Researchers have described a new chameleon species from the Bale Mountains of south-central Ethiopia, and say the biodiversity hotspot may harbor even more. Named Wolfgang Böhme’s Ethiopian chameleon (Trioceros wolfgangboehmei), in honor of the senior herpetologist at the Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig (ZMFK) in Bonn, Germany, the chameleon is around 15 centimeters (6 inches) long and has a distinctive crest of large spiny scales along its back and tail. The species has been described in the journal Zoosystematics and Evolution. The new chameleon species, Trioceros wolfgangboehmei. Photo from Koppetsch et al 2021. CC-BY 4.0 Researchers uncovered the new reptile while examining variations in Ethiopian chameleons (Trioceros affinis). After careful study of the internal and external features of both preserved and wild chameleons, researchers decided there were enough differences to warrant a new species. The researchers suggest that the Ethiopian chameleon be considered a species complex, a group with an unknown number of species, rather than a single species. They expect more species to be described from the group. “Given the variation in colour patterns and morphology between different populations of these chameleons in Ethiopia, it is likely that these groups still bear a higher hidden diversity than expected, which might be revealed by further ongoing investigations,” said Thore Koppetsch, a zoologist from the ZMFK who was part of the team that described the species. Trioceros wolfgangboehmei in a muted tone. Chameleons can change the arrangement of specialized skin cell to blend in with their surroundings. Photo from Koppetsch et…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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