On Valentine's day (Feb 14th), Glaw et al. reported in PloS One the discovery of four new species of Chameleon (genus Brookesia) from Northern Madagascar*.
"Brookesia confidens sp. n. from Ankarana, B. desperata sp. n. from Forêt d'Ambre, B. micra sp. n. from the islet Nosy Hara, and B. tristis sp. n. from Montagne des Français."
|Figure 1 in Glaw et al. doi:info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0031314.g001|
Map of northern Madagascar showing distribution of species of the Brookesia minima group.
Type localities in bold, B. dentata, B. exarmata, B. karchei, B. peyrierasi, and B. ramanantsoai not included, because their ranges are located further south; see inset maps in Fig. 2. Orange (dry forest) and green (rainforest) show remaining primary vegetation in 2003–2006, modified from the Madagascar Vegetation Mapping Project (http://www.vegmad.org).
"The newly discovered dwarf chameleon species represent striking cases of miniaturization and microendemism and suggest the possibility of a range size-body size relationship in Malagasy reptiles. The newly described Brookesia micra reaches a maximum snout-vent length in males of 16 mm, and its total length in both sexes is less than 30 mm, ranking it among the smallest amniote vertebrates in the world. With a distribution limited to a very small islet, this species may represent an extreme case of island dwarfism."
I have visited the areas where the new species have been discovered, northern Madagascar is simply splendid. Have a look to my website here, I present my last travel in Madagascar, with some pictures of Chameleons. You should go too, and maybe you will find some new cute Chameleons!
*The article: 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(2): e31314. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0031314