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Bradypodion melanocephalum (GRAY, 1865)

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Higher TaxaChamaeleonidae, Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Kwazulu Dwarf Chameleon, Black-headed Dwarf Chameleon 
SynonymMicrosaura melanocephala GRAY 1865
Chamaeleon melanocephalus — WERNER 1911
Chamaeleo pumilus melanocephalus — HILLENIUS 1959
Chamaeleo pumilus melanocephalus — MERTENS 1966
Bradypodion melanocephalum — RAW 1976
Bradypodion pumilum melanocephalum — BÖHME & KLAVER 1997
Bradypodion melanocephalum — NECAS 1999: 275
Bradypodion melanocephalum — TILBURY 2010: 270
Bradypodion melanocephalum — CAMPBELL & DENZER 2020 
DistributionRepublic of South Africa (E Cape Province, E Natal), S Mozambique

Type locality: Port Natal, South Africa.  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.8.21.7, female. Previously NHMUK1862.11.9.22 
CommentDistribution: For a map see TOLLEY et al. (2004). Distribution not corrected for removal of kentanicum which has been elevated to full species status.

Type species: Microsaura melanocephala Gray, 1865 is the type species of the genus Microsaura Gray, 1865. 
EtymologyNamed after Greek: melas (melanos), black; kephale, head; -us/a/um adjectival suffix: blackheaded, denoting the dark colouration of the head, probably an artefact (see Tilbury 2010: 270) (Charles Klaver, pers. comm., 11 Jan 2023). 
  • ARMSTRONG, A.J. 2010. Population estimate of Bradypodion melanocephalum at the Durban International Airport Eastern Precinct. African Herp News (52): 2-7 - get paper here
  • Armstrong, Adrian J. 2008. Translocation of black-headed dwarf chameleons Bradypodion melanocephalum in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. African Journal of Herpetology 57(1):29-41 - get paper here
  • 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.
  • CAMPBELL, PATRICK D; WOLFGANG DENZER 2020. Annotated catalogue of chameleon types in the collection of the Natural History Museum, UK (NHMUK) (Reptilia: Squamata: Chamaeleonidae). Zootaxa 4742 (3): 481–500 - get paper here
  • Da Silva, J. M. and Tolley, K. A. 2013. Ecomorphological variation and sexual dimorphism in a recent radiation of dwarf chameleons (Bradypodion). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. doi: 10.1111/bij.12045 - get paper here
  • da Silva, J. M. and Tolley, K. A. 2017. Diversification through ecological opportunity in dwarf chameleons. J. Biogeogr.. doi:10.1111/jbi.12966 - get paper here
  • Glaw, F. 2015. Taxonomic checklist of chameleons (Squamata: Chamaeleonidae). [type catalogue] Vertebrate Zoology 65 (2): 167–246 - get paper here
  • Gray, J. E. 1865. Revision of the genera and species of Chamaeleonidae, with the description of some new species. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1864: 465-479. - get paper here
  • Gray,J.E. 1865. Revision of the genera and species of Chamaeleonidae, with the description of some new species. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (3) 15: 340-354 - 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.
  • 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)
  • 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.
  • Reissig, Jens. 2014. Bradypodion melanocephalum (Gray, 1865) KwaZulu Dwarf Chameleon. Reproduction. African Herp News (61): 22-23 - get paper here
  • Schmidt, W.; Tamm, K. & Wallikewitz, E. 2010. Chamäleons - Drachen unserer Zeit. Natur und Tier Verlag, 328 pp. [review in Reptilia 101: 64, 2013] - get paper here
  • Silva, Jessica M. Da and Krystal A. Tolley 2013. Ecomorphological variation and sexual dimorphism in a recent radiation of dwarf chameleons (Bradypodion). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 109 (1): 113–130 - get paper here
  • 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.
  • 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
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