Calumma boettgeri ( Boulenger, 1888 )

Prötzel, David, Ruthensteiner, Bernhard, Scherz, Mark D. & Glaw, Frank, 2015, Systematic revision of the Malagasy chameleons Calumma boettgeri and C. linotum (Squamata: Chamaeleonidae), Zootaxa 4048 (2), pp. 211-231: 226-227

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Calumma boettgeri ( Boulenger, 1888 )


Identity of Calumma boettgeri ( Boulenger, 1888) 

Morphological measurements and pholidosis of the holotype require the assignment of Chamaeleo macrorhinus  to the Nosy Be form of Calumma boettgeri  . The measurements are similar to the mean values of the females from Nosy Be ( Tables 1–2): diameter of the broadest tubercle on the upper arm 0.34 mm (vs. mean of Nosy Be females of 0.32 mm, SD 0.048), number of enlarged tubercles on the upper arm 8 (vs. 10.6, SD 1.8); ratio of the upper arm diameter to the body size, 0.046 (vs. 0.041, SD 0.0038), total length, 93.1 mm (vs. 96.3 mm, SD 8.1 mm) and length of the rostral appendage, 2.8 mm (vs. 2.7 mm, SD 0.5 mm).

Diagnosis. A small-sized chameleon (SVL 41.1–55.5 mm, TL 83.8 –108.0 mm) that is characterised by a soft dermal, distally rounded, typically brown rostral appendage, slightly notched occipital lobes, the absence of a parietal crest, a low casque, the absence of axillary pits, small rounded tubercles not bordering each other on the extremities, presence or absence of a dorsal crest in males, low casque, and absence of gular and ventral crests. It differs from C. guibei  by unnotched or only slightly (max. 0.7 mm) notched versus completely notched occipital lobes. For a distinction from C. linotum  , see above.

Colouration in life. The body and head colouration of males in relaxed state ranges from light brown to yellow without any obvious colour patterns. When stressed, dark colour patterns become prominent and the tail becomes annulated. A dark line runs from the snout tip across the eyes to the occipital lobes. The skin around the mouth and the throat can be white. Remarkable is the inconspicuous brown colour of the rostral appendage. The extremities appear brown also, except for a few green or blue coloured tubercle scales ( Fig. 2View FIGURE 2 B).

The colouration of the females can vary from beige to a reddish or greenish brown ground colouration in a relaxed state. The rostral appendage and the extremities show the same colour as the body, except for a few green tubercle scales on the legs. In a stressed state, three parallel bright blue spots appear on the upper half of the eyelids.

Distribution. All confirmed distribution records of C. boettgeri  are confined to the biogeographic Sambirano region in northwest Madagascar. It was found in both primary rainforest (Lokobe) and secondary forests (near Andoany) of Nosy Be ( Andreone et al. 2003), in Manongarivo ( Rakotomalala 2002; Gehring et al. 2012), and on Nosy Komba ( Hyde Roberts & Daly 2014). Additionally Nagy et al. (2012, suppl. Fig. 2View FIGURE 2) identified a population with similar gene sequences to C. boettgeri  from a forest fragment locally known as Maromiandra (13 ° 99 ’ 65 ’’S, 48 ° 21 ’ 77 ’’E, 283 m). According to molecular phylogenetic data, C. boettgeri  from Nosy Be and one individual from Manongarivo ( FGMV 2002 -813, 13° 58 ’ 62 ’’S, 48 ° 25 ’ 32 ’’E, 751 m a.s.l.) form their own clade (Gehring et al. 2012). The elevations of all these localities range from 0 to 751 m a.s.l. ( Fig. 6View FIGURE 6).

We consider all additional records of C. boettgeri  , all located in northeastern Madagascar, as in need of confirmation: Ambolokopatrika, 810–860 m a.s.l. ( Andreone et al. 2000), Antalaha ( Brygoo 1971), Andrakaraka forest station ca. 10 km from Antalaha ( Ramanantsoa 1974), and Marojejy, 1100–1200 m a.s.l. ( Raselimanana et al. 2000).