A new species of Horned Tree Dragon of the agamid family has been described from Phu Yen and Khanh Hoa provinces, Central Vietnam. The new species, Murphy’s horned lizard, (Acanthosaura murphyi), has been found in the evergreen forest between 84 – 1060 m in Hon Ba Nature Reserve (Khanh Hoa Province) and Ca Forest, Phu Yen Province.
This species was named in honour of Dr. Robert W. Murphy, Royal Ontario Museum and University of Toronto, Canada, who has contributed a great deal to the research and conservation of herpetofauna in Vietnam since the 1990s.
Habitat loss and local hunting is already believed to be impacting the species which is currently only known from a small geographic areas. With logging and Acacia plantations and other activities degrading habitat more research in this highly diverse region of Vietnam is needed.
This research is result of the collaboration between Indo-Myanmar Conservation (IMC)/Asian Turtle Program (ATP), the Institute of Tropical Biology (ITB), the Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources (IEBR), Phu Yen University (PYU)–Vietnam and Zoological Institute and the Russian Academy of Sciences–Russia.
The research was published on the 16th of December 2018 on Russian Journal of Herpetology: http://rjh.folium.ru/index.php/rjh/article/view/1411
Press release by: Nguyen Thanh Luan – ATP/IMC
16th December 2018