Impurest's Guide to Animals #34 - Nosy Be Leaf Chameleon

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Edited By ImpurestCheese

What’s up my many beloved readers it’s time for Issue 34 of Impurest’s Guide to Animals. Last week the oddity known as the Olm briefly ventured into the light before retreating into the darkness. This week we have a reptile so tiny in the spotlight that it gets eaten by ants. Hope you enjoy.

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Issue #34 Nosy Be Leaf Chameleon

[1]
[1]

Kingdom – Animalia

Phylum – Chordata

Class – Reptillia

Order – Squamatra

Family – Chameleonidae

Genus – Brookesia

Species – minima

Related Species - The genus Brookesia contains 30 species of tiny chameleons all of whom are native to the island of Madagascar (1)

Range

[2]
[2]

Life in Miniature

The Nosy Be Lead Chameleon is a miniscule (as the species part of its name suggests) brown lizard that reaches a maximum length of only 3.5cm in length. Unlike the majority of Chameleons, save for the other members of the genus Brookesia, the Nosy Be Leaf Chameleon is mostly terrestrial, spending much of it’s life on the forest floor rather then the trees , only leaving the ground to sleep at night. Because they spend so much time on the ground the native Malagasy people have a mistrust of the leaf chameleon, associating it with deceit and fickleness (2).

[3]
[3]

Due to its small size the Nosy Be Leaf Chameleon only eats small insects such as fruit flies. Like the rest of its kin, the Leaf Chameleon is an ambush predator, catching prey with its extendable tongue before dragging it back to the mouth. Nosy Be Leaf Chameleons are food themselves, for a wide range of species including insects, toads and ground dwelling mammals. As a defence the Nosy Be Chameleon will freeze and mimic a piece of rotten wood, in the hopes that any foraging animals will overlook its hiding place.

When breeding the male gauges the females state of readiness by watching her sway as she moves. If she is indeed fertile the male will follow his potential mate all day, aggressively defending her from other suitors with loud hisses and if need by physical combat. If mating is successful the female will lay two eggs on the forest floor and leave them to their fate, with the hatchlings emerging three months later.

Five Fun Nosy Be Leaf Chameleon Facts

While considered the smallest Chameleon, the Nosy Be Leaf Chameleon is actually larger then another member of the genus Brookesia, the Leaf Chameleon (Brookesia micra) which only grows to 2.6 cm in length

[4]
[4]

Nosy Be is the home for tiny vertebrates. One of the world’s smallest frogs the Andoany Stump-toed Frog (Stumpffia pygmia) (1)

The name Nosy Be comes from the Malagasy for ‘Big Island’

British Anatomist Joseph Brooks lends his name to the genus, in honour of the work he did in advancing the understanding of animal anatomy (3)

Recent changes in the quota of wild caught animals allowed to be taken from the wild has been reduced to zero, in an effort by the Madagascan Government to conserve the Nosy Be Chameleon (4)

Bibliography

1 - www.arkive.org

2 - http://www.chrismattison.co.uk/wildlife-photography/chameleons/

3 - Beolens B, Watkins M, Grayson M. 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University

4 - Carpenter, A.I. and Robson, O. (2005) A review of the endemic chameleon genus Brookesia from Madagascar, and the rationale for its listing on CITES Appendix II. Oryx, 39(4): 345-380.

Picture References

1 - http://cdn2.arkive.org/media/DA/DA56E306-E26E-4F07-8084-BF18B5FD0326/Presentation.Large/Minute-leaf-chameleon-on-a-finger.jpg

2 - http://www.earthtimes.org/newsimage/miniature-chameleon-discovered-madagascar_2_15212.jpg

3 - http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f4/Antongil_Leaf_Chameleon%2C_Nosy_Mangabe%2C_Madagascar_%283899499361%29_%282%29.jpg

4 - http://www.toptenz.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Brookesia-micra.jpg

And with that the Nosy Be Chameleon slips back into the undergrowth, fearfully hoping that it doesn’t get eaten by a bunch of ants. Next week we meet the arachnid that could possibly banish even the strongest case of arachnophobia. Until then comment, critique and check out the Bestiary of Past Issues.

Many Thanks

Impurest Cheese

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laflux

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SOOOO CUTE....

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Straight-Fire

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D'awwwwwwwwwwwwww! Chameleons! <3

Nice work as always. ^_^

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@laflux: Getting a cute buffer before I unleash the horror of another terrifying worm issue

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deactivated-5a162dd41dd64

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What is this, a chameleon for ANTS?

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wildvine

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Too cute.

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@squares: Sad thing is that ants eat this kind of chameleon

@wildvine:, @dboyrules2011: It most certainly is :-)

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@dboyrules2011: Keep smiling, I can assure you that Issue 37 will horrify you, but until then...cuteness!!!

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Cream_God

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its so cute

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@cgoodness: It is indeed

@dboyrules2011: No your not...

@squares: Yep and the Golden Orb Weavers, Tenrec, Madagascan Boas ect

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#16  Edited By NighThunder

d'aww

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wildvine

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Pokemon joke has been done to death. So....

Neopets are real!

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@nighthunder: Of course, that little thing is too adorable

@dboyrules2011: And wait you shall. Have a tiny spider and a tiny 'cow' to deal with first

@wildvine: Yep, uh wait what's a neopet?

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cattlebattle

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#21 cattlebattle  Online

Is he on the end of a matchstick in that one image??

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That last picture is one of the most adorable things I've seen here.

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AfricanWilds

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....I miss Kratt's Creatures.

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DarthAznable

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You know what they say about little chameleons...

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#27  Edited By StarWatcher

Aawww look at that, it's the stalker/grumpy old creep of the chameleon world!

It looks adorable but kinda shady, and that "follows his potential mate around all day" had me giggling.

Thanks for another great discovery!

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#28  Edited By ImpurestCheese

@africanwilds: Hi thanks for the comment, never even heard of Kratt's Creatures so can't comment on that. By any chance would like to be included on the callout list for the next issue?

@xwraith: Yeah tiny things are stupidly cute (usually)

@darthaznable: That they make good eating?

@cattlebattle: Yes she is. That is a fully grown Brookesia micra right there

@starwatcher: All Chameleons are kind of grumpy it's just that Brookesia look shady because they have no colour changing cells

@ostyo: Yep it's goung to be a theme for the next two issues as well

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#29  Edited By Ostyo
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#30  Edited By ImpurestCheese

@ostyo: Trust me it's adorable

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Sweet stuff :)

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Is it just me, or is the male watching the female sway a little romantic? No? No one? Not even a little, in a "across the bar" kind of way?

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@ms-lola: More romantic then most animal courting I will agree