Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Brown Leaf Chameleon

Brookesia superciliaris
The Brown Leaf Chameleon belongs to the same genus as some of the smallest reptiles in the entire world (B. micra is the tiniest Chameleon on record). Like the other members of the genus, today's species lives on the island of Madagascar, and it also happens to be rather small.

The full head to tail length of the Brown Leaf Chameleon is only a few inches. The small size certainly helps with their defensive camouflage. You see, Brown Leaf Chameleons resemble curled up, dead leaves! They can change color, but shades or brown and green are the most common, as those are the colors of the dead leaves that they forage in.

Brown Leaf Chameleons spend most of their time on the forest floor, where they hunt for insects. If they themselves feel threatened by a predator, they roll up and lie very still, hiding in with their surroundings.

Camouflage isn't the only thing interesting about these tiny reptiles. They also have a neat little mating ritual. Males will approach females while doing a head bob. If the female doesn't like it, she responds with jerky movements of her own, sending the male away. If she does want to mate, she walks alongside the male for a while. He will then climb on her back and she will carry him for a spell, and the pair will eventually copulate.

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : Madagascar
Size : Length up to 4.5in (12cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Reptilia -- Order : Squamata
Family : Chamaeleonidae -- Genus : Brookesia -- Species : B. superciliaris

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...