 4 July 2001. Collected by Colin and Douglas Tilbury.|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis (Fig. 7). Chamaeleonidae, Rhampholeon (Rhampholeon). With the characters of the subgenus. A small chameleon (maximum TL 89 mm) with a tail 34-46% of TL in males and 33-34% in females. Low casque. Small rostral process represented by a bulge barely projecting over the front of the snout, barely visible in males, somewhat larger in females. Temporal crest is distinct. Dorsal keel variable in outline from almost smooth to strongly crenulated. Hemipenis with |
prominent calyces on the truncus and broad paired apical horns arising from mucosal folds bearing up to nine papillae typically alternating rounded and sharp papillae on the outer edge of the horn. Axillary pits and inguinal pits present, the latter less distinct. Claws simple. There may be one or two slightly enlarged accessory plantar tubercles present at the base of the claws. Soles of feet smooth/cobblestoned as opposed to spinous. The male hemipenis is distinct from other species of Rhampholeon. The specimens from North Pare bear typical reddish patches.
Differential diagnosis: The simple claws of this species immediately place this form within the group of pygmy chameleons that only includes Rh. spinosus and
Rh. temporalis. The former species differs from Rh. viridis by the prominent ovoid rostro-nasal projection found in both sexes. Apart from the striking hemipenal
differences between males of viridis and temporalis (breadth of the apical horns and shape of the papillae on the horns, see Figs 2 and 11), they appear very similar in external morphology. Differences between the two are subtle but may be seen in the more pronounced dorsal crest and the conspicuous temporal crest of viridis. Perhaps the best distinguishing feature between them is that the accessory plantar spines in temporalis are usually well developed and prominent but are inconspicuous to rudimentary in viridis.
|Etymology||The specific name derives from Latin viridis (green) and refers to the rich green colour of the males.|