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Calumma fallax (MOCQUARD, 1900)

IUCN Red List - Calumma fallax - Data Deficient, DD

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Higher TaxaChamaeleonidae, Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymChamaeleon fallax MOCQUARD 1900: 345
Chamaeleon fallax — WERNER 911: 40
Calumma fallax — KLAVER & BÖHME 1986
Calumma fallax — GLAW & VENCES 1994: 248
Calumma fallax — NECAS 1999: 278
Calumma fallax — PRÖTZEL et al. 2020: 48 
DistributionE Madagascar (from Andohahela in the south to Mandraka about 650 km further north), elevation 922–1781 m

Type locality: Forét d’Ikongo, Madagascar  
TypesLectotype: MNHN 1899.317, adult male, designated by Prötzel et al. 2020: 49. Paralectotypes: MNHN -RA 1899.0318; MNHN-RA 1888.0024; MNHN-RA 1890.0430-0432. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (based on the type series and the referred material, see above; osteology based on micro-CT scans of MNHN 1899.317, MNHN 1890.430, ZSM 693/2003, and ZSM 286/2010, all four males): Calumma fallax is characterised by (1) a medium size (male SVL 42.9 – 50.6 mm, female SVL 40.8 – 50.7 mm; male TL 90.9 – 107.3 mm, female TL 77.3 – 99.8 mm), (2) a long (1.8 – 4.3 mm in males, 1.7 – 3.2 mm in females) and distally rounded rostral appendage, (3) rostral scale not integrated into the rostral appendage, (4) prominent rostral crest forming a concave cup on the snout, (5) lateral crests present, (6) temporal crest generally present, (7) cranial crest generally absent, (8) parietal crest generally present but short, (9) a distinctly raised casque in males with a height of 1.3 – 2.5 mm, (10) a dorsal crest of 6 – 11 cones in males, generally absent in females (one specimen with five cones), (11) 10 – 16 supralabial scales with a straight upper margin, (12) absence of axillary pits, (13) diameter of the largest scale in the temporal region of the head 0.8 – 1.8 mm, (14) a frontoparietal fenestra in the skull, (15) parietal and squamosal generally in contact, (16) parietal bone width at midpoint 6.7 – 15.7% of skull length, (17) a generally greenish, greyish, or brownish body colouration, (18) a typically blue or grey nose in non-stressed colouration, (19) a green cheek colouration, (20) three blue dorsoventral stripes on the body and a white lateral stripe, and (21) a diffuse brown strip crossing the eye.
C. fallax can be distinguished from all species of the C. boettgeri complex (see above) by the absence of occipital lobes; from C. gallus by different length, shape and colour of its rostral appendage (see above); from all other species of the C. nasutum group without occipital lobes (except for C. ratnasariae, see below) by the presence of a frontoparietal fenestra.
In addition, it can be distinguished from C. vatosoa by the presence of a rostral appendage (vs absence); from C. vohibola by longer rostral appendage (RRS 4.2 – 8.5% vs 0.2 – 3.1%), supralabials with a straight upper margin (vs serrated), parietal crest generally present (vs absent); from C. nasutum as here redefined by general absence of cranial crest (vs present), a shorter frontal (39.4–50.4% of skull length vs 51.2–82.1%), blue rostral appendage (vs brown), and three blue lateral blotches (vs four brown blotches with light spots); from C. radamanus by rostral scale not integrated into the rostral appendage (vs generally integrated), parietal crest generally present (vs absent), supralabials with a straight upper margin (vs serrated), parietal and squamosal in contact or closely approaching (vs widely separated), and width of parietal at midpoint (6.7–15.7% vs 16.1–22.4%); from C. emelinae sp. nov. by general presence of parietal crest (vs general absence), higher casque in males (1.3 – 2.5 mm vs 0.5 – 1.1 mm), dorsal crest consisting of cones (vs spines) in males, and larger temporal scale in males (0.8 – 1.6 mm vs 0.7 mm); from C. tjiasmantoi sp. nov. by fewer supralabials (10 – 15 vs 15 – 17), larger diameter of temporal scale (1.0 – 1.8 mm vs 0.6 – 0.8 mm), and slightly narrower postparietal process. 
CommentFor a discussion on the original description and the types, see Klaver 2020. 
EtymologyA Latin adjective meaning ‘deceptive’ or ‘fallacious’ in the neutral nominative, with unclear justification. 
  • Barbour, Thomas 1918. Vertebrata from Madagascar. 2. Amphibia and Reptilia. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 61 (14): 479-489. - get paper here
  • Belluardo F, Quirós DD, Lobón-Rovira J, Rosa GM, Rasoazanany M, Andreone F, Crottini A 2021. Uncovering the herpetological diversity of small forest fragments in south-eastern Madagascar (Haute Matsiatra). Zoosystematics and Evolution 97(2): 315-343 - get paper here
  • Gehring, Philip-Sebastian; Fanomezana M. Ratsoavina, Miguel Vences & Frank Glaw 2011. Calumma vohibola, a new chameleon species (Squamata: Chamaeleonidae) from the littoral forests of eastern Madagascar. African Journal of Herpetology 60 (2): 130-154 - get paper here
  • Glaw ,F. & Vences, M. 1994. A Fieldguide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. Vences & Glaw Verlag, Köln (ISBN 3-929449-01-3)
  • Glaw, F. 2015. Taxonomic checklist of chameleons (Squamata: Chamaeleonidae). [type catalogue] Vertebrate Zoology 65 (2): 167–246 - get paper here
  • Klaver, C. 2020. Notes on the typification of several chameleon taxa (Sauria: Chamaeleonidae). Amphibia-Reptilia 41: 13-117. - get paper here
  • Mocquard, F. 1900. Diagnose d'espéces nouvelles de Reptiles de Madagascar. Bull. Mus. nat. Hist. nat., Paris 6: 345- 348. - get paper here
  • Mocquard, F. 1900. Nouvelle contribution á la faune herpétologique de Madagascar. Bull. Soc. philom., Paris (9) 2 (4): 93-111. - get paper here
  • 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)
  • PRÖTZEL, D., SCHERZ, M.D., RATSOAVINA, F.M., VENCES, M., GLAW, F. 2020. Untangling the trees: Revision of the Calumma nasutum complex (Squamata: Chamaeleonidae). Vertebrate Zoology 70: 23-59 - get paper here
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