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Rhampholeon platyceps GÜNTHER, 1893

IUCN Red List - Rhampholeon platyceps - Endangered, EN

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Higher TaxaChamaeleonidae, Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Mount Mulanje Pygmy Chameleon, Malawi Stumptail Chameleon 
SynonymRhampholeon platyceps GÜNTHER 1893: 556
Rampholeon platiceps — BOCAGE 1896 (ex errore), J. Acad. Sci. Lisboa; 4:103.
Brookesia platyceps — LOVERIDGE 1933: 343
Brookesia platyceps carri LOVERIDGE 1953
Brookesia platyceps — MERTENS 1966: 3
Rhampholeon platiceps — MERTENS 1966: 36 (ex errore)
Rhampholeon platyceps — KLAVER & BÖHME 1986: 58
Rhampholeon platyceps carri — KLAVER & BÖHME 1997
Rampholeon [sic] platyceps — BRANCH & RYAN 2001
Rhampholeon (Rhinodigitum) platyceps — MATTHEE et al. 2004
Rhampholeon (Rhinodigitum) platyceps — TILBURY 2010: 193
Rhampholeon (Rhinodigitum) platyceps — GLAW 2015
Rhampholeon platyceps — PIETERSEN et al. 2021 
DistributionMalawi (Shire Mts), Mozambique (Namuli Massif)

Type locality: Shire Highlands, south of Lake Nyassa, principally upon Mount Zomba and Monut Milanje, Nyassaland (= Malawi). Terra typica restricta (fide STEVENS 1974: 13): Mulanje Mountain, Malawi.

carri: Malawi; Type locality: Shire Mts, Lichenya plateau, 6000 ft elevation, Mlanje Mt.)  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.8.21.73, adult female. Previously NHMUK 1892.12.31.21. 
CommentType species: Rhampholeon platyceps GÜNTHER 1893: 556 is the type species of the subgenus Rhinodigitum MATHEE et al. 2004.

Subspecies: Broadley (1966) transferred Brookesia platyceps carri to the synonymy of Rh. platyceps in an unpublished thesis. This was confirmed by Tilbury (2010) and Branch et al. 2014. 
EtymologyNamed after Gr.: platus, broad, flat; -ceps, adjectival ending meaning “-headed”: broad- or flat-headed (Charles Klaver, pers. comm., 11 Jan 2023). 
  • Branch, B. & Ryan, P.G. 2001. Additions to the Mozambique Herpetofauna: two new lizards from the Namuli Massif. Herpetological Review 32 (4): 281-282 - get paper here
  • BRANCH, WILLIAM R.; JULIAN BAYLISS & KRYSTAL A. TOLLEY 2014. Pygmy chameleons of the Rhampholeon platyceps compex (Squamata: Chamaeleonidae): Description of four new species from isolated ‘sky islands’ of northern Mozambique. Zootaxa 3814 (1): 001–036 - get paper here
  • CAMPBELL, PATRICK D; WOLFGANG DENZER 2020. Annotated catalogue of chameleon types in the collection of the Natural History Museum, UK (NHMUK) (Reptilia: Squamata: Chamaeleonidae). Zootaxa 4742 (3): 481–500 - get paper here
  • Glaw, F. 2015. Taxonomic checklist of chameleons (Squamata: Chamaeleonidae). [type catalogue] Vertebrate Zoology 65 (2): 167–246 - get paper here
  • Günther,A. 1893. Report on a collection of reptiles and batrachians transmitted by Mr. H. H. Johnston, C. B., from Nyassaland. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1892: 555-558 [1892] - get paper here
  • Klaver, C. & BÖHME,W. 1986. Phylogeny and classification of the Chamaeleonidae (Sauria), with special reference to hemipenis morphology. Bonner zool. Monogr. 22: 1-64. - get paper here
  • Loveridge, A. 1953. Herpetological results of the Berner-Carr entomological survey of the Shire Valley, Nyasaland. Quarterly J. Florida Acad. Sci. 16 (3): 139-150. - get paper here
  • Loveridge, A. 1953. Zoological Results of a fifth expedition to East Africa. III. Reptiles from Nyasaland and Tete. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 110 (3): 142-322. - get paper here
  • Loveridge,A. 1933. Reports on the scientific Results of an Expedition to the Southwestem Highlands of Tanganyika Territory. VII. Herpetology. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 74: 197-415 - get paper here
  • Matthee, C.; Tilbury, C.R. & Townsend, T. 2004. A phylogenetic review of the African leaf chameleons: genus Rhampholeon (Chamaeleonidae): the role of vicariance and climate change in speciation. Proc. Roy. Soc. (London) B271: 1967-1975 - get paper here
  • Menegon, M.; Salvidio, S. & Tilbury, C. 2002. A new dwarf chamaeleon from the Udzungwa Mountains of Tanzania, East Africa (Squamata: Rhampholeon Günther 1874). Journal of Herpetology 36 (1): 51-57 - get paper here
  • Necas, P. & Schmidt, W. 2004. Stump-tailed Chameleons. Miniature Dragons of the Rainforest. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt, 256 pp. [review in Elaphe 14 (1): 24]
  • Pietersen, Darren, Verburgt, Luke & Davies, John 2021. Snakes and other reptiles of Zambia and Malawi. Struik Nature / Penguin Random House South Africa, 376 pp., ISBN 9781775847373
  • Schmidt, W.; Tamm, K. & Wallikewitz, E. 2010. Chamäleons - Drachen unserer Zeit. Natur und Tier Verlag, 328 pp. [review in Reptilia 101: 64, 2013] - get paper here
  • Tilbury C R; Emmrich D 1996. A new dwarf forest chameleon (Squamata: Rhampholeon Gunther 1874) from Tanzania, East Africa with notes on its infrageneric and zoogeographic relationships. Tropical Zoology 9 (1): 61-71 - get paper here
  • Tilbury, C. 2010. Chameleons of Africa: An Atlas, Including the Chameleons of Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt M., 831 pp.
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