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Brookesia micra GLAW, KÖHLER, TOWNSEND & VENCES, 2012

IUCN Red List - Brookesia micra - Near Threatened, NT

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Higher TaxaChamaeleonidae (Brookesiinae), Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymBrookesia micra GLAW, KÖHLER, TOWNSEND & VENCES 2012
Brookesia (Evoluticauda) micra — GLAW et al. 2021 
DistributionN Madagascar (Antsiranana)

Type locality: Nosy Hara island, 12°14’40’’S, 49°00’30’’E, ca. 10–20 m elevation, Antsiranana Province, northern Madagascar  
Reproductionoviparous (phylogenetic imputation, fide Zimin et al. 2022) 
TypesHolotype: ZSM 2181/2007 (FGZC 1271), adult male (hemipenes everted), collected on 7 March 2007 by H. Enting, F. Glaw and J. Köhler. Paratypes: ZSM, UADBA, ZFMK 92938, male (ZFMK paratype originally published as ZSM 2185/2007) 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A member of the Brookesia minima group based on small body size (SVL,20 mm) and molecular phylogenetic relationships. Brookesia micra is distinguished from all other members of the group by a shorter relative tail length (tail length/SVL 0.37–0.49 versus 0.49–0.92), and by orange coloured tails in life in adults (vs. inconspicuous brownish colour). In addition, from B. confidens by a smaller adult male size (SVL 15.1– 15.3 mm vs. 18.3–20.1 mm), supranasal cone present (vs. absent), and hemipenis with comb-like apical structure (vs. narrow without ornaments); from B. dentata by probably smaller adult body size (no measurements of male B. dentata available); from B. exarmata by smaller adult body size (female SVL 18.7–19.9 vs. 25.7–26.5, no male measurements available for B. exarmata); from B. karchei by smaller size (female SVL 18.7–19.9 vs. 30.7, no male measure- ments available for B. karchei); supraocular cone absent (vs. present); from B. minima by presence of a pelvic spine (vs. absent or indistinct pelvic spine), and hemipenis with comb-like apical structure (vs. balloon-like without ornaments); from B. peyrierasi by a smaller adult male size (SVL 15.1–15.3 mm vs. 19.1–27.4 mm), and hemipenis with comb-like apical structure (vs. bilobed with four spines on each lobe); from B. ramanantsoai by a smaller adult male size (SVL 15.1–15.3 mm vs. 21.7 mm), supraocular cone absent (vs. present in some specimens), and hemipenis with comb- like apical structure (vs. baloon-like without ornaments); from B. tristis by a smaller adult male size (SVL 15.1–15.3 mm vs. 18.0– 18.2 mm), and hemipenis with comb-like apical structure (vs. small papillae on apex not arranged comb-like); and from B. tuberculata by supraocular cone absent (vs. present), and hemipenis with comb-like apical structure (vs. crown-like structure). For a distinction from B. desperata, described below, see the diagnosis of this species. Referencing a fragment of the 16S rRNA gene, B. micra shows an uncorrected pairwise divergence of 6.8% to its sister clade (B. tristis+B. desperata), and divergences .7.2% to all other species of the B. minima group. 
CommentAbundance: only known from the type locality (Meiri et al. 2017).

Distribution: see map in Glaw et al. 2021: 5 (Fig. 3) 
EtymologyThe species epithet is a latinized derivation from the Greek word ‘mikros’, meaning ‘‘tiny’’ or ‘‘small’’ and referring to the extremely diminutive body size. It is used as an invariable noun in apposition. 
  • Glaw F, Köhler J, Townsend TM, Vences M 2012. Rivaling the World’s Smallest Reptiles: Discovery of Miniaturized and Microendemic New Species of Leaf Chameleons (Brookesia) from Northern Madagascar. PLoS One 7 (2): e31314. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0031314 - get paper here
  • Glaw, F. 2015. Taxonomic checklist of chameleons (Squamata: Chamaeleonidae). [type catalogue] Vertebrate Zoology 65 (2): 167–246 - get paper here
  • Glaw, F., Köhler, J., Hawlitschek, O. et al. 2021. Extreme miniaturization of a new amniote vertebrate and insights into the evolution of genital size in chameleons. Sci Rep 11: 2522 - get paper here
  • Kwet, A. 2012. Die kleinsten Reptilien der Welt - neu entdeckte Zwergchamäleons aus Madagaskar. Reptilia (Münster) 17 (95): 4-6 - get paper here
  • Kwet, Axel 2013. Liste der im Jahr 2012 neu beschriebenen Reptilien. Terraria-Elaphe 2013 (3): 52-67 - get paper here
  • Meiri, Shai; Aaron M. Bauer, Allen Allison, Fernando Castro-Herrera, Laurent Chirio, Guarino Colli, Indraneil Das, Tiffany M. Doan, Frank Glaw, Lee L. Grismer, Marinus Hoogmoed, Fred Kraus, Matthew LeBreton, Danny Meirte, Zoltán T. Nagy, Cristiano d 2017. Extinct, obscure or imaginary: the lizard species with the smallest ranges. Diversity and Distributions - get paper here
  • Villeneuve, Andrew R. 2017. Habitat Selection and Population Density of the World’s Smallest Chameleon, Brookesia micra, on Nosy Hara, Madagascar. Herpetological Conservation and Biology 12 (2) - get paper here
  • Zimin, A., Zimin, S. V., Shine, R., Avila, L., Bauer, A., Böhm, M., Brown, R., Barki, G., de Oliveira Caetano, G. H., Castro Herrera, F., Chapple, D. G., Chirio, L., Colli, G. R., Doan, T. M., Glaw, F., Grismer, L. L., Itescu, Y., Kraus, F., LeBreton 2022. A global analysis of viviparity in squamates highlights its prevalence in cold climates. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 00, 1–16 - get paper here
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