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Kinyongia rugegensis HUGHES, KUSAMBA, BEHANGANA & GREENBAUM, 2017

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Higher TaxaChamaeleonidae, Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Rugege Highlands forest chameleon 
SynonymKinyongia rugegensis HUGHES, KUSAMBA, BEHANGANA & GREENBAUM 2017
Chamaeleo adolfi-friderici – FISCHER & HINKEL 1992: fig. 110
Bradypodion adolfi-friderici – HINKEL 1993 
DistributionBurundi (Bubanza)

Type locality: BURUNDI, Bubanza Province, near Kibira National Park, Mpishi village, 03°4′11.064′′S 29°29′4.02′′E, 1660 m elevation  
TypesHolotype: UTEP 21485 (field no. ELI 1156), adult female, 20 December 2011, collected by E. Greenbaum, C. Kusamba, M.M. Aristote, and W.M. Muninga (Fig. 6A).
Paratopotypes: Same collection details as holotype, one adult male, UTEP 21481 (field no. ELI 1155) (Fig. 6B), and another adult male, UTEP 21482 (field no. ELI 1238), collected on 23 December 2011 (Fig. 6C). Paratypes: One adult female, UTEP 21483 (field no. ELI 1220), BURUNDI, Bubanza Province, Kibira National Park, Mpishi village, 03°3′42.372′′S 29°29′36.348′′E, 1986 m elevation, 22 December 2011, collected by same collectors of holotype; one adult female, UTEP 21484 (field no. ELI 1256), BURUNDI, Kayanza Province, Kibira National Park, near Rwegura village, 02°56′20.292′′S 29°29′54.78′′E, 2130 m elevation, 25 December 2011, collected by E. Greenbaum, M.M. Aristote, and W.M. Muninga (Fig. 6D). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Kinyongia rugegensis sp. nov. can be distin- guished from all other Kinyongia species by the following combination of traits: (1) lack of rostro-nasal ornamen- tation in both sexes; (2) moderate body size (mean SVL = 55.9 mm); (3) anterior dorsal keel with 8–10 coni- cal tubercles; (4) a slightly elevated casque that tapers posteriorly to a prominent apex; (5) absence of a gular and ventral crest; (6) 16–18 upper and 15–17 lower labi- als; (7) generally flat shape of the upper casque; (8) tail length longer than SVL in both sexes; (9) indistinct pari- etal crest with slightly raised tubercles; (10) background body coloration in adult females generally green to yel- low-green with darker pigmented regions on the flanks and tail; background body coloration in adult males generally brown with tan and yellow speckling on the flanks; (11) interstitial skin between the tubercles of the body generally black for both sexes; (12) a light brown stripe passes through the middle of the eye and extends from the canthal ridge to the temporal crest; (13) top of the head is typically a darker green/brown colour than elsewhere; (14) the gular region is distinctly lighter in colour, with a combination of green, white and tan.

Differential diagnosis: A medium-sized forest chame- leon that is distinguished from most congeners by the absence of a rostral process in both sexes [K. asheo- rum, K. boehmei (Lutzmann & Nečas, 2002), K. carpen- teri, K. fischeri, K. magomberae Menegon et al. (2009), K. matschiei (Werner, 1895), K. msuyae Menegon et al. (2015), K. multituberculata (Nieden, 1913), K. oxyrhina (Klaver & Böhme, 1988), K. tavetana (Steindachner, 1891), K. tenuis (Matschie, 1892), K. uluguruensis (Loveridge, 1957), K. uthmoelleri (Müller, 1938), K. van- heygeni Nečas, 2009, K. vosseleri (Nieden, 1913) and K. xenorhina]. The new species can be distinguished from K. adolfifriderici by its larger cranial crest gap and head length, larger body size (52.8–58.7 mm vs. 47.9–54.9 mm), and more upper (16–18 vs. 10–14) and lower labials (14–17 vs. 12–15). The new species can be distinguished from K. tolleyae sp. nov. by the lack of two distinctly bulging and rounded portions of the upper casque, slightly larger head width, larger fleshy papillae medial to rotulae on hemipenis and more upper labials (16–18 vs. 13–17). The new species can be distinguished from K. itombwensis sp. nov. by its larger fore- and hind limbs, slightly larger cranial crest gap and head length, and more conical tubercles on the dorsal crest (8–10 vs. 6–7). The new species can be distinguished from K. mulyai and K. excubitor by the presence of a dorsal crest with 8–10 conical tubercles and marked mitochondrial sequence divergence. The new species can be distinguished from K. gyrolepis by its smaller mean body size (55.9 vs. 67.3 mm) and cur- rent distribution in moist Afromontane rainforest. 
EtymologyNamed after the Rugege Highlands. 
  • Fischer E & HINKEL H (eds.) 1992. Natur und Umwelt Ruandas – Einführung in die Flora und Fauna Ruandas. Mainz: 452 S. (ISBN 3-920 615-15-8)
  • Hinkel H. 1993. Zur Biogeographie und Ökoethologie der Reptilienfauna von montanen Feuchtwäldern in Ruanda und Ost-Zaïre unter Berücksichtigung der Amphibien. Unpublished D. Phil. Thesis, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität
  • Hughes, Daniel F.; Chifundera Kusamba, Mathias Behangana, Eli Greenbaum 2017. Integrative taxonomy of the Central African forest chameleon, Kinyongia adolfifriderici (Sauria: Chamaeleonidae), reveals underestimated species diversity in the Albertine Rift. Zool J Linnean Soc. 181 (2): 400–438 - get paper here
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