Brookesia superciliaris


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Brookesia superciliaris
Species Authority: (Kuhl, 1820)
Common Name(s):
English Brown Leaf Chameleon
Chamaeleo superciliaris Kuhl, 1820

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2011-01-27
Assessor(s): Jenkins, R.K.B., Andreone, F., Andriamazava, A., Anjeriniaina, M., Brady, L., Glaw, F., Griffiths, R.A., Rabibisoa, N., Rakotomalala, D., Randrianantoandro, J.C., Randrianiriana, J., Randrianizahana , H., Ratsoavina, F. & Robsomanitrandrasana, E.
Reviewer(s): Bowles, P. & Tolley, K.
Listed as Least Concern as the species is widespread and common, displays adaptability to human-modified habitats, occurs in a number of well-managed protected areas, and is not believed to be declining at a rate that would warrant listing in a threatened category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

This species is endemic to the island of Madagascar where it occurs widely in the humid east, ranging from Midongy du Sud in the south (Bora et al. 2007) north to Ambolokaptrika (Andreone et al. 2000). Recorded localities include Ambodiriana (Rabearivony et al. 2008), Analamazaotra (Rakotondravony 2004), Andringitra (Raxworthy and Nussbaum 1996), Corridor forestier Fandriana-Vondrozo (Raxworthy et al. 2003), Ivohibe (Raselimanana 1999), Kalambatitra (Andreone and Randrianirina 2007), Marojejy (Raselimanana et al. 2000), and Tampolo (Raselimanana et al. 1998). It has been recorded between 650 m (Raxworthy and Nussbaum 1996) and 1,250 m elevation (Andreone et al. 2000). The chameleon's extent of occurrence is estimated to be 74,766 km².


Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: In lowland humid forest Rabearivony et al. (2008) recorded densities of 7.0 ha-1. Higher densities were recorded in mid-elevation forest and ranged between 39 ha-1 in the austral summer and 14 ha-1 in the austral winter (Rabearivony 1999). It is considered a common species by Glaw and Vences (2007), although the population is likely to be declining since, despite being tolerant of habitat degradation, it is unlikely to persist in deforested sites.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species appears to be an obligate humid forest dweller but can survive in a wide range of habitats, even some that are quite degraded (Rabearivony et al. 2008). Like other leaf chameleons it is active in the day on the forest floor and roosts above ground at night on low vegetation (Glaw and Vences 2007).
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is exported from Madagascar and the current annual quota is 200 individuals.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is found in low elevation forest, which is under heavy anthropogenic pressure from expanding agriculture, logging and mining throughout its range. It is relatively widespread and locally abundant so the current export quota of 200 per year is unlikely to threaten the survival of the species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species occurs in a number of protected areas from which collection is illegal, and in which habitat loss occurs at a low or negligible rate. Population trends and this species' level of exposure to threatening processes should be monitored.

Bibliography [top]

Andreone, F. and Randrianirina, J. 2007. The amphibians and reptiles of Kalambatritra, a little-known rainforest of south-eastern Madagascar. Bollettino del Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali di Torino 24: 179-190.

Andreone, F., Randrianirina, J.E., Jenkins, P.D. and Aprea, G. 2000. Species diversity of Amphibia, Reptilia and Lipotyphla (Mammalia) at Ambolokopatrika, a rainforest between the Anjanaharibe-Sud and Marojejy massifs, NE Madagascar. Biodiversity and Conservation 9: 1587-1622.

Bora, P., Randriambahiniarime, M.O., Rabemananjara, F., Ramilijaona, O.R., Glaw, F. and M. Vences. 2007. A rapid assessment survey of the herpetofauna at Befotaka-Modongy, National Park, south-eastern Madagascar. Mitt. Mus. Nat.kd. Berl., Zool. Reihe 83: 170-178.

Brygoo, E.R. 1978. Reptiles Sauriens Chamaeleonidae. Genre Brookesia et complément pour le genre Chamaeleo. Faune de Madagascar 47: 1-173.

Glaw, F. and Vences, M. 2007. A Fieldguide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. Third Edition. Vences & Glaw Verlag, Cologne.

IUCN. 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2011.2). Available at: (Accessed: 10 November 2011).

Jenkins, R.K.B., Brady, L.D., Huston, K., Kauffmann, J.L.D., Rabearivony, J., Raveloson, G. and Rowcliffe, M. 1999. The population status of chameleons within Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. Oryx 33: 38-47.

Rabearivony, J. 1999. Conservation and Status Assessment of Brookesia, the Dwarf Chameleons of Madagascar. MSc Thesis. DICE, University of Kent.

Rabearivony, J., Brady, L.D., Jenkins, R.K B. and Ravohangimalala, O.R. 2008. Habitat use and abundance of a low-altitude chameleon assemblage in eastern Madagascar. Herpetological Journal 17: 247-254.

Rakotondravony, H. 2004. Diversité des caméléons forestiers de la région d'Andasibe (Madagascar) et modèle de distribution de cette communauté selon différent types physionomiques. La Terre et la vie: Revue d'Ecologie 59: 529-544.

Raselimanana, A.P. 1999. Herpetofauna. In: S.M. Goodman and B. Rasolonandrasana (eds), Inventaire biologique de la Reserve Spéciale du Pic d'Ivohibe et du couloir forestier qui la relie au Parc National d'Andringtra., Antananarivo.

Raselimanana, A.P., Rakotomalala, D. and Rakotondraparany, F. 1998. Les reptiles et amphibiens: diversite et conservation. In: J. Ratsirarson and S.M. Goodman (eds), Invetaire Biologique de la Foret Tampolo, Antananarivo.

Raselimanana, A.P., Raxworthy, C.J. and Nussbaum, R.A. 2000. Herpetofaunal species diversity and elevational distribution within the Parc National de Marojejy, Madagascar. Fieldiana Zoology 97: 157-174.

Raxworthy, C.J. and Nussbaum, R.A. 1996. Amphibians and reptiles of the Réserve Naturelle Intégrale d'Andringitra, Madagascar: a study of elevational distribution and local endemnicity. Fieldiana: Zoology 85: 158-170.

Raxworthy, C.J., Martinez-Meyer, E., Horning, N., Nussbaum, R.A., Schneider, G.E., Ortega-Huerta, M.A. and Peterson, A.T. 2003. Predicting distributions of known and unknown reptile species in Madagascar. Nature 426: 837-841.

Citation: Jenkins, R.K.B., Andreone, F., Andriamazava, A., Anjeriniaina, M., Brady, L., Glaw, F., Griffiths, R.A., Rabibisoa, N., Rakotomalala, D., Randrianantoandro, J.C., Randrianiriana, J., Randrianizahana , H., Ratsoavina, F. & Robsomanitrandrasana, E. 2011. Brookesia superciliaris. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 31 August 2015.
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