Brookesia is a genus of chameleons endemic to Madagascar, that range from small to very small in size, and are known collectively as leaf chameleons (though this name also commonly is used for species in the genera Rieppeleon and Rhampholeon). Brookesia includes species considered to be the world's smallest chameleons which are also among the smallest reptiles. Members of the genus Brookesia are largely brown and most are essentially terrestrial. A significant percentage of the species in the genus were only identified to science within the last three decades, and a number of species that still have not received a scientific name are known to exist. Most inhabit very small ranges in areas that are difficult to access, and due to their small size and secretive nature, they have been relatively poorly studied compared to their larger relatives.
Most Brookesia are on CITES Appendix II, the only exception being B. perarmata on Appendix I (a species also listed as endangered by IUCN). Consequently, a special permit is required to import any of the below species from their native Madagascar, and typically no permit is issued for B. perarmata.
The 30 currently recognized species in the genus are:
- Brookesia ambreensis Raxworthy & Nussbaum, 1995 – Amber Mountain pygmy leaf chameleon
- Brookesia antakarana Raxworthy & Nussbaum, 1995
- Brookesia bekolosy Raxworthy & Nussbaum, 1995
- Brookesia betschi Brygoo, Blanc & Domergue, 1974 – Blanc's leaf chameleon
- Brookesia bonsi Ramanantsoa, 1980
- Brookesia brunoi Crottini et al., 2012
- Brookesia brygooi Raxworthy & Nussbaum, 1995 – leaf chameleon or Brygoo's chameleon
- Brookesia confidens Glaw et al., 2012
- Brookesia decaryi, Angel, 1939 – spiny leaf chameleon
- Brookesia dentata Mocquard, 1900
- Brookesia desperata Glaw et al., 2012
- Brookesia ebenaui (Boettger, 1880) – northern leaf chameleon
- Brookesia exarmata Schimmenti & Jesu, 1996
- Brookesia griveaudi Brygoo, Blanc & Domergue, 1974
- Brookesia karchei Brygoo, Blanc & Domergue, 1970 – naturelle leaf chameleon
- Brookesia lambertoni Brygoo & Domergue, 1970 – Fito leaf chameleon
- Brookesia lineata Raxworthy & Nussbaum, 1995
- Brookesia micra Glaw et al., 2012
- Brookesia minima Boettger, 1893 – minute leaf chameleon
- Brookesia perarmata (Angel, 1933) – Antsingy leaf chameleon
- Brookesia peyrierasi Brygoo & Domergue, 1974 – Peyrieras' leaf chameleon
- Brookesia ramanantsoai Brygoo & Domergue, 1975 – Ramanantsoa’s minute leaf chameleon
- Brookesia stumpffi Boettger, 1894 – plated leaf chameleon
- Brookesia superciliaris (Kuhl, 1820) – brown leaf chameleon
- Brookesia therezieni Brygoo & Domergue, 1970 – Perinet leaf chameleon
- Brookesia thieli Brygoo & Domergue, 1969 – Domergue's leaf chameleon
- Brookesia tristis Glaw et al., 2012
- Brookesia tuberculata Mocquard, 1894
- Brookesia vadoni Brygoo & Domergue, 1968 – Iaraka River leaf chameleon
- Brookesia valerieae Raxworthy, 1991 – Raxworthy's leaf chameleon
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- Beolens B, Watkins M, Grayson M. 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Genus Brookesia, p. 40).
- Glaw F, Köhler J, Townsend TM, Vences M. (2012). "Rivaling the World's Smallest Reptiles: Discovery of Miniaturized and Microendemic New Species of Leaf Chameleons (Brookesia) from Northern Madagascar". PLoS ONE 7 (2): e31314. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0031314. PMC 3279364. PMID 22348069.
- The Reptile Database. www.reptile-database.org
- Glaw, F.; Köhler, J. R.; Townsend, T. M.; Vences, M. (2012). Salamin, Nicolas, ed. "Rivaling the World's Smallest Reptiles: Discovery of Miniaturized and Microendemic New Species of Leaf Chameleons (Brookesia) from Northern Madagascar". PLoS ONE 7 (2): e31314. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0031314. PMC 3279364. PMID 22348069.
- Gray JE. 1864. Revision of the Genera and Species of Chamæleonidæ, with the Description of some New Species. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1864: 465-477 + Plates XXXI & XXXII. (Brookesia, new genus, pp. 476–477).
- Genus Brookesia at The Reptile Database.
- CITES: Appendices I, II and III. Accessed 23-01-2009.
- Glaw, F., & Vences, M. (2007). A Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar, 3d edition. Cologne, Germany: Vences & Glaw Verlag. 496 pp. ISBN 978-3-929449-03-7.
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