Brookesia Perarmata or Antsingy Leaf Chameleon

Brookesia Perarmata – Antsingy Leaf or Armoured Chameleon

Brookesia Perarmata or the Antsingy Leaf Chameleon is the largest of the Brookesia genus of chameleons which can grow up to eleven centimeters. It is also one of the most endangered species of chameleons because of its very limited range. It is endemic to Madagascar and can only be found in the northern part of the Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park in Madagascar’s Melaky Region (ARKive).

Brookesia Perarmata is one of the more exotic looking chameleons. It is mostly dark brown with a limited ability to change color. It appears similar to an armored dragon with thorny spines all over its body. The head has a lighter shade of brown with two rounded crests behind the eyes. As a ground dwelling species, its tail is shorter and stumped (Encyclopedia of Life).


Brookesia Perarmata 3

This chameleon dwells on the forest floor among the dead leaves which it uses for camouflage and climbs up low plant branches when it’s time to sleep.

Because of its very limited range, it is listed in Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species Appendix I (CITES Appendix I) and the IUCN Redlist as endangered meaning that exportation and trade of this species is illegal. If possible, it can be acquired from captive bred specimens of other lizard enthusiasts.


Brookesia Perarmata

“These tiny armoured chameleons hold great beauty, like delicate dragons. A challenge and a feast to get up close with my macro lens. Although it was a grey, cloudy day with lots of rain – we were soaking wet – I managed to take some really great photos of this chameleon”.

Read more about these brilliant animals on the amazing Schaapmans’ Wildlife Spotting website. Antsingy Leaf Chameleon




1) ARKive –
2) Encyclopedia of Life –
3) CITES –
4) IUCN Redlist –



1) Main image supplied by Schaapmans
2) Sub images supplied by Schaapmans

Brookesia Minima or Pygmy Leaf Chameleon

Brookesia Minima or Pygmy Leaf Chameleon

Dwarf Chameleon, also known as Brookesia Minima, is the smallest specie among chameleons of the stump tailed diminutive chameleons (The Reptile Database, 2008). Native to the rain forests of Nosy Be Island, an island northwest off the coast of Madagascar, Brookesia Minima is also rarely found in the Manongarvio Reserve to the northwest of Madagascar. This chameleon is comfortable dwelling in leaf litter of rain forests, especially where there is a layer of dead leaves up to 10 centimeters deep. The minute leaf chameleon is listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species(CITES) which essentially means that trade of this particular species must be controlled carefully such that it’s compatible with the species’ survival (CITES, 2007). The cylindrical body of the world’s smallest chameleon is camouflaged in various shades of grey, brown or green with a flattened head and has large scales forming triangular plates above its eyes with a visibly striped pattern prevailing throughout the body. Two series of granular protrusions can be seen on the back of this chameleon. Brookesia Minima are the smallest species of chameleons with a maximum length of only 3.4 centimetres.   
Brookesia Minima or Pygmy Leaf Chameleon

The females are generally larger and can grow up to 3.4 centimetres. It has been noted that the males have a longer tail compared to their body and can grow only 2.8 centimeters in body length (Nečas, 2004). As this specie is not clearly noticeable by naked eyes, only the locals of Madagascar islands are able to identify the Brookesia Minima easily. These territorial chameleons can be made to adapt to a different environment by creating artificial conditions in captivity.

They should be kept in a substrate of littered leaves or soil so that they can be comfortable and feel like their natural habitat. Even though this Chameleon makes a very good pet, only a few of them have been kept in captivity as they are difficult to capture and transport to other parts of the world from their natural rain forest habitat.


1) Nečas, P. and Schmidt, W. (2004) Stump-tailed chameleons. Miniature Dragons of the Rainforest. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt.
2) The Reptile Database (February, 2008)
3) CITES (July, 2007)


1) Main image supplied by Loïc de Collasson
2) Sub images supplied by Loïc de Collasson