Knysna dwarf chameleon

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Knysna dwarf chameleon
Bradypodion damaranum1.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Chamaeleonidae
Genus: Bradypodion
Species: B. damaranum
Binomial name
Bradypodion damaranum
(Boulenger, 1887)
Knysna dwarf chameleon in a human hand

The Knysna dwarf chameleon (Bradypodion damaranum) is a species of dwarf chameleon in the Bradypodion ("slow footed") genus that is endemic to South Africa. It is a forest dweller, found only in a limited range in the afromontane forests near Knysna, South Africa, and in certain other areas. As with most chameleons, its tongue is twice the length of its body and it can be shot out of its mouth using a special muscle in the jaw. This gives the chameleon the ability to catch insects some distance away.


In the past, most South African dwarf chameleons were considered to be a subspecies of one Cape Bradypodion species [1] This is now known to be wrong, however; B. damaranum does not appear to have any particularly close living relatives. Like the Cape dwarf chameleon, it seems to be a basal offshoot of the ancestral stock which gave rise to all Bradypodion chameleon species.[2]

Male Knysna dwarf chameleon, submissive coloration


The normal habitat of Bradypodion damaranum is dense, wet montane forest.
This chameleon also readily adapts to living in gardens. However, the use of hedge trimmers and the introduction of domestic cats have caused the species to vanish from large areas.[3]


  1. ^ (e.g. Klaver & Böhme 1997)
  2. ^ (Tolley et al. 2004)
  3. ^ Pdf. list of CITES-protected Endangered Species.

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