Vertebrate Zoology 67(2): 231-249, doi:
Splitting and lumping: An integrative taxonomic assessment of Malagasy chameleons in the Calumma guibei complex results in the new species C. gehringi sp. nov.
expand article infoDavid Prötzel, Miguel Vences, Mark D. Scherz, David R. Vieites, Frank Glaw
‡ The Bavarian State Collection of Zoology, Munich, Germany
Open Access
Calumma guibei (Hillenius, 1959) is a high-altitude chameleon species from the Tsaratanana massif in north Madagascar. Since its description was based on a juvenile holotype, its taxonomic identity is uncertain and little is known about its morphology. A recent molecular study discovered several deep mitochondrial clades in the Tsaratanana region assigned to C. guibei and C. linotum (Müller, 1924). In this paper we study the taxonomy of these clades and clarify the identity of C. guibei. Using an integrative taxonomic approach including pholidosis, morphological measurements, osteology, and molecular genetics we redescribe C. guibei and describe the new species C. gehringi sp. nov. which comprises two deep mitochondrial lineages. In terms of external morphology the new species differs from C. guibei by an elevated rostral crest, the shape of the notch between the occipital lobes (slightly connected vs. completely separated), presence of a dorsal and caudal crest in males (vs. absence), and a longer rostral appendage in the females. Additionally, we analysed skull and hemipenis morphology using micro-X-ray computed tomography (micro-CT) scans and discovered further differences in skull osteology, including a large frontoparietal fenestra, and separated prefrontal fontanelle and naris in C. guibei. Furthermore, we provide a comparison of micro-CT scans with traditional radiographs of the skull. The hemipenes have ornaments of two pairs of long pointed cornucula gemina (new term), two pairs of dentulous rotulae, and a pair of three-lobed rotulae, and are similar in both species, but significantly different from other species in the C. nasutum group. Geographically, C. guibei has been recorded reliably from the higher elevations of the Tsaratanana Massif above 1580 m a.s.l., whereas C. gehringi sp. nov. is found at mid-altitude (730–1540 m a.s.l.) in Tsaratanana and the surrounding area.
Calumma guibei, Calumma gehringi sp. nov., Chamaeleonidae, micro-computed tomography, hemipenis morphology, skull structure, Madagascar, diceCT