Brookesia perarmata (Angel, 1933)
The Antsingy Leaf Chameleon
These chameleons are restricted to the deciduous dry forests within the valleys of the limestone karst formations of the Tsingy de Bemaraha.
Morphology and Colouration:
B. perarmata has a unique morphology among Brookesia species. The skull is ornamented with a series of crests, and the body has a lateral line of horny protrusions. These do not develop to their full extent until adulthood.
They reach a maximum total length of 110mm.
The head of adults is yellow, and the rest of the body a rusty red.
Like all Brookesia species, B. perarmata hunts among the leaf litter of the forest during the day, and roosts on small roots at night.
B. perarmata is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List. It is found only within an area of forest of ~400km2, which is threatened by illegal logging, overgrazing, and fire. There may also be some illegal collection. B. perarmata is a CITES Appendix I species.
B. perarmata is so physically distinct from all other Brookesia species that Angel placed it in its own genus, Leandria, in his description of it in 1933. This was later rectified. Today, B. perarmata remains easily distinguished from all known Brookesia species, although juveniles may be mistaken for B. brygooi.
First photo by David d’O. Second by Jörn Köhler.
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