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Calumma gehringi PRÖTZEL, VENCES, SCHERZ, VIEITES & GLAW, 2017

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Higher TaxaChamaeleonidae, Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymCalumma gehringi PRÖTZEL, VENCES, SCHERZ, VIEITES & GLAW 2017
Calumma linotum — TOLLEY et al. 2013
Calumma guibei — GLAW & VENCES 2007: 290 
DistributionMadagascar (Bealanana District, Sofia Region, Mahajanga Province), elevation 730–1540 m

Type locality: Antsahan’i Ledy in the Tsaratanana Massif (14.2332°S, 48.9800°E, 1207 m a.s.l.), Bealanana District, So a Region, Mahajanga Pro- vince, North Madagascar  
TypesHolotype: ZSM 2851/2010 (ZCMV 12307) adult male, collected on 9 June 2010 by D.R. Vieites, M. Vences, R.D. Randrianiaina, S. Rasamison, A. Rakotoarison, E. Rajeriarison, and T. Rajoafiarison (Fig. 6). Paratypes. ZSM 1834/2010 (ZCMV 12511), ZSM 1835/2010 (ZCMV 12512), ZSM 2841/2010 (DRV 6392), ZSM 2842/2010 (DRV 6393), all four adult males, DRV 6376, 6380, 6394, ZCMV 12489 (four uncatalogued specimens in UADBA) collected near Bemanevika (14.4306°S, 48.6018°E, 1466 m a.s.l.) on 27 June 2010; ZSM 2840/2010 (DRV 6318), adult male, ZSM 2839/2010 (DRV 6316), juvenile, DRV 6320, 6321 (both uncatalogued in UADBA), all collected at Ambodikakazo (14.2098°S, 48.8982°E, 1411 m a.s.l.) on 15 June 2010; ZSM 2843/2010 (DRV 6414), adult male, ZSM 2844/2010 (DRV 6415), adult female, both col- lected near Bemanevika (14.3599°S, 48.5902°E, 1538 m a.s.l.) on 28 June 2010; ZSM 2846/2010 (ZCMV 12243), juvenile, ZSM 2847/2010 (ZCMV 12244), female, ZSM 2848/2010 (ZCMV 12247), subadult female, ZCMV 12245–12247, 12262 (four un- catalogued specimens in UADBA) all collected in Analabe Forest (14.5048°S, 48.8760°E, 1361 m a.s.l.) on 6 June 2010; ZSM 2850/2010 (ZCMV 12297), juvenile, ZSM 2852/2010 (ZCMV 12308), adult female, ZCMV 12296–12300, 12309 (six uncatalogued specimens in UADBA), all collected in Antsahan’i Ledy (14.2332°S, 48.9800°E, 1207 m a.s.l.) on 9 June 2010; DRV 6259, 6262 (two uncatalogued specimens in UADBA) collected in Forest Vinanitelo (14.2097°S, 48.9700°E, 1280 m a.s.l.) on 22 June 2010; collectors of the specimens above are M. Vences, D.R. Vieites, R.D. Randrianiaina, F.M. Ratsoavina, S. Rasamison, A. Rakotoarison, E. Rajeriarison, and T.Rajoa arison; ZSM 38/2016 (MSZC 0041; 14.4231°S, 48.7189°E, 1325 m a.s.l.) on 20 December 2015, ZSM 40/2016 (MSZC 0084; 14.4163°S, 48.7181°E, 1456 m a.s.l.) on 24 December 2015, and ZSM 41/2016 (MSZC 0139; 14.4171°S, 48.7198°E, 1414 m a.s.l.) on 4 January 2016, all three adult females; MSZC 0128 (ZSM 39/2016; 14.4193°S, 48.7194°E, 1320 m a.s.l.) on 2 January 2016 and MSZC 0154 (ZSM 42/2016; 14.4159°S, 48.7210°E, 1434 m a.s.l.) on 3 January 2016, both adult males; MCSZ 0043, 0049, 0114, 0116 (four uncatalogued specimens in UADBA), all collected on the Ampotsidy Mountains by M.D. Scherz, J. Borrell, L. Ball, T. Starnes, E. Raza mandimby, D. Herizo Nomenjanahary, and J. Rabearivony; ZSM 43/2016 (MSZC 0211), adult male, collected in Andranona ndra Forest (14.7358°S, 48.5480°E, 1172 m a.s.l.) on 14 January 2016, by M.D. Scherz and M. Rakotondratisma. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Calumma gehringi sp. nov. is a member of the phenetic C. nasutum group (PröTzel et al., 2016), be- cause of the presence of a soft, dermal, unpaired rostral appendage, absence of gular or ventral crest and hetero- geneous scalation at the lower arm, consisting mostly of tubercles of large diameter (0.4 – 0.9 mm). Within the ge- nus it is a small-sized, grey to greenish chameleon (SVL 44.7–55.5 mm, TL 92.6–123.6 mm) that is character- ized by a large rostral appendage of green or blue colour in males and yellow in females when unstressed, occipi- tal lobes that are clearly notched but usually still slightly connected, distinctly elevated rostral crest, absence of axillary pits, presence of a dorsal crest in males, and a unique skull morphology (see below).
Calumma gehringi differs from C. fallax, C. gallus, C. nasutum, C. peyrierasi, C. vatosoa and C. vohibola of the C. nasutum group by the presence of occipital lobes; from C. boettgeri and C. linotum by the completely sepa- rated or only slightly connected occipital lobes (vs. not or slightly notched, PröTzel et al., 2015), hemipenis with three pairs of rotulae (vs. two pairs) and strongly devel- oped cornucula gemina (vs. smaller cornucula gemina, PröTzel et al., 2015), presence of a frontoparietal fenestra with a width of 1.4 – 2.2% of SVL (vs. completely closed brain case), frontal and parietal with many tubercles (vs. smooth or only a few tubercles); additionally from C. boettgeri by larger, juxtaposed tubercle scales on the extremities (diameter 0.5–0.9 mm vs. 0.2–0.5 mm, and isolated from each other).
From the most similar taxon, Calumma guibei, C. gehringi differs most strongly in skull morphology (Fig. 4, Table 2), by possession of a smaller frontopari- etal fenestra (width 1.4–2.2% of SVL vs. 5.0–8.5% of SVL); prefrontal fontanelle and naris separated by con- tact of prefrontal with maxilla (vs. not separated); parietal narrower at its narrowest point (1.9–2.7% of SVL vs. 3.0 – 4.7%) and longer along the midline (11.5 – 12.2% of SVL vs. 9.2 – 9.7%); thick squamosal (vs. thin) in broad dorsal contact with the parietal (vs. not meeting parietal), occipital lobes clearly notched but usually slightly con- nected (vs. completely separated, Fig. 3E, F), and pres- ence of a dorsal crest with 7–15 tubercles in males (vs. absence). Furthermore, the new species differs from all other members of the C. nasutum group with occipital lobes by the possession of a distinctly elevated rostral crest, and a dorsal crest continuing on the tail in most specimens. In addition, C. gehringi differs from all other species of the genus Calumma by a substantial genetic differentiation (> 12% uncorrected pairwise distance in the mitochondrial ND2 gene; no haplotype sharing in the nuclear CMOS gene). 
EtymologyDedicated to Philip-Sebastian Gehring, German herpetologist, whose comprehensive molecular phylogenetic study on the Calumma nasutum group was the basis for the description of the new species and other species within this complex. The species epithet ‘gehringi’ is a patronym in the Latin genitive form. 
  • Glaw ,F. & Vences, M. 2007. A field guide to the amphibians and reptiles of Madagascar. 3rd edition. Vences and Glaw Verlag, Cologne, 496 pp.
  • Prötzel, D., VENCES, M., SCHERZ, M.D., VIEITES, D.R. & GLAW, F. 2017. Splitting and lumping: An integrative taxonomic assessment of Malagasy chameleons in the Calumma guibei complex results in the new species C. gehringi sp. nov. Vertebrate Zoology 67 (2): 231–249 - get paper here
  • Prötzel, David 2018. Auf der Suche nach neuen Chamäleonarten in Ost-Madagaskar. Terraria-Elaphe 2018 (4): 66-69 - get paper here
  • Tolley KA, Townsend TM, Vences M. 2013. Large-scale phylogeny of chameleons suggests African origins and Eocene diversification. Proc R Soc B 280: 20130184 - get paper here
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