Brookesia confidens

Brookesia confidens

Languages: English

Overview

Brief Summary

Most individuals were found roosting at night on thin branches about 5–20 cm above the leaf litter in deciduous dry forest close to a small forest trail within a small area, surrounded by tsingy outcrops. At this locality, the species was relatively abundant, whereas it was not found at similar localities nearby, suggesting a patchy distribution and a preference for certain microhabitats. This hypothesis is also supported by the fact that earlier herpetological surveys in Ankarana [Bloxam QMC, Barlow SC (1987)], [Raselimanana AP (2008)], did not record any species of the Brookesia minima group.

When stressed, individuals can quickly change colour and display a broad pale vertebral stripe contrasting with the darker flanks.

The species epithet is an adjective derived from the Latin “confidens” meaning “confident”, “trusting”. The known range of the species is supposedly a well protected nature reserve with apparently limited habitat destruction. Furthermore, this area might benefit from natural protection by the tsingy limestone formations which are difficult to access, thus giving hope for the species' survival.

[Glaw F, Köhler J, Townsend TM, Vences M, 2012]

Author(s): Glaw F, Köhler J, Townsend TM, Vences M
Rights holder(s): Glaw F, Köhler J, Townsend TM, Vences M

Description

Diagnostic Description

A member of the Brookesia minima group based on small body size (SVL<23 mm) and molecular phylogenetic relationships. Brookesia confidens is distinguished from other members of the group as follows: from B. dentata by probably smaller adult body size (no measurements of male B. dentata available), and absence of a supranasal cone (vs. presence); from B. exarmata by the absence of a supranasal cone (vs. presence); from B. karchei by a smaller adult body size (female SVL 20.6–22.6 mm vs. 30.7 mm; no measurements of clearly identified males available for B. karchei), and absence of a supranasal cone (vs. presence); from B. minima by a very narrow hemipenis (vs. balloon-like); from B. peyrierasi by generally smaller adult body size(male SVL 18.3–20.1 mm vs. 19.7–22.4 mm), the absence of a supranasal cone (vs. presence), absence of a supraocular cone (vs. presence), and very narrow ornamentless hemipenis (vs. massive, bilobed hemipenis with four spines per lobe); from B. ramanantsoai by a smaller adult body size (male SVL 18.3–20.1 mm vs. 21.7 mm), absence of a supranasal cone (vs. presence), absence of a supraocular cone (vs. presence in some specimens), and hemipenis very narrow (vs. balloon-like); from B. tuberculata by the absence of a supranasal cone (vs. presence), absence of a supraocular cone (vs. presence), and hemipenis very narrow with pustules on apex (vs. wider, with crown-like apical structure). The new species is most similar to B. tristis but differs from this species by indistinct and short parasagittal crests (vs. distinct) and by 13 dorsolateral pointed tubercles (vs. 11), and ornamentless apical region of hemipenis (vs. spine-like papillae on apex). For a distinction from B. desperata and B. micra, described below, see the diagnoses of these species. Referencing a fragment of the 16S rRNA gene, B. confidens shows an uncorrected pairwise divergence of 6.7% to its sister species B. tuberculata, and divergences >9% to all other species of the B. minima group.

[Glaw F, Köhler J, Townsend TM, Vences M, 2012]

Author(s): Glaw F, Köhler J, Townsend TM, Vences M
Rights holder(s): Glaw F, Köhler J, Townsend TM, Vences M

References

Glaw, F., Köhler J., Townsend TM., & Vences M. (2012).  Rivaling the World's Smallest Reptiles: Discovery of Miniaturized and Microendemic New Species of Leaf Chameleons (Brookesia) from Northern Madagascar. PLoS ONE. 7,
QMC, B., & SC B. (1987).  A summary of the reptile field survey in the Ankarana massif, Madagascar. Dodo. 24, 61-67.