Some Breeds of “Small Chameleons”

Chameleons, a distinctive branch of the reptile family tree, are renowned for their color-changing abilities, zygodactylous feet, and elongated tongues. While there are over 160 species of chameleons varying in size, we are often captivated by the smaller end of the spectrum.

These mini marvels hold a unique charm with their detailed features and compact size. Dive into the world of Small Chameleons, as we introduce you to some of the smallest species and their captivating characteristics.

Small Chameleons

Some Breeds of Small Chameleons

Here is a list of 5 breeds of Small Chameleons:

1. The Brookesia Micra

The Brookesia Micra, native to Madagascar, holds the title as one of the smallest chameleon species in the world. Fully grown adults reach a maximum length of just over an inch, making them incredibly small compared to their larger cousins.

Their earthy coloration allows them to blend seamlessly into their surroundings, providing an excellent defense mechanism against predators.

2. The Mount Meru Pygmy Chameleon

The Mount Meru Pygmy Chameleon, or Rhampholeon acuminatus, is another small chameleon species native to Tanzania. They grow up to 3 inches long, and their distinctive feature is their leaf-like shape, which aids them in blending with the environment.

Despite their size, they are known for their strikingly bright coloration, which varies from vibrant greens to deep browns.

3. Jackson’s Pygmy Chameleon

Jackson’s Pygmy Chameleon (Rhampholeon jacksoni) grows to be around 3 inches and is endemic to the forests of East Africa. Their remarkable camouflage abilities make them a wonder of nature, with males sporting brighter hues than the females. They are identifiable by their unique nasal protrusions, akin to tiny horns.

4. Kenyan Pygmy Chameleon

The Kenyan Pygmy Chameleon, or Rieppeleon brachyurus, is a small terrestrial species that grows to around 3 inches. They have a varied color range from green to brown, with patterns that help them imitate their surroundings. Their eyes, capable of independent movement, are a distinguishing feature.

5. Bearded Pygmy Chameleon

The Bearded Pygmy Chameleon (Rieppeleon brevicaudatus) is native to the rainforests of Tanzania. They grow up to 3.5 inches and are known for their distinctive ‘beards’—a ridge of scales beneath their chins.

Their coloration ranges from dark brown to green, with their ability to change colors being less dramatic than some other species.

Small Chameleons as Pets: Things to Consider

Small Chameleons can make wonderful pets, but it’s important to remember that they require specialized care. Their diet usually consists of small insects, and their habitats must be carefully maintained to mimic their natural environments.

A well-regulated terrarium with controlled temperature and humidity is essential. Also, due to their delicate nature, they should be handled minimally.

Additionally, many species of Small Chameleons are currently threatened due to habitat loss and the pet trade. Therefore, ensure that any pet chameleon is captive-bred rather than wild-caught.


The world of Small Chameleons is truly a fascinating one, brimming with diversity in color, shape, and behavior. Whether you’re an enthusiast, a pet owner, or someone simply captivated by the charm of these tiny creatures, understanding their unique characteristics and needs can enrich your experience with them.

Remember, their small size doesn’t make them low maintenance. These creatures require proper care and attention.

Always make sure to source your pet from reputable breeders, or better yet, consider adopting if possible. So, take a step into the tiny, colorful world of Small Chameleons and discover why these miniature marvels are a big deal in the world of herpetology.