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Brookesia lineata RAXWORTHY & NUSSBAUM, 1995

IUCN Red List - Brookesia lineata - Endangered, EN

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Higher TaxaChamaeleonidae (Brookesiinae), Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymBrookesia lineata RAXWORTHY & NUSSBAUM 1995
Brookesia lineata — NECAS 1999: 277
Brookesia lineata — TOWNSEND et al. 2009 
DistributionMadagascar (only known from the type locality)

Type locality: Bekolosy, Manongarivo Special Reserve, 1200 m elevation.  
TypesHolotype: UMMZ 200073 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A Brookesia with 8 complete series of I dorsoluteral pointed tubercles on the body; a lateral projection of the body in the sacral area forms a straight-edged ledge with the '11th dorsolateral pointed tubercle on its posterior border: no pelvic shield in the sacral region: no dorsal ridge (keel): no pointed tubercles around the cloaca or on the tail: supraocular cone projects forward to same level us supranasal cone: four soft-pointed tubercles on chin: 45 mm SVL. Only two other species. Brookesia hetschi and B. thieli. share the following combination of characters: series of complete dorsolateral pointed tubercles along body; elongated pointed tubercles on chin: absence of pointed tubercles around clouca: absence of a dorsal ridge (keel) on body, absence of a pelvic shield. Brookesia thieli and B. betschi both have pointed lateral a projection of the body above the hindlimb; the supraocular cone may project forward further than the supranasal cone; and they are not known to exceed 42 mm SVL. (Raxworthy & Nussbaum 1995)

Description of holotype: Adult male in excellent state of preservation. The left hindlimb and liver are missing (removed prior to preservation. and frozen in liquid nitrogen). Hemipenes everted. Testes pale yellow. enlarged: left testis 2•5 mm long and 2mm wide. Snout-vent length 45 mm: tail 32 mm: maximum head depth 8 mm. width 8 mm; axilla-groin distance 24 mm: maximum body depth 11mm. width 6mm. Head with lateral, orbital and posterior crests that form a dorsal helmet; helmet divided into three regions by a pair of longitudinal parasagittal crests that start above the eyes and begin to converge before terminating at the posterior helmet crest; between the parasagittal crests there are three longitudinal crests, a broken median crest and two lateral crests; posterior crest of helmet notched between parasagittal crests; three pointed tubercles on right side of posterior helmet crest, largest at termination point of lateral crest, smallest at termination point of parasagittal crest, third between parasagittal and lateral crest; one pointed tubercle on left side of head at termination point of parasagittal crest; two pointed tubercles on lateral surface of head, one just above posterior angle of mouth and one below lateral crest in temporal region; orbital crest strongly denticulated; supraocular cone pointed and projects forward of nostril-to-same level as supranasal cone; horizontal distance between snout tip and anterior border of eye equal to eye diameter; head longer than wide; supranasal cone does not project beyond snout tip; chin with four. elongated soft tubercles in two Jongitudinal rows, on right side both tubercles pointed, on left side one tubercle pointed and one rounded. Dorsal surface of body flat (without a dorsal ridge or keel); dorsolateral pointed tubercles form a complete longitudinal line on body; three, enlarged, rounded tubercles dorsally at each dorsolateral pointed tubercle base; most posterior (11th) pointed dorsolateral tubercle projects posteriorly from a straight-edged lateral projection of the body that forms a ledge above insertion of hindlimb; 1st-10th anterior pointed tubercles equally spaced and almost equal in size, perpendicular to body; space between 10th and 11th pointed tubercles 1•5 times greater than interval between anterior tubercles; the vertebral line on the body has incomplete posteriorly directed chevrons and a double row of slightly enlarged, rounded tubercles; no dorsal pelvic shield in sacral area; slightly enlarged, rounded tubercles form longitudinal row ventral to the 1st-11th, dorsolateral, pointed tubercles; body laterally with short, longitudinal rows of slightly enlarged, rounded tubercles, and scattered pointed tubercles in ventrolateral region; venter with scattered pointed tubercles; scattered, soft-pointed tubercles on limbs; no pointed tubercles around cloaca; no pointed tubercles on tail; continuous longitudinal rows of slightly enlarged, rounded tubercles on ventrolatcral and ventral surfaces of tail. The hemipenis (Fig. 2) is clavate and symmetrical, bearing a bi-lobed apex, each lobe with a single denticulated crest, with the strongest denticulations on the distal surface of the apex. The truncus and apex arc without lateral projections. (Raxworthy & Nussbaum 1995)

Coloration in life: head, body and tail brown. Dark brown spotting between supraocular cones of head; parasagittal crests lined dark brown; dark brown bars radiate from eye on lateral surface of head; vertebral line of body pale brown, becoming pale yellow in sacral region, and fading at tailbase; vertebral line bordered by thin, dark brown lines starting from behind head and fading in sacral region; a short, dark brown, dorsolateral, longitudinal line starts at posterior crest of helmet and terminates at 1st dorsolateral pointed tubercle; body laterally with two, dark brown, longitudinal lines, superior line starts at neck and terminates at tailbase, inferior line thin and broken, starts at neck and terminates at insertion of hindlimb; tail marked dorsally with four, transverse. dark brown bars; limbs dark brown; chin white with a pair of dark brown crescent shaped spots facing each other on the median line, and a dark brown blotch at chin tip; throat, venter and ventral surface of tail pale brown and blotched with darker brown. (Raxworthy & Nussbaum 1995)

Coloration in preservative: After three months in formalin and three months in alcohol, the only change is a darkening of the pale brown pigments or the head, body and tail, which has reduced the contrast of the pattern seen in life. (Raxworthy & Nussbaum 1995) 
EtymologyNamed after Latin “linea”, meaning stripe or line, referring to the dark lines on the body of the species. 
  • Glaw, F. 2015. Taxonomic checklist of chameleons (Squamata: Chamaeleonidae). [type catalogue] Vertebrate Zoology 65 (2): 167–246 - get paper here
  • Necas, P. & Schmidt, W. 2004. Stump-tailed Chameleons. Miniature Dragons of the Rainforest. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt, 256 pp. [review in Elaphe 14 (1): 24]
  • Necas, Petr 1999. Chameleons - Nature's Hidden Jewels. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt; 348 pp.; ISBN 3-930612-04-6 (Europe) ISBN 1-57524-137-4 (USA, Canada)
  • Raxworthy, C. J. & R. A. Nussbaum 1995. Systematics, speciation and biogeography of the dwarf chameleons (Brookesia; Reptilia, Squamata, Chamaeleontidae) of northern Madagascar. Journal of Zoology 235: 525-558. - get paper here
  • Townsend, T.M.; Vieites, D.R.; Glaw, F. & Vences, M. 2009. Testing Species-Level Diversification Hypotheses in Madagascar: The Case of Microendemic Brookesia Leaf Chameleons. Systematic Biology 58 (6):641–656 - get paper here
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