Brown Leaf Chameleon
Brookesia superciliaris (Kuhl, 1820)

Family: Chamaeleonidae

Order: Squamata (Sauria) - Lizards

Class: Reptilia

Phylum: Chordata - Vertebrates

Kingdom: Animalia

Red List status: Not listed

                                Male    Female

Snout-vent length:  40-53 mm        35-52 mm

Total length:           67-95 mm*      59-85 mm

* Specimens from Masoala may reach 120 mm

 

Hatchling total length: 18-22 mm

Brown leaf chameleon. Andasibe National Park, Madagascar
RANGE

Currently recognised from lowland regions throughout eastern Madagascar, and as such one of the most widespread members of the genus.

            Range            Description            Habitat            Behaviour            Biology            References
DESCRIPTION

A leaf chameleon characterised by a nearly straight dorsal ridge running down the midline of the back, and large, prominent supraocular cones. There are 4-6 tubercles on the chin. A series of 10-11 well-developed spines run along the side of the vertebral column, but do not reach the tail. Colouration ranges from beige to brown, and dark or light markings may be present. A diamond-shaped 'pelvic shield' occurs dorsally at the base of the hindlimbs.

Similar species: The similar B. therezini has lateral spines that continue onto the tail. All other species lack the combination of prominent superocular cones, and the presence of a dorsal ridge and pelvic shield.

 

HABITAT

Found throughout forests at low- and mid-elevations of eastern Madagascar.

 

BEHAVIOUR

A diurnally active terrestrial species that spends the night resting on low vegetation, where it can sometimes also be found during the day. In the wet season, males and females may select adjacent resting sites.

The spines along the flanks in this species are a defensive mechanism, which it has been observed to thrust at predators. Alternatively, when threatened animals may freeze, roll, rapidly vibrate their bodies or try and escape.

 

BIOLOGY

Life cycle: Clutch size in this species is 2-5 eggs in captivity. Eggs develop within the mother for 30-45 days after mating; after being laid, there is an incubation period of between 59-70 days, again based on captive observations.

 

REFERENCES

Glaw, F. and Vences, M. (2007) A Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. Third Edition. Cologne, Vences & Glaw Verlag: 496pp