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Bradypodion caffrum (BOETTGER, 1889)

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Higher TaxaChamaeleonidae, Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Pondo Dwarf Chameleon, Transkei Dwarf Chameleon 
SynonymChamaeleon caffer BOETTGER 1889: 292
Chamaeleon caffer — WERNER 1911: 24
Lophosaura caffer — HEWITT 1935: 300
Chamaeleo pumilus caffer — HILLENIUS 1959: 63
Chamaeleo pumilus caffer — MERTENS 1966: 23
Bradypodion caffrum — RAW 1976: 141
Bradypodion pumilum caffer — KLAVER & BÖHME 1997:25
Bradypodion caffrum — NECAS 1999: 275
Bradypodion caffrum — TOLLEY et al. 2004
Bradypodion caffer — TILBURY 2010: 245
Bradypodion caffrum — RAW 2022 
DistributionRepublic of South Africa (E Cape Province)

Type locality: Pondoland, South Africa  
TypesHolotype: ZISP 7724, female
Holotype: unlocated; presumed lost (FITZSIMONS 1943: 162) 
CommentThe name caffer should be retained for the following reason: “Where the author of a species-group name did not indicate whether he or she regarded it as a noun or as an adjective, and where it may be regarded as either and the evidence of usage is not decisive, it is to be treated as a noun in apposition to the name of its genus”. The original spelling is to be retained, with gender ending unchanged, see Article 31.2.1 and 31.2.2 of the International Code of Zoological Nomerclature (4th edition, 1999); [pers. comm. of Ch. Klaver]. However, Raw 2022 argued that the name should be caffrum, as it is a neuter adjective.

Distribution: For a map see TOLLEY et al. (2004). 
EtymologyApparently named after British Kaffraria, the name given to the area between the Kei and Keiskamma rivers in the latter half of the 19th century (Raw 2022). However, it is more likely that “caffra” is derived from a derogatory term for black Africans that has been considered extremely offensive since the mid-20th century and is now illegal to use in South Africa. The epithet caffra is arguably a derivative of the ethnic slur, which itself is derived from the Arabic kaffir, meaning infidel (Pethiyagoda 2023). 
  • Bates, M.F.; Branch, W.R., Bauer, A.M.; Burger, M., Marais, J.; Alexander, G.J. & de Villliers, M.S. (eds.) 2014. Atlas and Red List of the Reptiles of South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland. Suricata 1. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, 512 pp.
  • Boettger, O. 1889. Herpetologische Miscellen. [I Epirus, II Corfu, III Kamerun, IV Gross-Namaland, V Transvaal, VI. Pondoland, VII Madagascar, VIII Madras, IX Java, X Nias, XI Nordwest-Peru]. Bericht senckenb. naturf. Ges. (Frankfurt): 267-316 - get paper here
  • FitzSimons, V.F. 1943. The lizards of South Africa. Transvaal Museum Memoir No.1 (Pretoria), 528 pp.
  • Glaw, F. 2015. Taxonomic checklist of chameleons (Squamata: Chamaeleonidae). [type catalogue] Vertebrate Zoology 65 (2): 167–246 - get paper here
  • Hewitt, J. 1935. Some new forms of batrachians and reptiles from South Africa. Rec. Albany Mus. 4: 283-357
  • Hillenius, D. 1959. The differentiation within the genus Chamaeleo LAURENTI 1768. Beaufortia, Amsterdam, 8: 1-92.
  • Mertens, Robert 1966. Liste der rezenten Amphibien und Reptilien: Chamaeleonidae. Das Tierreich 83: 1-37
  • Milto, Konstantin D.; Andrei V. Barabanov 2012. A Catalogue of the Agamid and Chamaeleonid Types in the Collection of the Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg. Russ. J. Herpetol. 19 (2): 155-170 - get paper here
  • Necas, Petr 1999. Chameleons - Nature's Hidden Jewels. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt; 348 pp.; ISBN 3-930612-04-6 (Europe)<br />ISBN 1-57524-137-4 (USA, Canada)
  • Pethiyagoda, R. 2023. Policing the scientific lexicon: The new colonialism? Megataxa 010 (1): 020–025 - get paper here
  • Raw, L. R. G. 1976. A survey of the dwarf chameleons of Natal, South Africa, with description of three new species (Sauria: Chamaeleonidae). Durban Mus. Novit. 11(7): 139-161.
  • Raw, Lynn R. G. 2022. Historical and Current Misuse of Gender Agreement in the Names of South African Lizard Species. ZooNova 18: 1-5
  • Stuart-Fox, D. & Moussalli, A. 2007. Sex-specific ecomorphological variation and the evolution of sexual dimorphism in dwarf chameleons (Bradypodion spp.). J. evol. Biol. 20: 1073-1081 - get paper here
  • Stuart-Fox, D. & Moussalli, A. 2008. Selection for Social Signalling Drives the Evolution of Chameleon Colour Change. PloS Biol. 6 (1): e25 (doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0060025|) - get paper here
  • Stuart-Fox, D.; Moussalli, A. & Whiting, M.J. 2007. Natural Selection on Social Signals: Signal Efficacy and the Evolution of Chameleon Display Coloration. American Naturalist 170 (6): 916-930 - 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.
  • Tolley, K. & Burger, M. 2007. Chameleons of Southern Africa. Struik, Cape Town,100 pp.
  • Tolley, Krystal A.; Colin R. Tilbury, William R. Branch and Conrad A. Matthee 2004. Phylogenetics of the southern African dwarf chameleons, Bradypodion (Squamata: Chamaeleonidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 30 (2): 354-365 - get paper here
  • Venter, Jan A.; Werner Conradie 2015. A checklist of the reptiles and amphibians found in protected areas along the South African Wild Coast, with notes on conservation implications. Koedoe 57 (1): 1-25. doi: 10.4102/koedoe.v57i1.1247 - get paper here
  • Werner, F. 1911. Das Tierreich - Chamaeleonidae. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin, 27: xi + 52 pp. - get paper here
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