Rieppeleon brevicaudatus

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Rieppeleon brevicaudatus
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Iguania
Family: Chamaeleonidae
Genus: Rieppeleon
Species: R. brevicaudatus
Binomial name
Rieppeleon brevicaudatus
(Matschie, 1892)

Chamaeleon (Brookesia) brevicaudatus Matschie, 1892
Brookesia brevicaudata (Matschie, 1892)
Rhampholeon brevicaudatus (Matschie, 1892)

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


  1. ^ Rieppeleon brevicaudatus at the Reptarium.cz Reptile Database. Accessed 22 October 2014.

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