Madagascar’s Tiny Chameleons! is a blog post from the Madagascar category.

Madagascar’s Tiny Chameleons!

Posted by Will on

One of our favourite creatures from our trip to Madagascar was the tiny Brookesia Chameleon. Brookesia is a genus of chameleons found only in Madagascar. Some of the species in this genus are considered to be the smallest chameleons in the world!

We photographed these tiny chameleons in Amber Mountain National Park in the North of Madagascar. The chameleons spend their lives in amongst the leaf litter, where they hunt minuscule insects. When they are disturbed they play dead and resemble a dried leaf… as a result they are also known as “Leaf-mimicking Chameleons”.

Pygmy Leaf Chameleon
Brookesia Chameleon

Unlike many other chameleons, Brookesias cannot change their colour drastically. Instead, they are limited to a palette of brown, earthy colours which allows them to camouflage themselves perfectly in their environment.

We spent almost a week looking for these chameleons and were never able to spot them on our own. Fortunately, our guide, having worked in the park for around 20 years, was well practiced in the art of spotting them and seemed to be able to produce the tiny creatures on demand! His spotting abilities never ceased to amaze us, particularly when it came to leaf tailed geckos!

Brookesia on Thumb

You might have seen the image above before as we have previously posted it on our facebook page and on flickr. Today it has also been picked up by a number of newspapers. For this picture we wanted to get across a sense of scale so we carefully placed one of the tiny chameleons on Matthew’s thumbnail and used the Canon MP-E 65mm macro lens to photograph it. The image really illustrates how cute these little chameleons are!

If this is your first time here then you can find more of our Madagascar images and blog posts here: Madagascar. You can also follow our photography on facebook, twitter and via our free email newsletter / rss feed.


  1. Jackie said: December 3, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    That is so cute!

  2. Karen said: December 3, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    Delightful shots! Well done!

  3. Wayan Mawa said: December 4, 2010 at 2:32 am

    This is first time I see this kind of Chameleons. Look like a tiny Dinosaur. I saw many lizard pictures but this is amazing..!

  4. Deborah Flowers said: December 4, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    Extremely cute and Tiny! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Laura London said: December 5, 2010 at 2:35 am

    This is an amazing picture, I love lizards and when I saw this in the newspaper I couldn’t believe it was true! Well done. x

  6. Ernesto L. Rosales, Jr. said: December 6, 2010 at 8:31 am

    Extremely delicate and endangered…careful with that.

  7. roeselien said: January 22, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    That’s REALLY small..;)
    Love the use of DOF here….

  8. Lynette said: February 15, 2012 at 7:23 am

    Thank you for showing us all this beautiful little member of God’s wonderful creation. I read comments on another site where people expressed amazement that all the organs and bones etc, etc. could be packed into such a tiny little frame.
    Once again I stand in awe of God’s greatness that He made such wonderful creatures and such diversity.
    I took a peep at your geckos too. Beautiful images. Thank you!

  9. Radu said: November 14, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    I’ve seen a few while visiting the tropical rain forests in madagascar! They are indeed wonderful creatures, moving slow, hard to spot, but nevertheless an interesting find!

    Here’s a picture with mine: [IMG]http://i50.tinypic.com/s1hqtj.jpg[/IMG]

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