Rivaling the World's Smallest Reptiles

New Miniature Leaf Chameleons (Brookesia) from Northern Madagascar Discovered

Brookesia micra (small leaf chameleon from northern Madagascar) on a match head Photo: Glaw F, Köhler J, Townsend TM, Vences M (2012) Rivaling the World's Smallest Reptiles: Discovery of Miniaturized and Microen

Four new species of miniature and microendemic chameleon species have recently been described from northern Madagascar. The smallest of these, Brookesia micra, reaches only 24mm in total length, making it the smallest chameleon species and among the smallest vertebrates in the world. 

All four of these new species are from extremely limited ranges and therefore are likely to be highly threatened by deforestation. Brookesia desperata, for instance is found only in a small rainforest remnant and is named for its desperate conservation state. Brookesia tristis is similarly named ("tristis" means "sad"). As another example, Brookesia micra is from a small islet that is only 115 ha in size.

For more information, read the full paper here.

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