Thursday, January 22, 2015

[Paleontology • 2014] Nundasuchus songeaensis • A New Archosaur from the Manda Beds (Anisian, Middle Triassic) of southern Tanzania and its Implications for Character State Optimizations at Archosauria and Pseudosuchia


Nundasuchus songeaensis
Nesbitt, Sidor, Angielczyk, Smith & Tsuji, 2014

FIGURE 2. Skeleton of Nundasuchus songeaensis, gen. et sp. nov. (NMT RB48),
illustrating the elements recovered.
A, right dentary in medial view; B, right pterygoid in ventral view; C, mid-cervical vertebrae in lateral view; D, mid-dorsal vertebrae in lateral view; E, articulated paramedian osteoderms in dorsal view; F, sacrum in ventral view; G, right femur in anterolateral view; H, left fibula in lateral view; I, left astragalus in anterior view; J, left calcaneum in proximal view; K, left first metatarsal in dorsal view; L, left pubis in lateral view; M, left humerus in posterior view. Scale bars equal 1 cm for individual elements and 50 cm for entire skeleton.

Abstract
The presence of early pseudosuchians and avemetatarsalians in Anisian beds of Africa demonstrates that the archosaur radiation was well underway by the beginning of the Middle Triassic. The rapid radiation produced a variety of forms, but many of the unique, well-diagnosed Late Triassic clades (e.g., Aetosauria, Ornithosuchidae) lack diagnosable members from the Middle Triassic. Here, we introduce a new Middle Triassic archosaur, Nundasuchus songeaensis, gen. et sp. nov., with an unusual mix of apomorphic character states found within Pseudosuchia and just outside Archosauria. The holotype consists of partial skeleton, including representative postcranial elements and parts of the skull. We added Nundasuchus songeaensis, gen. et sp. nov., into the two most comprehensive early archosaur phylogenetic data sets available, and in both analyses the new taxon falls within Pseudosuchia. However, a number of plesiomorphic archosaurian character states (e.g., posterolaterally directed tuber of the calcaneum) optimize as local autapomorphies of the new taxon within Pseudosuchia in our analyses. Therefore, we tested alternative hypotheses of relationships for the new taxon by utilizing constraint trees. The analyses resulted in little change in the relationships and structure of other Triassic archosaur clades, but changed optimizations of certain character states and character support at the base of Pseudosuchia and Archosauria. Our analyses suggest that the complex evolution of character-state changes at the base of Archosauria is inhibiting our understanding of the relationships of early Pseudosuchia and, in turn, Archosauria.


SYSTEMATIC PALEONTOLOGY

ARCHOSAURIFORMES Gauthier, Kluge, and Rowe, 1988a
ARCHOSAURIA Cope, 1869, sensu Gauthier and Padian, 1985
NUNDASUCHUS SONGEAENSIS, gen. et sp. nov.
Etymology: Nunda’ predator (Swahili); ‘soukhos’ crocodile (Greek); the species name recognizes the nearby provincial capital of Songea.



Sterling J. Nesbitt, Christian A. Sidor, Kenneth D. Angielczyk, Roger M. H. Smith and Linda A. Tsuji. 2014. A New Archosaur from the Manda Beds (Anisian, Middle Triassic) of southern Tanzania and its Implications for Character State Optimizations at Archosauria and Pseudosuchia. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 34(6); 1357-1382. DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2014.859622

In new discovery, paleontologist names a carnivorous reptile that preceded dinosaurs
http://phy.so/340968919 via @physorg_com
Meet Nundasuchus: Carnivore hunted prey with its 'steak knife' teeth
http://dailym.ai/1ut5ciF via @MailOnline

[Mammalogy / Evolution • 2015] Oldest Known Euarchontan Tarsals and Affinities of Paleocene Purgatorius to Primates


Fossil ankles show that Purgatorius, an early primate, lived in trees.
illustration: Patrick Lynch/Yale University

Abstract
Earliest Paleocene Purgatorius often is regarded as the geologically oldest primate, but it has been known only from fossilized dentitions since it was first described half a century ago. The dentition of Purgatorius is more primitive than those of all known living and fossil primates, leading some researchers to suggest that it lies near the ancestry of all other primates; however, others have questioned its affinities to primates or even to placental mammals. Here we report the first (to our knowledge) nondental remains (tarsal bones) attributed to Purgatorius from the same earliest Paleocene deposits that have yielded numerous fossil dentitions of this poorly known mammal. Three independent phylogenetic analyses that incorporate new data from these fossils support primate affinities of Purgatorius among euarchontan mammals (primates, treeshrews, and colugos). Astragali and calcanei attributed to Purgatorius indicate a mobile ankle typical of arboreal euarchontan mammals generally and of Paleocene and Eocene plesiadapiforms specifically and provide the earliest fossil evidence of arboreality in primates and other euarchontan mammals. Postcranial specializations for arboreality in the earliest primates likely played a key role in the evolutionary success of this mammalian radiation in the Paleocene.

Keywords: Euarchonta, Primates, Paleocene, paleontology, evolution


Stephen Gregory Benson Chester, Jonathan I. Bloch, Doug M. Boyer, William A. Clemens. 2015. Oldest Known Euarchontan Tarsals and Affinities of Paleocene Purgatorius to Primates. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1421707112 


Earth's earliest primates have taken a step up in the world, now that researchers have gotten a good look at their ankles. A new study has found that Purgatorius, a small mammal that lived on a diet of fruit and insects, was a tree dweller. Paleontologists made the discovery by analyzing 65-million-year-old ankle bones collected from sites in northeastern Montana.

Fossil ankles indicate Earth's earliest primates lived in trees
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150119154509.htm

[Ornithology • 2015] Dispersal and Speciation in Purple Swamphens (Rallidae: Porphyrio)


Location (top) and genetic relationship between different swamphen populations. The genetic relationships were found using two types of DNA: mitochondrial (bottom left) and nuclear (bottom right). Circles with multiple colours show interbreeding between populations.

ABSTRACT
Dispersal, when accompanied by reduced gene flow and natural selection, influences speciation rates among groups of organisms. We used molecular phylogenetics, divergence time estimates, and population genetics to reconstruct the mode, pattern, and tempo of diversification within the wide-ranging purple swamphens (genus Porphyrio), with emphasis on the “supertramp” P. porphyrio. Our results suggest that the Porphyrio clade arose during the Middle Miocene in Africa, with a single colonization in the Americas and several other colonizations in Southeast Asia and the Indo-Pacific around 10 mya. We found that the widespread P. porphyrio is not monophyletic. Indeed, several subspecies and subspecies groups may represent species-level lineages. The P. p. melanotus lineage probably reached Australasia during the Pleistocene (600 kya), although some islands were colonized only in the past few hundred years. New Zealand, and some other islands, had previously been colonized (∼2.5 mya) by flying Porphyrio that evolved into flightless endemic species. Early and recent lineages are now sympatric. Widespread occupation of oceanic islands implies high dispersal and colonization rates, but gene flow probably occurs episodically and follows varying routes at different times. This pattern of colonization enables populations to differentiate and, ultimately, speciate.

Keywords: biogeography, dispersal, phylogeny, speciation



  


Juan C. Garcia-R. and Steve A. Trewick. 2015. Dispersal and Speciation in Purple Swamphens (Rallidae: Porphyrio) [Dispersión y especiación en las gallinas de agua (Rallidae: Porphyrio)]
The Auk. 132(1):140-155. DOI: 10.1642/AUK-14-114.1

New research finds Takahe have African cousins
  http://phy.so/340968603 via @physorg_com

[Herpetology / Invasive Alien • 2015] Tupinambis merianae as Nest Predators of Crocodilians and Turtles in Florida, USA


Fig. 1 Tupanmbis merianae leaving an American alligator Alligator mississippiensis nest on 11 August 2013 with an alligator egg in its mouth

Abstract
Tupinambis merianae, is a large, omnivorous tegu lizard native to South America. Two populations of tegus are established in the state of Florida, USA, but impacts to native species are poorly documented. During summer 2013, we placed automated cameras overlooking one American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) nest, which also contained a clutch of Florida red-bellied cooter (Pseudemys nelsoni) eggs, and one American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) nest at a site in southeastern Florida where tegus are established. We documented tegu activity and predation on alligator and turtle eggs at the alligator nest, and tegu activity at the crocodile nest. Our finding that one of the first two crocodilian nests to be monitored was depredated by tegus suggests that tegus should be further evaluated as a threat to nesting reptiles in Florida.

Keywords: Tupinambis merianae, Alligator mississippiensis, Pseudemys nelsoni, Crocodylus acutus, Invasive species, Nest predation


Frank J. Mazzotti, Michelle McEachern, Mike Rochford, Robert N. Reed, Jennifer Ketterlin Eckles, Joy Vinci, Jake Edwards, Joseph Wasilewski. 2015.
Tupinambis merianae as Nest Predators of Crocodilians and Turtles in Florida, USA.
Biological Invasions. 17(1); 47-50; DOI: 10.1007/s10530-014-0730-1

Invasive lizards could threaten Florida's nesting reptiles http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140605140001.htm

[Ichthyology • 2015] Dario huli • A New Species of badid (Teleostei: Percomorpha: Badidae) from Karnataka, southern India


Dario huli Britz & Ali, 2015

Abstract
Dario huli, new species, is described from a small tributary stream of the Tunga River in southern Karnataka, India. It can be distinguished from all its congeners except D. urops by the presence of a conspicuous black caudal-fin blotch and by anterior dorsal-fin lappets in males not being produced beyond fin spines. It is readily distinguished from Dario urops by the absence of the horizontal suborbital stripe (vs. presence), the presence of a series of up to eight black bars on the body (vs. 2–3 black bars restricted to caudal peduncle), 25 scales in a lateral row (vs. 28), 3–5 tubed lateral-line scales (vs. tubed lateral-line scales completely absent), 13+13=26 vertebrae (vs. 14+14–15=28-29), and the presence of teeth on hypobranchial 3 (vs. absence of teeth).

Keywords: taxonomy, freshwater fishes, Western Ghats–Sri Lanka biodiversity hotspot


Ralf Britz and Anvar Ali. 2015. Dario huli, A New Species of badid from Karnataka, southern India (Teleostei: Percomorpha: Badidae). Zootaxa. 3911(1): 139–144 

Monday, January 19, 2015

[Paleontology • 2014] Post-natal Parental Care in A Cretaceous Diapsid from northeastern China


adult Philydrosaurus surrounded by juveniles
Illustration: Zhao Chuang
DOI: 10.1007/s12303-014-0047-1

Abstract
Post-natal parental care seems to have evolved numerous times in vertebrates. Among extant amniotes, it is present in crocodilians, birds, and mammals. However, evidence of this behavior is extremely rare in the fossil record and is only reported for two types of dinosaurs, and a varanopid ‘pelycosaur’. Here we report new evidence for post-natal parental care in Philydrosaurus, a choristodere, from the Yixian Formation of western Liaoning Province, China. We review the fossil record of reproduction in choristoderes, and this represents the oldest record of post-natal parental care in diapsids to our knowledge.

Keywords: parental care, choristodera, diapsid, Cretaceous

Fig. 1. Photograph (a) and line drawings (b) of Philydrosaurus (JPM-10-088).
 1: adult; 2‒7: juveniles (see text for diagnosis).
Abbreviations: dr – dorsal rib; f – femur; fi – fibula; h – humerus; nk – neck; sk – skull; ti – tibia. Grey areas were exposed during its preparation, demonstrating that all skeletons are from a single horizon. Scale bar = 5 cm.

The living scene of the adult Philydrosaurus and its babies (JPM-10-088)
Illustration: Zhao Chuang

Junchang Lü, Yoshitsugu Kobayashi, D. Charles Deeming and Yongqing Liu. 2014. Post-natal Parental Care in A Cretaceous Diapsid from northeastern China.
Geosciences Journal. DOI: 10.1007/s12303-014-0047-1

[Ichthyology • 2014] The First Record of Trigonostigma somphongsi (Meinken, 1958) | ปลาซิวสมพงษ์, A Critically Endangered Species, in its Natural Habitat of central Thailand


Habitat of Trigonostigma somphongsi in a deepwater rice field, in the flood plains of Nakhon Nayok River, Bangpakong Basin, Nakhon Nayok Province, central Thailand. Trigonostigma somphongsi were found in a mixed school with many other small cyprinids, was often led by Rasbora borapetensis (the strongest swimmer), then followed by Amblypharyngodon chulabhornae with Boraras urophthalmoides (smallest species) and Tsomphongsi at the tail of the school
Petsut, et al. 2014. Biodiversity-Journal


ABSTRACT
A population of a critically endangered Trigonostigma somphongsi (Meinken, 1958) has been discovered in a deepwater rice field, floodplain of Bangpakong Basin, Nakhon Nayok Province, central Thailand. The population was the first record of this species in its natural habitat since its description by Meinken in 1958. The species appeared to be a seasonal horizontal migration species, since it migrates to breed in the floodplain during the rainy season between July and November and migrates back into the main channel during the dry season.

KEY WORDS: Trigonostigma somphongsi; Cyprinidae; Bangpakong; Thailand.


Somphongs's rasbora | Trigonostigma sompongsi 
 Population: Unknown (declining) || Population size: Unknown
Range: Mae Khlong basin, Thailand
Primary threats: Habitat loss and degradation from farmland conversion and urbanization
Action required: Wetland restoration
photo: N. Panitvong


Nidsaraporn Petsut, Nonn Panitvong, Sitthi Kulabtong, Jirawaeth Petsut & Chirachai Nonpayon. 2014. The First Record of Trigonostigma somphongsi (Meinken, 1958), A Critically Endangered Species, in its Natural Habitat of Thailand.
Biodiversity Journal. 5(4): 471-474. http://www.biodiversityjournal.com/pdf/5(4)_471-474.pdf

Baillie J.E.M. and Butcher E.R., 2012. Priceless or Worthless ?: The World’s Most Threatened Species. Zoological Society of London, 112 pp.

Teetering on the edge: the world's 100 most endangered species (photos) http://news.mongabay.com/2012/0910-hance-100-endangered-species.html via @mongabay
 The World's 100 Most Threatened Species http://huff.to/TT4SFE via @HuffPostGreen

[Herpetology • 2015] The Sri Lankan Torrent Toads (Bufonidae: Adenominae: Adenomus): Species Boundaries assessed using Multiple Criteria


Adenomus is monophyletic and that it comprises only two species: A. kelaartii and A. kandianus, with A. dasi being a junior synonym of the latter

ABSTRACT 

The bufonid genus Adenomus, an endemic of the montane and lowland rainforests of central and south-western Sri Lanka, has been considered to comprise of three species, viz. A. kelaartii, A. dasi and A. kandianus, the last of which has been recently highlighted as " the world's rarest toad " . We conducted a survey across the known range of Adenomus and used multiple criteria to delineate species boundaries within the genus. These include: a molecular phylogeny based on a 16S ribosomal RNA gene fragment; an examination of the external morphology of adults and larvae, and the skeletal morphol-ogy of adults; a bioacoustic analysis; and ecological niche modelling. We show that Adenomus is monophyletic and that it comprises only two species: A. kelaartii and A. kandianus, with A. dasi being a junior synonym of the latter. For the two valid species of Adenomus, we provide detailed osteological descriptions; clarify the distribution patterns; and provide genetic data to facilitate their scientific conservation management.

Keywords: Adenomus dasi new synonym, barcoding, bioacoustics, integrative taxonomy, niche modeling, osteology, sucker disc, tadpole


 Madhava Meegaskumbura, Gayani Senevirathne, Nayana Wijayathilaka, Beneeta Jayawardena, Champika Bandara, Kelum Manamendra-Arachchi and Rohan Pethiyagoda. 2015. The Sri Lankan Torrent Toads (Bufonidae: Adenominae: Adenomus): Species Boundaries assessed using Multiple Criteria. Zootaxa. 3911(2):245-261. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.3911.2.6

Friday, January 16, 2015

[Herpetology • 2015] Cyrtodactylus ranongensis | ตุ๊กกายระนอง | Ranong Bent-toed Gecko • A New Lowland Forest Bent-toed Gecko (Squamata: Gekkonidae: Cyrtodactylus) from Ranong Province, peninsular Thailand


Cyrtodactylus ranongensis Sumontha, Pauwels, Panitvong, Kunya & Grismer, 2015
ตุ๊กกายระนอง | Ranong Bent-toed Gecko


Abstract

We describe a new lowland forest-dwelling Cyrtodactylus from Suk Samran District, Ranong Province, southern peninsular Thailand, having a blotched dorsal pattern, a continuous series of poreless enlarged femoral and precloacal scales, 18–20 regularly arranged dorsal tubercle rows, no precloacal groove, no transversely enlarged subcaudal plates and a maximal known snout-vent length of 59.6 mm. Cyrtodactylus ranongensis sp. nov. seems closely related to C. quadrivirgatus, but is readily distinguished from it by having 35–40 ventral scale rows, a reddish iris, heavy dorsal mottling, and lacking longitudinal dark-brown elements in its dorsal pattern.

Keywords: Thai-Malay Peninsula, Ranong, Cyrtodactylus ranongensis sp. nov.


Sumontha, Montri, Olivier S. G. Pauwels, Nonn Panitvong, Kirati Kunya & L. L. Grismer. 2015. A New Lowland Forest Bent-toed Gecko (Squamata: Gekkonidae: Cyrtodactylus)
 from Ranong Province, peninsular Thailand.
Zootaxa. 3911(1): 106–118. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.3911.1.6

[Herpetology • 2015] Cyrtodactylus inthanon | ตุ๊กกายดอยอินทนนท์ | Doi Inthanon Bent-toed Gecko • A New Forest-dwelling Bent-toed Gecko (Squamata: Gekkonidae: Cyrtodactylus) from Doi Inthanon, Chiang Mai Province, northern Thailand


Cyrtodactylus inthanon  Kunya, Sumontha, Panitvong, Dongkumfu, Sirisamphan & Pauwels, 2015
ตุ๊กกายดอยอินทนนท์ | Doi Inthanon Bent-toed Gecko

DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.3905.4.9 | photo: N. Panitvong [siamensis.org]


ABSTRACT
 We describe a new forest-dwelling Cyrtodactylus from Doi Inthanon, Chiang Mai Province, northern Thailand. Cyrtodactylus inthanon sp. nov. is characterized by a maximum known SVL of 87.3 mm; 18 to 20 longitudinal rows of dorsal tubercles; a continuous series of 34 to 37 enlarged femoro-precloacal scales, including four to six pitted (female) or porebearing (male) scales on each femur separated by a diastema from five pitted (females) or pore-bearing (male) precloacal scales; no precloacal groove or depression; transversely enlarged subcaudal scales; and three to five irregular beige dorsal bands between limb insertions. The discovery of a new reptile endemic to Doi Inthanon reinforces the high importance of this mountain in terms of biodiversity conservation.

Keywords: Cyrtodactylus inthanon sp. nov., taxonomy, new species, Doi Inthanon National Park


Distribution and natural history. The species is known only from Doi Inthanon, from 700 to 1010 m a.s.l., where it is common. We encountered it while it was active at night on trees and large rocks along streams. It moved slowly when disturbed by torch light and bit when handled. It was found at direct proximity to the reptiles Acanthosaura lepidogaster (Cuvier) (Agamidae), Gekko gecko (Linnaeus), Hemidactylus frenatus Duméril & Bibron and H. platyurus (Schneider), Hemiphyllodactylus chiangmaiensis Grismer, Wood & Cota (Gekkonidae), Ahaetulla prasina (Boie) (Colubridae), Amphiesma khasiense (Boulenger) (Natricidae) and Trimeresurus popeiorum Smith (Viperidae), and the amphibians Ansonia inthanon Matsui, Nabhitabhata & Panha (Bufonidae), Leptolalax pelodytoides (Boulenger), Megophrys major Boulenger and M. minor Stejneger (Megophryidae), Amolops marmoratus (Blyth), Hylarana nigrovittata (Blyth) and Odorrana livida (Blyth) (Ranidae). Captive specimens ate meal worms and crickets and seemed to quickly dehydrate with decreasing hygrometry. The new species’ known range entirely falls within Doi Inthanon National Park.

Etymology. The specific epithet inthanon refers to the type locality. It is a noun in apposition, invariable. We suggest the following common names: ตุ๊กกายดอยอินทนนท์ 'Took-kai Doi Inthanon' (Thai), Doi Inthanon bent-toed gecko (English), Cyrtodactyle du Doï Inthanon (French), Doi Inthanon Bogenfingergecko (German), Doiinthanonkromvingergekko (Dutch).


Kirati Kunya, Montri Sumontha, Nonn Panitvong, Wuttipong Dongkumfu, Thana Sirisamphan and Olivier S. G. Pauwels. 2015. A New Forest-dwelling Bent-toed Gecko (Squamata: Gekkonidae: Cyrtodactylus) from Doi Inthanon, Chiang Mai Province, northern Thailand. Zootaxa. 3905(4):573-584. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.3905.4.9

Thursday, January 15, 2015

[Herpetology • 2014] Integrative Taxonomy and Phylogeny-based Species Delimitation of Philippine Water Monitor Lizards (Varanus salvator Complex) with Descriptions of Two New Cryptic Species; Varanus dalubhasa & V. bangonorum


Varanus dalubhasa and V. bangonorum
Welton, Travers, Siler & Brown, 2014

Abstract

We describe two new species of morphologically cryptic monitor lizards (genus Varanus) from the Philippine Archipelago: Varanus dalubhasa sp. nov. and V. bangonorum sp. nov. These two distinct evolutionary lineages are members of the V. salvator species complex, and historically have been considered conspecific with the widespread, northern Philippine V. marmoratus. However, the new species each share closer phylogenetic affinities with V. nuchalis (and potentially V. palawanensis), than either does to one another or to V. marmoratus. Divergent from other recognized species within the V. salvator Complex of water monitors by as much as 3.5% pairwise genetic distance, these lineages are also distinguished by unique gular coloration, metrics of body size and scalation, their non-monophyly with “true” V. marmoratus, and insular allopatric distributions, suggesting biogeographically distinct and unique evolutionary histories. We compare the new species with the most geographically proximate and phenotypically relevant lineages.  Although we show that these new taxa are nearly indistinguishable morphologically from V. marmoratus, both species can be readily distinguished from their closest relatives (each’s respective sister taxon, V. palawanensis and V. nuchalis) by traditional morphological characters.  Our findings underscore the high herpetological diversity and biogeographical complexity of vertebrates in the Philippines, and further emphasize the need for detailed study of species-level diversity, mechanisms of reproductive isolation, gene flow, and biologically relevant boundaries between taxa within the V. salvator Complex.

Keywords: biogeography, cryptic diversity, Southeast Asia, Varanidae, within-island speciation



Welton, Luke J., Scott L. Travers, Cameron D. Siler & Rafe M. Brown. 2014. Integrative Taxonomy and Phylogeny-based Species Delimitation of Philippine Water Monitor Lizards (Varanus salvator Complex) with Descriptions of Two New Cryptic Species.
Zootaxa. 3881(3); 201–227. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.3881.3.1
Undercover researchers expose new species of lizard for sale on Philippine black market
http://phy.so/340546124 via @physorg_com


[Herpetology • 2015] Contributions to the Herpetofauna of the Albertine Rift: Two New Species of Chameleon (Sauria: Chamaeleonidae) from An isolated Montane Forest, south eastern Democratic Republic of Congo; Rhampholeon hattinghi & Kinyongia mulyai


Rhampholeon hattinghi sp. nov. and Kinyongia mulyai sp. nov.

Abstract

Two new species of chameleons from the genera Rhampholeon and Kinyongia are described from an isolated montane forest remnant situated toward the southern end of the Albertine Rift bordering Lake Tanganyika. The closest known localities of species from these genera are 200km and 400km to the north respectively, separated by large intervening tracts of lowland savannah and Brachystegia (Miombo) woodland - habitats not normally inhabited by species of these genera. Rhampholeon hattinghi sp. nov. and Kinyongia mulyai sp. nov. bear superficial resemblances to previously described species (Rh. boulengeri Steindachner and K. adolfifriderici  (Sternfeld)). Rhampholeon hattinghi sp. nov. has a relatively smooth supra-orbital ridge, deep axillary but absent inguinal mite pockets, prominent white spots on the base of the tail and a uniquely derived hemipenal morphology with billowing parasulcal evaginations. Like K. adolfifriderici, Kinyongia mulyai sp. nov. is devoid of a rostral appendage but differs in having a longer and narrower head, a higher upper labial scale count and by the absence of a dorsal crest in the male. To place these new chameleons within the context of their respective genera, Bayesian and maximum likelihood phylogenetic analyses were carried out utilising two mitochondrial (ND2 and 16S) and one nuclear marker (RAG1).  Both chameleons were found to have morphological features that distinguish them from other congeners. Based on phylogenetic analysis they are clearly separate evolutionary lineages and are described as new species.

Keywords: Albertine Rift, Democratic Republic of Congo, Katanga, Afromontane, Biodiversity, Chamaeleonidae, East Africa, new species, reptiles, RhampholeonKinyongia




Tilbury, Colin R. & Krystal A. Tolley. 2015. Contributions to the Herpetofauna of the Albertine Rift: Two New Species of Chameleon (Sauria: Chamaeleonidae) from An isolated Montane Forest, south eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Zootaxa. 3905(3): 345–364. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.3905.3.2