Calumma tjiasmantoi, Proetzel, Scherz, Ratsoavina, Vences & Glaw, 2020

Prötzel, David, Scherz, Mark D., Ratsoavina, Fanomezana M., Vences, Miguel & Glaw, Frank, 2020, Untangling the trees: Revision of the Calumma nasutum complex (Squamata: Chamaeleonidae), Vertebrate Zoology 70 (1), pp. 23-59: 45-48

publication ID 10.26049/vz70-1-2020-3

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Calumma tjiasmantoi

sp. nov.

Description of Calumma tjiasmantoi   sp. nov.


Remark: This new species refers to clade J of Fig. 2 View Fig and GEHRING et al. (2012). Due to uncertainties about the collection data of the only male specimen we designate a well-documented female as the holotype.

Holotype: ZSM 735 View Materials /2003 ( FG / MV 2002-497), adult female collected in Ranomafana National Park (21.2639°S, 47.4194°E, 983 m a.s.l.), Vatovavy-Fitovinany Region, eastern Madagascar, on 23 January 2003 by F. Glaw, M. Puente, L. Raharivololoniaina, M. Thomas, D. R. Vieites. GoogleMaps  

Paratypes: ZSM 312 View Materials /2006 ( ZCMV 2896), adult male, and   UADBA uncatalogued ( ZCMV 2895), female, both collected in Ranomafana , probably Ambatolahy (21.2439°S, 47.4262°E, 919 m a.s.l.) on 21 February 2006 by M. Vences GoogleMaps   ; ZSM 723 View Materials /2003 ( FG / MV 2002- 0396) and   ZSM 736 View Materials /2003 ( FG / MV 2002-0498), both adult females, same collection data as holotype GoogleMaps   ; ZSM 380 View Materials /2016 ( ZCMV 14835), adult female, collected in Sampanandrano (24.1399°S, 47.0742°E, 539 m a.s.l.), Atsimo-Antsinanana Region, southeastern Madagascar, on 16 December 2016 by A. Rakotoarison, E. Rajeriarison, J.W. Ranaivosolo GoogleMaps   .

Diagnosis (based on the type series, osteology based on micro-CT scan of ZSM 735/2003, female): Calumma tjiasmantoi   sp. nov. is characterised by (1) a small size (male SVL 43.9 – 46.8 mm, female TL 84.1 – 94.8 mm); (2) a medium sized (1.1 – 2.1 mm) and distally rounded rostral appendage, (3) rostral scale not integrated into the rostral appendage, (4 – 8) rostral, lateral, temporal, cranial, and parietal crests present, (9) casque medium sized in males (1.3 mm), (10) a dorsal crest of 7 – 9 spines can be present in males (based also on photographs), absent in females, (11) 15 – 17 supralabial scales with a mostly straight upper margin, (12) general absence of axillary pits, (13) diameter of the largest scale in the temporal region of the head 0.6 – 0.8 mm, (14) frontoparietal fenestra absent, (15) parietal and squamosal in contact, (16) parietal bone width at midpoint 16.1% of skull length (n = 1) with a characteristic broad tip to the postparietal process, (17) bright green or yellowish body colouration in males, females generally browner and less conspicuous, (18) rostral appendage colour generally inconspicuous, (19) cheek colouration greenish to turquoise, (20) five characteristic dorsoventral stripes of blue or brown colour, and (21) a diffuse brown stripe crossing the eye.

Calumma tjiasmantoi   sp. nov. can easily be distinguished from all species of the C. boettgeri   complex (see above) by the absence of occipital lobes; from C. gallus   by different length, shape and colour of its rostral appendage (see above); from C. vatosoa   by presence of a rostral appendage (vs absence); from C. vohibola   by longer rostral appendage in females ( RRS 2.4 – 4.6% vs 0.2 – 0.7%), parietal crest present (vs absent), smaller temporal scale (0.6 – 0.8 mm vs 1.0 mm); from C. nasutum   as redefined herein by the higher number of supralabials (15 – 17 vs 12 – 15), a shorter rostral appendage (4.3% of SVL vs 4.5 – 5.3% of SVL), a shorter parietal (36.3% of skull length vs 41.0 – 44.3%), broad postparietal process (vs narrow); from C. radamanus   by a relatively longer tail in females (RTaSV 92 – 95% vs 79 – 89%), rostral scale not integrated in rostral appendage (vs generally integrated), parietal crest present (vs absent), more supralabials (15 – 17 vs 11 – 15) with a generally straight upper margin (vs serrated), parietal and squamosal in contact (vs widely separated); from C. emelinae   sp. nov. by presence of parietal crest (vs usually absent), absence of lateral white stripe, and broader postparietal process; for diagnosis against C. fallax   , see below. For diagnosis against the other species described herein, see its description below.

Description of the holotype ( Fig. 4D View Fig ): Adult female, with mouth closed, in good state of preservation except for a ventrally sliced body, with four eggs still fixed in the oviduct; SVL 45.5 mm, tail length 42.5 mm, for other measurements, see suppl. Table 1 View Table 1 ; bulging rostral ridges; laterally flattened and distally rounded rostral appendage of tubercle scales that projects straight forward over a length of 1.7 mm with a diameter of 1.4 mm not including the rostral scale; 15 infralabial and 15 supralabial scales, all rather small; most of the supralabials with a straight upper margin, only anterior scales serrated; distinct lateral crest running horizontally; temporal crest consisting of two tubercles; short cranial crest; short parietal crest; no occipital lobes; medium sized casque of 1.1 mm height; no dorsal, gular or ventral crest. Body laterally compressed with fine homogeneous scalation and only slightly larger scales on extremities and head region, largest scale in temporal region with diameter of 0.6 mm and in cheek region of 0.6 mm; no axillary or inguinal pits.

Skull osteology of the holotype ( Fig. 11B View Fig ): Skull length 12.4 mm; snout-casque length 14.4 mm; narrow paired nasals anteriorly still in contact; anterior tip of frontal not exceeding the middle of the prefrontal fontanelle, which is fused with the naris; prominent and broad prefrontal with laterally raised tubercles; frontal and parietal smooth with only a few tubercles; frontal with a width of 2.4 mm (19.4% of skull length) at border to prefrontal extending to 4.3 mm (34.7%) at border to postorbitofrontal; no frontoparietal fenestra; broad parietal with distinct parietal crest tapering slightly from a width of 4.3 mm (34.7%) at the border to postorbitofrontal to a width at midpoint of 2.0 mm (16.1%); the posterodorsally broadened end is in strong contact with the squamosals; squamosals broad with several tubercles. For further measurements, see Table 2 View Table 2 .

Hemipenial morphology, based on ZSM 312/2006 (no micro-CT scan available): medium sized calyces (hemipenial character A); two pairs of small rotulae on apex of about the same size (B), finely denticulated with about 7 – 9 tips each; papillary field of small, unpaired papillae (C); pair of medium sized cornucula gemina (D), only visible when hemipenis fully everted.

Variation: For variation in measurements, see Table 1 View Table 1 . For variation in colouration in life, see Fig. 13 View Fig . The female ZSM 134/2005 ( FGZC 2508) from Andohahela at high elevation (1548 m a.s.l.) belongs genetically to clade J but shows substantial morphological differences so that we do not designate it as a paratype. Aside from a larger total length (97.0 mm), a longer rostral appendage (2.6 mm), and a low number of supralabials (12) it also has a unique skull morphology with a FF. This correlates well with a previous study where only high elevation species tend to have a FF ( PRÖTZEL et al., 2018b) but does not fit in the general pattern of C. tjiasmantoi   sp. nov. Further studies are necessary to clarify this apparent contradiction in our dataset and potential taxonomic conclusions. Sexual dimorphism: Body size ( SVL and TL) is slightly larger in males than females, tail length is longer in males than in females (RTaSV 103% vs 92 – 95%), and a dorsal crest is only present in males.

Colouration in life: Strong sexual dichromatism with males of bright green or yellowish body colouration and turquoise extremities and females generally browner and less conspicuous. In both sexes five diffuse dorsoventral stripes on the body – in males of blue colour with light spots, in females of brown colour; no lateral stripe across the body; tail annulated, continuing the blotches from the body; throat and ventral region can be beige or of same colour as the body; indistinct rostral appendage not accentuated from the head; cheek region turquoise in males; a diffuse brown stripe may cross the eye.

Etymology: The specific epithet is a patronym honouring Wewin Tjiasmanto in recognition of his support for taxonomic research and nature conservation projects in Madagascar through the BIOPAT initiative (http://biopat. de/en).

Distribution ( Fig. 9 View Fig ): Calumma tjiasmantoi   sp. nov. is known from eastern Madagascar from Andohahela in the south to Ranomafana NP about 400 km further north (for coordinates, see above), from an elevation of 267 to 983 m a.s.l. (see Fig. 9 View Fig ).


Palaontologische Hauptsammlung der Bergakadmie


Departamento de Geologia, Universidad de Chile


University dAntananarivo, Department de Biologie Animale


Bavarian State Collection of Zoology