Brookesia tedi SCHERZ, KÖHLER, RAKOTOARISON, GLAW & VENCES, 2019
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Brookesia tedi?
|Higher Taxa||Chamaeleonidae (Brookesiinae), Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)|
|Synonym||Brookesia tedi SCHERZ, KÖHLER, RAKOTOARISON, GLAW & VENCES 2019|
B. "minima" – BRYGOO et al. 1974
B. minima s. l. – BRYGOO & DOMERGUE 1974
B. aff. minima – BRYGOO 1978
B. cf. minima – GLAW & VENCES 1994
Type locality: Camp ‘Simpona’ (Camp 3) of Marojejy National Park (ca 14.4366S, 49.7434E, 1325 m a.s.l.), Sava Region, northeastern Madagascar
|Types||Holotype. ZSM 438/2016 (ZCMV 15262), adult male, collected on 18 November 2016 by M.D. Scherz, A. Razafimanantsoa, A. Rakotoarison, M. Bletz, M. Vences, and J.H. Razafindraibe. Paratype. ZSM 439/2016 (ZCMV 15298), adult male, collected on 20 November 2016 from the same locality and by the same collectors as the holotype.|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis. A diminutive chameleon species assigned to the genus Brookesia on the basis of its small body size, short tail, crests of the head, dorsolateral spines and molecular relationships. Brookesia tedi sp. n. is morphologically characterised by the following unique suite of characters (n = 2 males): (1) SVL 15.3–18.2 mm; (2) TaL/SVL 0.74–0.92; (3) TL 29.5–31.7 mm; (4) HW/SVL 0.20–0.21; (5) 8–10 dorsolateral spines (when countable; sometimes spines are not or are only partly expressed, rendering them difficult to count); (6) distinct pelvic spine; (7) absence of lateral or dorsal spines on the tail; (8) presence of supraocular cone; (9) presence of supranasal cone; and (10) rather globular hemipenis with paired sets of small fleshy apical papillae.|
Within the genus Brookesia, B. tedi sp. n. can easily be distinguished from all species that are not members of the B. minima species group based on its diminutive size (SVL 15.3–18.2 mm vs minimum 34 mm). Within the B. minima species group, it can be distinguished from males of B. tristis by longer relative tail length (TaL/SVL 0.74–0.92 vs 0.71–0.72), presence of supraocular cone (vs. absence); from males of B. confidens by slightly smaller body size (SVL 15.3–18.2 vs 18.3–20.1 mm), longer relative tail length (TaL/SVL 0.74–0.92 vs 0.60–0.70), presence of supraocular cone (vs absence), and globular hemipenes (vs tubular); from males of B. micra by longer relative tail length (TaL/SVL 0.74–0.92 vs 0.47–0.49), slightly narrower relative head width (HW/SVL 0.20–0.21 vs 0.23), slightly smaller relative head height (HH/SVL 0.16–0.18 vs 0.19–0.20), and globular hemipenes with paired fleshy apical papillae (vs tubular hemipenes with apical combs of papillae); from males of B. desperata by smaller body size (SVL 15.3–18.2 vs 25.0–26.7 mm) and total length (TL 29.5–31.7 vs 39.7–42.9 mm), longer relative tail length (TaL/SVL 0.74–0.92 vs 0.59–0.63), absence of lateral tail spines (vs presence), fewer dorsolateral spines (8–10 when countable vs 12–14), and hemipenes with fleshy papillae (vs single spines on strongly bilobed apex); from the male holotype of B. exarmata as reported by Schimmenti and Jesu (1996) by the presence of a supraocular cone (vs absence), slightly smaller relative head height (HH/ SVL 0.16–0.18 vs 0.23), and slightly smaller total length (TL 29.5–31.7 vs 33.3 mm); from males of B. minima by slightly longer relative tail length (TaL/SVL 0.74–0.92 vs 0.65–0.73), slightly wider relative head width (HW/SVL 0.20–0.21 vs 0.16–0.19), presence of supraocular cone (vs absent), and presence of a distinct pelvic spine (vs absent or indistinct); from males of B. ramanantsoai by smaller body size (SVL 15.3–18.2 vs 21.7 mm) and total length (TL 29.5–31.7 vs 39.0 mm), and wider relative head width (HW/SVL 0.20–0.21 vs 0.16); from males of B. dentata by smaller total length (TL 29.5–31.7 vs 43 mm) and presence of supraocular cone (vs absent); from females of B. karchei (as reported by Glaw et al. 2012a; no data from males are available) by longer relative tail length (TaL/SVL 0.74–0.92 vs 0.66), slightly wider relative head width (HW/SVL 0.20–0.21 vs 0.17), absence of lateral tail spines (vs presence), and fewer dorsolateral spines (8–10 when countable vs 13); and from males of B. tuberculata by smaller supraocular cone and globular hemipenis (vs tubular).
Molecular data clearly identify B. peyrierasi as the sister species of B. tedi sp. n. (Figs 1, 2); from males of B. peyrierasi the new species is distinguished by smaller body size (SVL 15.3–18.2 vs 19.7–22.4 mm) and total length (TL 29.5–31.7 vs 34.2–39.8 mm), more distinct supraocular cone, and rather globular hemipenis lacking apical spines (vs tubular hemipenis with paired sets of apical spines; Fig. 6).
|Comment||Similar species: Specimens UMMZ 203615–203621 reported by Raxworthy and Nussbaum (1995) to be identical to B. minima may also be attributable to this species, but apparently come from lower elevation (200–800 m a.s.l.) and there- fore cannot be referred to this species until they are genetically and morphologically investigated.|
Sympatry: B. karchei
Conservation status. This species is currently only known from relatively high elevation on the Marojejy massif. We follow assessments for other chameleon endemics from this area on Marojejy, specifically Calumma jejy and C. peyrierasi, which are found somewhat higher but probably have a similar level of microendemism. We consider the species Vulnerable under IUCN Red List criterion Vulnerable D2: as far as is known, B. tedi has a highly restricted area of occupancy (= extent of occurrence) of under 150 km2 (this is the area of 1200 m a.s.l. and above in Marojejy), and is known from a single threat-defined location at 1300 m a.s.l. and above in Marojejy National Park. Two plausible future threats, namely decrease in efficacy of protection on Marojejy, and fire, could rapidly drive the species to becoming Critically Endangered.
|Etymology||The species name is a patronym dedicated to Ted Townsend, in recognition of his important contribu- tions to the phylogenetics and systematics of squamates, chameleons, and Brookesia in particular.|