Last Updated on April 23, 2024 by themubbi63

Leaf chameleon is the common name given to the genera Brookesia which has many different species. Thus, leaf chameleons can vary in size according to species. However, they are widely considered the smallest chameleons in the world and are some of the smallest reptiles. They’re called leaf-chameleons because they’re brown in color and resemble dead leaves. It’s their form of camouflage. Another fun fact? They’re all found in Madagascar. Let’s have a look at the sizes of some common leaf chameleons.

Brown Leaf Chameleon Size

The brown leaf chameleon (Brookesia superciliaris) is a small chameleon found on the eastern coast of Madagascar. This species is around 8 – 10 cm in length and 3.8 g in weight. It has two horns that protrude from its forehead above either eye. It also has four spines that jut out from its throat. 

AnimalLengthWeight
Brown Leaf-Chameleon8 – 10 cm3.8 g

Antsigy Leaf Chameleon Size

The largest of the brookesia chameleons which are generally known as dwarf chameleons, the Antsigy leaf chameleon (Brookesia perarmata) is also known as the armored leaf-chameleon. It reaches an average length of 11 cm which is rare for others in the genus. They also have a body weight of around 6.88 g. With two rows of spikes that run down their body, they look like small dragons.

AnimalLengthWeight
Antsigy Leaf-Chameleon11 cm6.88 g

Naturelle Leaf Chameleon Size

Found in Madagascar, the naturelle leaf-chameleon (Brookesia karchei) is a species of chameleon that was named after the geologist Jean-Paul Karche. The naturelle leaf chameleon usually measures a total of 51 mm, including the tail. The body mass of this species is just about 0.67 g. They’re considered an endangered species.

AnimalLengthWeight
Naturelle Leaf Chameleon5.1 cm0.67 g

Marojejy Leaf Chameleon Size

The Marojejy leaf chameleon (Brookesia griveaudi) is so called because they’re mostly found in the Marojejy National Park and on the Marojejy Massif. This is one of the larger leaf-chameleons because the largest individuals can grow to a size of 11 cm. They have a body mass of 6.28 g.

AnimalLengthWeight
Marojejy Leaf Chameleon11 cm6.28 g

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Fito Leaf-Chameleon Size

The Fito leaf chameleon (Brookesia lambertoni) amed after the region that they’re found in, Fito in Madagascar. Their scientific name, on the other hand, comes from the French paleontologist Charles Lambertoni. They’re around 2.08 g in terms of body mass.

AnimalWeight
Fito Leaf-Chameleon2.08 g

Nosy Hara Leaf Chameleon Size

The Nosy Hara leaf-chameleon (Brookesia micra) is one of the smallest reptiles in the world. It was the smallest chameleon until the discovery of the Brookesia nana in 2021. The Nosy Hara leaf-chameleon, endemic to the Nosy Hara archipelago, is just about 30 mm in size and 0.2 g in body mass.

AnimalLengthWeight
Northern Leaf Chameleon3 cm0.2 g

Toothed Leaf-Chameleon Size

First discovered and described in 1900, the toothed leaf chameleon (Brookesia dentata) lives only in the Ankarafantsika area of Madagascar. It was one of the original small leaf-chameleons that were known, characterized by a lack of dorsal ridges or spines. It measures around 48 mm in length and weighs no more than 0.42 g.

AnimalLengthWeight
Toothed Leaf Chameleon4.8 cm0.42 g

Spiny Leaf Chameleon Size

The spiny leaf-chameleon (Brookesia decaryi) is also known as Decary’s leaf chameleon after French botanist Raymond Decary. Found on Madagascar, in the Ankarafantsika National Park in the northwest, this lizard is just about 8 cm long and weighs 3.6 g.

AnimalLengthWeight
Spiny Leaf-Chameleon8 cm3.6 g

Dwarf Chameleon Size

The dwarf chameleon (Brookesia exarmata) is an endangered species that is endemic to west-central Madagascar, around the River Ambodyreana. One of the smallest species even within the Brookesia genus, the dwarf chameleon is no more than 45 mm at full length. Of that, 20 mm is composed of the tail while the rest is the head and body. It weighs around 0.39 g. 

AnimalLengthWeight
Blanc’s Leaf Chameleon4.5 cm0.39 g

Minute Leaf-Chameleon Size

The minute leaf-chameleon (Brookesia minima) is found on the island of Nosy Be, which is just off the northwest coast of Madagascar. It’s the third smallest lizard in the world after Brookesia micra and nana. Females measure just about 3.4 cm and males even less at 2.8 cm. It weighs around 0.2 g.

AnimalLengthWeight
Minute Leaf Chameleon2.8 – 3.4 cm0.2 g

Nano Chameleon Size

Officially the smallest species of leaf-chameleon, the nano chameleon (Brookesia nana) is found in the montane rainforests of Madagascar. They’re usually blotchy brown in color and have a yellowish-orange tail. The females are slightly larger than the males, males being 22 mm and females being 29 mm. Their weight is around 0.1 g so you can imagine how little they actually are. 

AnimalLengthWeight
Nano Chameleon2.2 – 2.9 cm0.1 g

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Plated Leaf Chameleon Size

The plated leaf chameleon (Brookesia stumpffi) is a medium sized brookesia species that can be found in some parts of Madagascar. The Latin name comes from the name of Anton Stumpff, who collected the holotype. With a total length, tail included, of 9 cm and weight of 4.46 g, the plated leaf-chameleon is far from the smallest of the species. 

AnimalLengthWeight
Plated Leaf-Chameleon9 cm4.46 g

Conclusion

The world of leaf chameleons is a fascinating one, filled with incredible diversity in size! From the minuscule nano chameleon to the larger plated leaf-chameleon, each species has unique adaptations that allow them to thrive in their natural habitat. Their tiny size doesn’t stop them from being amazing creatures!

FAQs

How does Leaf Chameleon survive?

Despite their size, leaf-chameleons are perfectly adapted! They have excellent camouflage, sharp vision for hunting insects, and even special toes for gripping leaves.

Can I keep a leaf-chameleon as a pet?

Most leaf-chameleons are delicate creatures with specific habitat needs. Research their care requirements carefully before considering one as a pet. Consulting a professional is recommended

Do leaf chameleons change colour like other chameleons?

While leaf-chameleons primarily rely on their brown, leaf-like camouflage, some species can actually change color slightly. They might adjust their shades to better blend in with specific leaves or branches.

Are there any threats to leaf-chameleons?

Sadly, yes. Habitat loss due to deforestation and the illegal pet trade are major threats. Conservation efforts are underway to protect these unique creatures.

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