A new species of the Agama agama group (Squamata: Agamidae) from western Kenya, East Africa, with comments on Agama lionotus Boulenger, 1896.

Russian Journal of Herpetology 12 (2): 143-150


We describe a new species of Agama from westernmost Kenya. It is a member of the Agama agama species group characterized by small size (males up to 89 mm snout-vent length and 245 mm total length) and a unique male breeding coloration: flame- to scarlet-red head, neck and forelimbs, jet- or velvetly-black body, hindlimbs and tail root, and again a scarlet-red tail the terminal third of which is again black. Morphologically, the new species is similar to A. planiceps from southwestern Africa but has a much less depressed body. It also resembles typical A. agama from West and Central Africa, but is much smaller, less stoutly built and differently colored.

It is strikingly different from the two parapatric species of the Agama agama group, viz. A. caudospinosa and A. mwanzae, and differs also considerably from the sympatric representatives of the Agama agama complex itself: from the geographically neighboring A. a. elgonis and A. a. lionotus. We provide evidence that the latter taxon deserves full species rank and that the other East African subspecies of A. agama (i.e., elgonis, dodomae,  usambarae, ufipae) should be subordinated under a full species Agama lionotus.

(PDF Download available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/258867706_A_new_species_of_the_Agama_agama_group_Squamata_Agamidae_from_western_Kenya_East_Africa_with_comments_on_Agama_lionotus_Boulenger_1896 [accessed Aug 18, 2017].

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