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Trioceros chapini (DE WITTE, 1964)

IUCN Red List - Trioceros chapini - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaChamaeleonidae, Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Gray Chameleon 
SynonymChamaeleo chapini DE WITTE 1964
Chamaeleo (Trioceros) chapini — NECAS 1999: 281
Trioceros chapini — TILBURY & TOLLEY 2009
Trioceros chapini — TILBURY 2010: 572 
DistributionGabon, C Zaire (Democratic Republic of the Congo)

Type locality: Lukolela, Terr. of Bikoro, Equator district of the province Equator, Congo (= Zaire).  
TypesHolotype: AMNH 45885, adult female 
DiagnosisDIAGNOSIS: Chamaeleo chapini seems to be most closely related to Chamaeleo adolfifriderici Sternfeld (1912), a small species known from few specimens, all taken in the eastern portion of the Congo (Districts of Kibali-Ituri, Nord Kivu, Sud Kivu, and Rwanda). Chamaeleo chapini (fig. 1), however, lacks the parietal and dorsal crests, as well as the conical scales on the lateral crests, that are characteristic of C. adolfifriderici. The tail of C. chapini is proportionately somewhat shorter, for it comprises slightly less than half of the over-all length, in contrast to 0.53 to 0.57 reported by Schmidt (1919) for C. adolfifriderici (de Witte 1964).

DESCRIPTION OF HOLOTYPE: The preserved specimen, an adult female, has a body length of 80 mm., and a tail length of 71 mm., which comprises 47 per cent of the over-all length of 151 mm. The distance from the top of the head to the under side of the lower jaw is 14 mm.; from the snout to the posterior end of the mandible, 15 mm.; from the snout to the extremity of the casque, 22 mm. The greatest width of the head between the lateral crests is 8 mm.; the head width below the lateral crests is 12 mm.; the length of the tibia is 15 mm. The casque is very feebly elevated posteriorly, and there is no parietal crest. The distance between the commissure of the mouth and the extremity of the casque is shorter than the length of the mouth. There are no rostral appendages. The scales on the lateral crests are feebly enlarged, and the crests converge, uniting at the occiput. There is no trace of occipital lobes. The junction of the canthal ridges is separated from the labials by four or five scales. The head is covered by large flat scales, 11 of which may be counted across the interorbital space when the crests are included. The scales on the body are granular, weakly heterogeneous, and intermixed with large flat tubercles. Many shallow grooves are present on the throat. The granules on the vertebral line form two series. There are no dorsal, gular, or ventral crests, and there is no tarsal process. In alcohol the color is brownish, but James P. Chapin's notes indicate that in life the general color of the male was dark gray, with a few oblique, blackish bars, and a faint tinge of rufous in the light areas of the body (de Witte 1964). 
EtymologyNamed after Dr. James Paul Chapin (1889-1964), an American ornithologist and co-leader ofthe Lang-Chapin expedition, which made the first comprehensive biological survey of the Belgian Congo (1909-1915). 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Glaw, F. 2015. Taxonomic checklist of chameleons (Squamata: Chamaeleonidae). [type catalogue] Vertebrate Zoology 65 (2): 167–246 - get paper here
  • Necas, Petr 1999. Chameleons - Nature's Hidden Jewels. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt; 348 pp.; ISBN 3-930612-04-6 (Europe)<br />ISBN 1-57524-137-4 (USA, Canada)
  • Pauwels, O.S.G. & Vande Weghe, J.P. 2008. Les reptiles du Gabon. Smithsonian Institution, Washington: 272 pp. - 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.
  • Tilbury, C. R. & Tolley, Krystal A. 2009. A re-appraisal of the systematics of the African genus Chamaeleo (Reptilia: Chamaeleonidae). Zootaxa 2079: 57–68 - get paper here
  • Witte, G. F. de 1964. A new chameleon from the Congo. American Museum Novitates 2192: 1-3. - get paper here
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