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Gonocephalus chamaeleontinus (LAURENTI, 1768)

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Higher TaxaAgamidae (Draconinae), Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Chameleon Forest Dragon, Chameleon Anglehead Lizard
G: Chamäleon-Winkelkopfagame 
SynonymIguana chamaeleontina LAURENTI 1768: 47
Agama gigantea KUHL 1820 (fide BOULENGER 1885)
Agama tigrina MERREM 1820
Lophyrus tigrinus — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1837: 421 (fide BOULENGER 1885)
Galeotes lophyrus SCHLEGEL 1844 (fide BOULENGER 1885)
Lophyrus sumatranus SCHLEGEL 1848 (fide BARBOUR 1912)
Gonyocephalus chamaeleontinus — BOULENGER 1885: 285
Gonyocephalus sumatranus — BOULENGER 1885: 286
Gonyocephalus chamaeleontinus — DE ROOIJ 1915: 102
Gonyocephalus sumatranus — DE ROOIJ 1915: 103
Goniocephalus chamaeleontinus — HENDRICKSON 1966: 60
Gonocephalus chamaeleontinus — MANTHEY & GROSSMANN 1997: 180
Gonocephalus chamaeleontinus — COX et al. 1998: 95
Gonocephalus chamaeleontinus — MANTHEY & SCHUSTER 1999: 58
Gonocephalus chamaeleontinus — GRISMER 2011
Gonocephalus chamaeleontinus — GRISMER & QUAH 2019 
DistributionIndonesia (Mentewei I, Sumatra, Bangka, Natuna I, Java, Nias, Sipora, Siberut, Bangkaru, Tuangku, Banyak Islands, Tanahmasa),
West Malaysia, Pahang (Pulau Tioman)

Type locality: “America” (in error)  
TypesHolotype: Iconotype (Seba. 1: 157, pl. 100 fig. 2); orginal type lost (fide Manthey & Denzer 1993: 26 who announced to designate a neotype; we are not aware of any publication in which this happened though). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): Gonocephalus species are robust and medium to large sized (SVL about 100–180 mm) with laterally compressed body, The genus can be separated from all other draconinae genera by small granulated dorsal/lateral scales, homogeny or intermixed with some greater ones, tympanum naked; spines on the head absent, antehumeral and gular fold present, nuchal crest present, lower dorsal crest sometimes reduced to a serrated ridge or absent; beside the nuchal and dorsal crest (if present) one or more rows of scales which are different in size and form from the dorsal scales.

4 species groups can be distinguished on the basis of morphological similarities
1.) Gonocephalus chamaeleontinus group: Nuchal and dorsal crest continuous; superciliary ridge forming an angle above posterior margin of eye; tails relative short (TL/SVL 1,4–2); males and females look very similar;
2.) Gonocephalus bellii group: Nuchal and dorsal crest continuous; superciliary ridge round; tails medium long (TL/SVL >2–2,8); males with much higher vertebral crest than females;
3.) Gonocephalus semperi group: Nuchal and dorsal crest more or less interrupted; superciliary ridge round; tails medium long to long (TL/SVL >1,9–3,2) males and females look similar;
4.) Gonocephalus megalepis group: Nuchal and dorsal crest clearly interrupted; superciliary ridge round; tails laterally extremely flattened, medium long (TL/SVL >1,6–2,2); males and females look similar; 5.) Gonocephalus grandis group: separate nuchal crest of overlapping scales (males) or skin flap-like (females), dorsal crest in females absent; superciliary ridge round; tails medium long (TL/SVL >2,7–2,8); males and females look extremely dissimilar (after Manthey & Denzer 1991, modified). 
CommentSynonymy mostly after WERMUTH 1967.

Type species: Lophyrus tigrinus DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1837 is the type species of the genus Gonocephalus KAUP 1825 (fide WERMUTH 1967). Gonocephalus GÜNTHER 1854 is a genus of Teleostei (fish). Lophyrus DUMÉRIL 1805 is preoccupied by Lophyrus POLI 1791 (Mollusca) and other genera called Lophyrus (see WERMUTH 1967: 55).

Note that the name Gonyocephalus is an emendation introduced by Wagler (1830) albeit Kaup originally used Gonocephalus and later amended it to Goniocephalus. According to ICZN 51.3.1. “Parentheses are not used when the species-group name was originally combined with an incorrect spelling or an emendation of the generic name (this applies even though an unjustified emendation is an available name with its own authorship and date [Art. 33.2.3]).” 
  • Ananjeva, N. B.;Matveyeva-Dujsebayeva, T. N. 1996. Some evidence of Gonocephalus species complex divergence basing on skin sense organs morphology. Russ. J. Herpetol. 3 (1): 82-88 - get paper here
  • Barbour, Thomas 1912. A Contribution to the Zoögeography of the East Indian Islands. Memoirs of the Museum of Comparative Zoölogy 44 (1): 1-203 - get paper here
  • Bezaz, Y. I., Hadjab, R., Khammar, H., Redjaimia, L., & Saheb, M. 2021. First data on the diversity of the herpetofauna of the Oum El Bouaghi Region (Northeast of Algeria). Ecol. Env. & Cons. 27 (3): 983-989
  • Bonetti, Mathilde 2002. 100 Sauri. Mondadori (Milano), 192 pp. - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1885. Catalogue of the lizards in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) I. Geckonidae, Eublepharidae, Uroplatidae, Pygopodidae, Agamidae. London: 450 pp. - get paper here
  • Chan-ard,T.; Grossmann,W.; Gumprecht,A. & Schulz,K. D. 1999. Amphibians and reptiles of peninsular Malaysia and Thailand - an illustrated checklist [bilingual English and German]. Bushmaster Publications, Würselen, Gemany, 240 pp. [book review in Russ. J Herp. 7: 87] - get paper here
  • Cox, Merel J.; Van Dijk, Peter Paul; Jarujin Nabhitabhata & Thirakhupt,Kumthorn 1998. A Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. Ralph Curtis Publishing, 144 pp.
  • de Rooij, N. de 1915. The Reptiles of the Indo-Australian Archipelago. I. Lacertilia, Chelonia, Emydosauria. Leiden (E. J. Brill), xiv + 384 pp. - get paper here
  • Dring J C M 1979. Amphibians and reptiles from northern Trengganu, Malaysia, with descriptions of two new geckos: Cnemaspis and Cyrtodactylus. Bulletin of the British Museum (NATURAL HISTORY) ZOOLOGY 34 (5): 181-241 - get paper here
  • Duméril, A. M. C. and G. Bibron. 1837. Erpétologie Générale ou Histoire Naturelle Complete des Reptiles. Vol. 4. Libr. Encyclopédique Roret, Paris, 570 pp. - get paper here
  • Evers, M. 2013. Der Traum vom Urwald im Wohnzimmer. Winkelkopfagamen (Gonocephalus) im Terrarium. Reptilia (Münster) 18 (102): 50-59 - get paper here
  • Evers, Michael 2010. Winkelkopfagamen. Gonocephalus belli, C. chamaeleontinus, G. doriae abbotti. Natur und Tier Verlag, 64 pp. - get paper here
  • GRISMER, L. LEE; & EVAN S. H. QUAH 2019. An updated and annotated checklist of the lizards of Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, and their adjacent archipelagos. Zootaxa 4545 (2): 230–248 - get paper here
  • Grismer, L.L. 2011. Amphibians and reptiles of the Seribuat Archipelago. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt, 239 pp.
  • Grismer, L.L. 2011. Lizards of Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and their adjacent archipelagos. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt, 728 pp. [review in Herp. Rev. 43: 155] - get paper here
  • Grossmann, W. & Tillack, F. 2004. Pulau Tioman - Perle im Südchinesischen Meer, Teil 1. Reptilia (Münster) 9 (50): 42-49 - get paper here
  • Hallermann, J. 2005. Mit Hörnern, Kämmen und Gleithäuten - die bizarren Baumagamen. Reptilia (Münster) 10 (51): 18-25 - get paper here
  • Hallermann, J. 2005. The bizarre arboreal agamids. Reptilia (GB) (42): 8-15 - get paper here
  • Hendrickson,J.R. 1966. Observations on the fauna of Pulau Tioman and Pulau Tulai. 5. The Reptiles. Bull. Nat. Mus. Singapore 34: 53-71
  • Hien,P. Grossmann,W. & Schäfer, C. 2001. Beitrag zur Kenntnis der landbewohnenden Reptilienfauna von Pulau Tioman, West-Malaysia. Sauria 23 (4): 11-28 - get paper here
  • Kabisch, K. & Belter, H. 1968. Das Verzehren von Amphibien und Reptilien durch Vögel. Zoologische Abhandlungen aus dem Staatlichen Museum für Tierkunde in Dresden 29: 191-227
  • Kopstein, F. 1938. Ein Beitrag zur Eierkunde und zur Fortpflanzung der Malaiischen Reptilien. Bull. Raffles Mus. No 14: 81-167
  • Laurenti, J. N. 1768. Specimen medicum, exhibens synopsin reptilium emendatam cum experimentis circa venena et antidota reptilium austracorum, quod authoritate et consensu. Vienna, Joan. Thomae, 217 pp. - get paper here
  • Lim, K.K.P. & Ng, H.H. 1999. The terrestrial herpetofauna of Pulau Tioman, Peninsular Malaysia. Raffles Bull. Zool., Suppl. No. 6: 131-155 - get paper here
  • Manthey U 2010. Agamid Lizards of Southern Asia. Draconinae 2 -Leiolepidinae. Edition Chimaira, Terralog 7b, Frankfurt, 168 pp.
  • Manthey, S. 2011. Agamen-Tagung 2010. Iguana Rundschreiben 24 (1): 28-32
  • Manthey, U. & DENZER, W. 1993. Die Echten Winkelkopfagamen der Gattung Gonocephalus KAUP (Sauria: Agamidae) VI. Die chamaeleontinus-Gruppe. Sauria 15 (2): 23-38 - get paper here
  • Manthey, U. & Grossmann, W. 1997. Amphibien & Reptilien Südostasiens. Natur und Tier Verlag (Münster), 512 pp. - get paper here
  • MANTHEY, Ulrich & Wolfgang DENZER 1991. Die Echten Winkelkopfagamen der Gattung Gonocephalus KAUP (Sauria: Agamidae) II. Allgemeine Angaben zur Biologie und Terraristik. Sauria 13 (2): 19-22 - get paper here
  • Manthey,U. & SCHUSTER,N. 1999. Agamen, 2. Aufl. Natur und Tier Verlag (Münster), 120 pp. - get paper here
  • Milto, Konstantin D.; Yury A. Lukin 2020. A Revised Herpetofauna of Ujung Kulon National Park, West Java, Indonesia. Russian Journal of Herpetology 27 (6): 353-368 - get paper here
  • Pola, L., Hejduk, V., Winkelhöfer, T., Zíka, A., Baker, M. A. A., & Amr, Z. S. 2020. Recent Observations on Amphibians and Reptiles in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Jordan Journal of Natural History, 7: 11-29 - get paper here
  • TEYNIÉ, ALEXANDRE; PATRICK DAVID, & ANNEMARIE OHLER 2010. Note on a collection of Amphibians and Reptiles from Western Sumatra (Indonesia), with the description of a new species of the genus Bufo. Zootaxa 2416: 1–43 - get paper here
  • Thireau, Michel;Sprackland, Robert George; Sprackland, Teri 1998. A report on Seba's specimens in the herpetological collection of the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, and their status as Linnaean types. The Linnean 13 (4): 38-45 - get paper here
  • Welton, Luke J.;Cameron D. Siler, L. L. Grismer, Arvin C. Diesmos, Jack W. Sites andRafe M. Brown 2016. Archipelago-wide survey of Philippine forest dragons (Agamidae: Gonocephalus): multilocus phylogeny uncovers unprecedented levels of genetic diversity in a biodiversity hotspot. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, DOI: 10.1111/bij.12878 - get paper here
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