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Bradypodion kentanicum (HEWITT, 1935)

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Higher TaxaChamaeleonidae, Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Kentani dwarf chameleon 
SynonymLophosaura melanocephala kentanica HEWITT 1935: 303
Lophosaura melanocephala kentamica MERTENS (ex errore) 1966
Bradypodion kentanicum — TILBURY et al. 2006
Bradypodion kentanicum — STUART-FOX & MOUSSALI 2007
Bradypodion kentanicum — TILBURY 2010: 266
Bradypodion ketanicum — VENTER & CONRADIE 2015 (in error)
Bradypodion kentanicum — CONRADIE et al. 2019 
DistributionRepublic of South Africa (E Cape Province)

Type locality: Kentani, E Cape Province  
TypesSyntypes: PEM, not registered (2 specimens, formerly AM) 
DiagnosisDescription: “These differ from all known forms except melanocephala -- the type said to come from Natal-in the gular crest composed of quite simple tubercles: from melanocephala, unknown to me except through the description, they differ apparently in the dorsal crest-described as a series of isolated oval tubercles in melanocephala and in the casque, described in that species as "narrow and pointed posteriorly" (Boulenger) and as "much narrowed and compressed behind" (Gray), also in the absence of "a longitudinal series of large circular slightly raised tubercle on the middle of each side." Gular crest composed of short simple scaleless tubercles, in one specimen mostly elongate and somewhat pointed; in the other only a few in front are elongate, the remainder being rounded and low: in both, one or two of the tubercles are broad, but the position of these broad tubercles is inconstant. Dorsal crest of numerous much compressed acutely pointed triangular tubercles in more or less continuous series: this crest is not continued on the tail, or only a faint trace is distinguishable at the base of the tail. Sides of body with a few feebly enlarged oval scales just above the middle: these are more or less in a line, separate from each other, about 6 or 8 in one specimen, about 3 in the other. Below them a few inconspicuous slightly enlarged elongate scales. Orbits large. Interorbital region rather broad and lightly hollowed. Casque posteriorly narrowing rapidly to the apex: not prolonged behind or laterally compressed. Crests of casque moderate, the posterior mesial one more distinct than usual, commencing a little behind the flattened pineal scale. Scales over snout slightly tuberculate, and lateral scales near apex of casque more or less so. Rostral scale broad and low, in one more than twice as broad as deep, in the other nearly H times as broad as deep, and in neither specimen is it deeper than the first labial: upper labials mostly elongate, longer than deep. Measurements: snout to vent 46, tail 57. Interorbital region about the middle 5.6; tip of snout to apex of casque 15.7.
It may be remarked that the characters of the dorsal crest are in some species rather inconstant: specimens of venkalis may have the scales of that crest either broad and low, or high, narrow and sharply pointed as in an adult male from Grahams- town. The form of the casque changes considerably with age, the apex being more prolonged and narrowed in adult specimens. So, kentanica may possibly prove to be merely the young of melanocephala: this however is not very probable, as the type of melanocephala is not much bigger than those now described: moreover, large tubercles on the flanks will probably be found in the young of melanocephala as in adults. Mr. Power's record of melanocephala from Ngqeleni (Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1932, p. 217) is based on what I am considering a form. of caffer: however, it shows distinct approach to kentanica in the broad interorbital region and the very small anterior gular lobes, but the latter are scaly” (from Hewitt 1935: 303). 
CommentSynonymy: listed as synonym of Bradypodion pumilum melanocephalum by KLAVER & BÖHME 1997. 
Etymologynamed after its type locality. 
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Hewitt, J. 1935. Some new forms of batrachians and reptiles from South Africa. Rec. Albany Mus. 4: 283-357
  • Klaver, Ch. J.J. & Böhme,W. 1997. Chamaeleonidae. Das Tierreich, 112: XIV, 1-85
  • Mertens, Robert 1966. Liste der rezenten Amphibien und Reptilien: Chamaeleonidae. Das Tierreich 83: 1-37
  • 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. & 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.R., Tolley K.A. & Branch W.R. 2006. A review of the systematics of the genus Bradypodion (Sauria: Chamaeleonidae), with the description of two new genera. Zootaxa 1363, 23–38 (correction in Zootaxa 1426: 68) - 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.
  • 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
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