Robertson dwarf chameleon

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Robertson dwarf chameleon
Bradypodion gutturale.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Iguania
Family: Chamaeleonidae
Genus: Bradypodion
B. gutturale
Binomial name
Bradypodion gutturale
Smith, 1849
  • Chamaeleo gutturalis Smith, 1849[1]
  • Chamaeleon gutturalis Werner, 1911
  • Lophosaura gutturalis Power, 1932[2]
  • Microsaura gutturalis Fitzsimons, 1943
  • Chamaeleo pumilus gutturalis Hillenius, 1959
  • Bradypodion gutturale Raw, 1976[3]

The Robertson dwarf chameleon, also known as the Little Karoo dwarf chameleon, (Bradypodion gutturale) is a chameleon in the genus Bradypodion. It is found in the dry Fynbos and Renosterveld shrub vegetation, in the centre of the Western Cape province, South Africa.


A medium-sized dwarf chameleon, with a relatively robust build and a long prehensile tail, it can grow up to 15 cm in length. It is generally grey-olive in colour, but individuals have been found that vary.

Natural range[edit]

This species occurs in the Little Karoo, and the surrounding mountain ranges, within the Western Cape, South Africa.

It is recorded as far west as the border of the Cederberg mountains, and as far east as Uniondale. In the south it occurs near the coast in the area of Robertson and on the Agulhas plain.


It prefers the fynbos vegetation, unlike some other species of dwarf chameleons that are forest-dwellers. It is particularly adapted to dry fynbos, renosterveld and is even found in the transition zones to arid succulent Karoo vegetation. DNA evidence suggests the Robertson chameleon may have diverged from the forest-dwellers several million years ago, coinciding with the retreat of the forests and the spread of dry fynbos.


  • Tolley K. and Burger M. 2007. Chameleons of Southern Africa. Struik, Cape Town
  • Tolley, K.A. et al. 2006. Biogeographic patterns and phylogeography of dwarf chameleons (Bradypodion) in an African biodiversity hotspot. Molecular Ecology 15:781-793.
  • The Dwarf Chameleon Project at Wildcliff Nature Reserve

External links[edit]

  1. ^ Smith, Andrew (1849). "Appendix". Reptilia. Illustrations of the Zoology of South Africa. London: Smith, Elder and Co. p. 3.
  2. ^ Power, J. H. (1932). "On the South African Species of Chameleons of the Genus Lophosaura". Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London. 102: 216–217. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7998.1932.tb06212.x.
  3. ^ Raw, Lynn R. G. (1976). "A Survey of the Dwarf Chameleons of Natal, South Africa, with Descriptions of Three New Species (Sauria: Chameleonidae)". Durban Museum Novitates. 11 (7): 139–161. hdl:10520/AJA0012723X_2257.
  4. ^ Glaw, Frank (2015). "Taxonomic checklist of chameleons (Squamata: Chamaeleonidae)" (PDF). Vertebrate Zoology. 65 (2): 185.