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Rieppeleon brevicaudatus

Rieppeleon brevicaudatus

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Cladus: Craniata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Lepidosauromorpha
Superordo: Lepidosauria
Ordo: Squamata
Cladus: Unidentata Episquamata Toxicofera
Subordo: Iguania
Infraordo: Acrodonta

Familia: Chamaeleonidae
Subfamilia: Brookesiinae
Genus: Rieppeleon
Species: Rieppeleon brevicaudatus

Rieppeleon brevicaudatus (Matschie, 1892)

Type locality: Derema, Usambara Mts., Tanzania.

Chamaeleon (Brookesia) brevicaudatus Matschie 1892
Rhampholeon boettgeri Pfeffer 1893
Rhampholeon brevicaudatus — Necas 1999: 284


Matschie, P. 1892. Über eine kleine Sammlung von Säugethieren und Reptilien, welche Herr L. Conradt aus Usambara (Deutsch Ostafrika) heimgebracht hat. Sber. Ges. naturf. Freunde, Berlin (1892): 101–110.
Necas, P. & Schmidt, W. 2004. Mysterious Mini-Dragons: the stump-tailed chameleons Brookesia and Rhampholeon. Reptilia (GB) (35): 10–21.
Matthee, C.; Tilbury, C.R. & Townsend, T. 2004. A phylogenetic review of the African leaf chameleons: genus Rhampholeon (Chamaeleonidae): the role of vicariance and climate change in speciation. Proc. Roy. Soc. (London) B271: 1967–1975.
Rieppeleon brevicaudatus at the New Reptile Database. Accessed on 11 Mar 2008.

Vernacular names
English: Bearded Pygmy Chameleon

Rieppeleon brevicaudatus, commonly known as the bearded leaf chameleon or bearded pygmy chameleon,[1] is a chameleon originating from the eastern Usambara and Uluguru Mountains in northeastern Tanzania and Kenya. It is easily distinguished from others in the Rieppeleon genus by the presence of a "beard" below the mouth, consisting of a few raised scales. At a full grown length of only 3 in (8 cm), it is marked by somewhat drab coloring in comparison to other chameleons, usually assuming a brown or tan coloring. It is quite capable of changing its coloration, though, often taking on a shade to blend into the background and becoming darker when under stress. It is also capable of compressing its body laterally and producing a stripe down its side, mimicking a dead leaf. It often assumes this form when sleeping in the open. It can adopt a variety of colors, including yellow, green, orange, black, and brown. A common misconception is that these chameleons use their color-changing abilities as camouflage, but they actually use their color-changing skin to court and show stress or emotion. Males are distinguished by a longer tail, more prominent dorsal crest, slimmer body type, and persistent patterning. Like others in the family Chamaeleonidae, it is distinguished by independently rotating eye sockets and a tongue longer than its body.
R. brevicaudatus female
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rhampholeon brevicaudatus.

Rieppeleon brevicaudatus at the Reptile Database. Accessed 22 October 2014.

Chameleon News brevicaudatus care guide

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