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Palleon nasus (BOULENGER, 1887)

IUCN Red List - Palleon nasus - Vulnerable, VU

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Higher TaxaChamaeleonidae (Brookesiinae), Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)
SubspeciesPalleon nasus nasus (BOULENGER 1887)
Palleon nasus pauliani (BRYGOO, BLANC & DOMERGUE 1972) 
Common NamesE: Eiongate Leaf Chameleon 
SynonymBrookesia nasus nasus BOULENGER 1887
Brookesia nasus BOULENGER 1887: 475
Evoluticauda nasus — ANGEL 1942: 178
Brookesia betsileana AHL 1927
Brookesia nasus — GLAW & VENCES 1994: 235
Brookesia nasus — NECAS 1999: 277
Brookesia nasus — TOWNSEND et al. 2009
Palleon nasus nasus — GLAW et al. 2013

Palleon nasus pauliani (BRYGOO, BLANC & DOMERGUE 1972)
Brookesia nasus pauliani BRYGOO, BLANC & DOMERGUE 1972
Brookesia nasus pauliani — GLAW & VENCES 1994: 235
Palleon nasus pauliani — GLAW et al. 2013 
DistributionMadagascar (Ekongo), SE Madagascar

Type locality: Ekongo, SE Madagascar.

pauliani: known form the type locality only; Type locality: Manjarivolo, l’Andringitra, 1620-1650 m elevation.  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1879.10.21.8, female
Holotype: MNHN-RA 1971.0276 and paratype MNHN-RA 1971.0277, two males [pauliani] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): Small, brownish chameleons (snout–vent length 22–49 mm, total length 37–87 mm) with a relatively short tail, long snout, laterally compressed body, strongly convex dorsal ridge, at least one dermal appendage on snout tip, and a moderately developed wave-like dorsal crest in males. No pelvic shield or series of vertebral spines (some irregular tubercles may be present). The two species of Palleon differ from all Brookesia species by (1) a long and pointed head versus very short head, (2) a single dermal lobe (P. ­lolontany) or pair of small pointed lobes (P. ­nasus) on snout tip (absent in all Brookesia), (3) the presence of a strongly convex dorsal ridge (dorsal ridge in Brookesia mostly absent, if present, it will be almost straight [Raxworthy & Nussbaum 1995]:­B.­super­ciliaris, B.­therezieni, and B.­bekolosy), (4) presence of a wave-like dorsal crest in males (dorsal crest entirely absent in all Brookesia), (5) absence of a regular series of vertebral spines or tubercles (present in most Brookesia), (6) very distinct genetic divergence (Townsend et al. 2009, Tolley et al. 2013).
Palleon most closely resembles several species of the mainland African genus Rhampholeon by sharing with these a long and pointed head, small size, presence of dermal lobe(s) on snout tip, presence of a convex dorsal ridge, occurrence of wave-like dorsal crests, absence of a regular series of vertebral spines or tubercles, and a predominantly brownish colouration (see Tilbury 2010), but the genetic differences between the two genera are very strong (e.g., Townsend et al. 2009). Palleon differs from Rieppeleon by its longer snout and tail (except R.­kerstenii) and from all remaining chameleon genera by its much smaller size, the generally shorter relative tail length, absence of any colourful markings, and strong genetic divergence (Townsend et al. 2009, Tolley et al. 2013, Glaw et al. 2013). 
CommentType species: Brookesia nasus BOULENGER 1887 is the type species of the genus Palleon GLAW et al. 2013. 
EtymologyNamed after the (small) nasal protrusions (although those in the other species, lolontany, are larger).

The new genus name Palleon is derived from the Greek word “Palae-” (meaning “old”) and the Greek word “leon” (meaning “lion”; as used for other chameleon genera), referring to the very early separation of this clade. The resulting composite Palae-o-leon is shortened to Palleon­for simplified pronunciation. The gender of the genus is masculine. 
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  • Boulenger, G. A. 1887. Catalogue of the lizards in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) III. Lacertidae, Gerrhosauridae, Scincidae, Anelytropsidae, Dibamidae, Chamaeleontidae. London: 575 pp. - get paper here
  • Brygoo, E. R. & C. A. Domergue 1969. Notes sur les Brookesia de Madagascar. IV. UNE SÉRIE DE PETITS BROOKESIA DE NOSY MANGABÉ (Chamaeléonidés). Bull. Mus. nat. Hist. nat., Paris 41 (4): 833-841 - get paper here
  • Brygoo, E. R. & C. P. Blanc & C. A. Domergue 1972. Notes sur les Brookesia (Chaméléonidés) de Madagascar. VII. Brookesia de l'Andringitra: observations sur B. nasus Boulenger, 1887; description de B.n. pauliani n. subsp. . Bull. Mus. nat. Hist. nat., Paris 42(56): 591-600.
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  • RAXWORTHY, C.J.; ENRIQUE MARTINEZ-MEYER; NED HORNING; RONALD A. NUSSBAUM; GREGORY E. SCHNEIDER; MIGUEL A. ORTEGA-HUERTA & A. TOWNSEND PETERSON 2003. Predicting distributions of known and unknown reptile species in Madagascar. Nature 426: 837 - 841 - get paper here
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  • Townsend, T.M.; Vieites, D.R.; Glaw, F. & Vences, M. 2009. Testing Species-Level Diversification Hypotheses in Madagascar: The Case of Microendemic Brookesia Leaf Chameleons. Systematic Biology 58 (6):641–656 - get paper here
  • Ziegler, Thomas; Joel Kamphausen, Frank Glaw, Angelica Crot- tini,, Gerardo Garcia, Dennis Rödder, Anna Rauhaus, Lilli Sten- ger & Anna Wahle 2022. Threatened Malagasy amphibians and reptiles in zoos – a call for enhanced implementation of the IUCN’s One Plan Approach Zool. Garten N.F. 90: 21-69 - get paper here
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