Species group: Chameleons
Other common names: Bearded Leaf Chameleon; Stump Tailed Chameleon; Pygmy Stump Tailed Chameleon
Scientific name: Rhampholeon brevicaudatus
The Bearded Pygmy Chameleon is native to the mountains of Tanzania in Africa. Rhampholeon brevicaudatus are known as "false" or "stump-tailed" chameleons because their tails are short and are not prehensile. Bearded Pygmy Chameleons are smaller than most other African chameleons, and only reach about 3 inches in length.
Appearance / health:
The Bearded Pygmy Chameleon is light to darker brown or greenish in color, with males showing a darker pattern that intensifies when they get excited.
The Bearded Pygmy Chameleon prefers a temperature between 70 and 80°F with a slight drop at night.
Unlike most chameleons, R. brevicaudatus are social; pairs can be housed in 10–15-gallon tanks and trios of one male to two females can be kept in 20-gallon tanks.
Small crickets and fruit flies and a variety of other small insects.
interesting, smaller terrarium, fun personalities, funny little chameleons
delicate nature, antisocial attitude
times feign death, little chameleons, beady black eyes, roughly room temp
Unique - but hard to see
I've worked with around 6 species of chameleon and the Pygmy Chameleon is by far, in my opinion, the cutest - and possibly the easiest to look after as well. It is however also the least attractive in terms of colouration.
Unlikely most chameleons who have the ability to change colour, pygmy's - who live in the leaf litter on the bottom of the forest floor - have the magical ability to be brown, slightly more brown, slightly less brown.
Since they only grow to an inch in length, the setup can be very small. I keep a group of four in a 45x45x60cm Exo Terra. They don't need a high amount of UVB or heat - the forest floor being almost always in shade, but do need a lot of branches, plants and humidity. Since you have to provide a lot of foliage, spotting your tiny brown chameleon in amongst all the leaves and branches can be difficult - they are ultimately designed not to be easily spotted so that predators will never know they are there.
They're difficult to handle because of their size. You can let them walk out onto you, but you have to be very careful as they can be delicate - definitely not suitable for children.
But they are interesting, and very unique - tiny life forms that are perfectly adapted to their environment. If you get the honor of watching them hunt and interact with each other, you'll be fascinated, but spotting that may be difficult. I personally think it's worth the patience it takes to watch them, but if you're looking for something a little more hands on or visible there are better options..
From Athravan Jun 15 2015 4:24AM
A Brief Encounter
What can I say about Yoda? I have always enjoyed chameleons and when the pet store received some pygmy chameleons, it seemed like the perfect way to introduce myself into the world of chameleons. And it was, until less than a month after I got him, he died. I have never seen anything quite as freaky as that dead chameleon. They are supposed to be a great beginner chameleon. Because of their size, they don't require a huge cage. So that's nice for apartment dwellers. They also have a fairly easy habitat to maintain. And I just think chameleons have the best lizard personalities. They are such funny, little things and don't mind being handled, which is fantastic. But according to the pet store I purchased him from, when you buy them full grown, it's difficult to tell their age. So I think my biggest caution would be, be careful from whom you buy them..
From Mychal Oct 31 2014 3:50PM