New Chameleon Species Discovered In EthiopiaTrioceros wolfgangboehmei sp. nov. was found in the Bale Mountains of Ethiopia.

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New Chameleon Species Discovered In Ethiopia

In life, Trioceros wolfgangboehmei is yellowish, brownish and bright green in coloration, depending on the individual chameleon.

Researchers from Germany and the Czech republic have discovered a new chameleon species of the Trioceros affinis complex in Ethiopia.

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Researchers Thore Koppetsch, Petr Nečas and Benjamin Wipfler from Germany and the Czech Republic have discovered a new chameleon species of the Trioceros affinis complex in Ethiopia. The reptile, Trioceros wolfgangboehmei sp. nov. was found in the Bale Mountains of Ethiopia.


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According to the researchers, Trioceros wolfgangboehmei differs from other species in the complex in that it has a prominent dorsal crest with a low number of conical scales the spread along the “anterior half of the tail as prominent tail crest a casque above the dorsal crest, heterogeneous body scalation, long canthus parietalis, rugose head scalation, high number of flank scales at midbody and unique hemipenial morphology.”

Trioceros wolfgangboehmei sp. nov

Living individual of Trioceros wolfgangboehmei sp. nov. from Dinsho, Ethiopia showing a prominent white temporal spot and dorsolateral longitudinal stripe. Photo by Petr Nečas.

The chameleon shares the mountain with two other species in the Trioceros species complex: T. balebicornutus and T. harennae. These two species, however, are confined to the southern slopes of the mountain. Trioceros wolfgangboehmei sp. nov. averages between 65.3 mm snout to vent length (males) and 59.7mm snout to vent length for the females. Total length of a specimen including tail is about 156.3 mm.

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Head of a living Trioceros wolfgangboehmei sp. nov. from Goba, Ethiopia. Photo by Petr Nečas.

In life, Trioceros wolfgangboehmei sp. nov. is yellowish, brownish and bright green in coloration, depending on the individual chameleon. According to the researchers, most specimens have prominent bright white temporal spot behind the eye with a dorso-lateral bright white or slightly orange longitudinal stripe. Not every individual shares these colorations, the researchers note.

The complete paper, “A new chameleon of the Trioceros affinis species complex (Squamata, Chamaeleonidae) from Ethiopia” can be read on the Zoosystematics and Evolution website.