Furcifer minor
Scientific name Common name(s) alternate scientific names described by year size brood

Furcifer minor

Lesser Chameleon Chamaeleon minor, Chamaeleo minor
see a species list of Furcifer
Gunther 1879 Medium Eggs

Furcifer minor inhabits the cooler rain forests and dry forests on the southern slopes of the central Madagascar plateau. In addition, it has been exceedingly successful in colonizing the coffee and cacao plantation to the point that it is now more abundant in these newer habitats (Pronk, personal communication). Males reach a total length of 12 inches. Females are considerably smaller, typically growing to only 6 inches. They are reportedly docile toward keepers but moderately aggressive toward conspecifics.

Males have prominent nasal protuberances. Both sexes exhibit brown and tan banding, often with a pink or orange tint. There is a small vertebral crest. Two light spots with dark outlines adorn the sides of the chest region. Gravid females may develop spectacular colors of alternating black and yellow bands with yellow specks highlighting the black. The lateral thoracic spots may be purple or violet. Intense vermilion sets off the lower jaw and top of the head. Babies are green. Males may be recognized by the more prominent rostral protuberances that appear by two weeks post-hatching.

Four to 16 eggs are laid in a single clutch and as many as 3 clutches may be laid per year. Sexual maturity is typically reached at about 5 months.

Contributed by E. Pollak

Klaver, C. & W. Boehme. 1997. Chamaeleonidae. Das Tierreich, 112: i-xiv' 1 - 85. Verlag Walter de Gruyter & Co., Berlin, New York.
Martin, J., 1992. Masters of Disguise: A Natural History of Chameleons. Facts On File, Inc., New York, NY.
Necas, P. 1999. Chameleons: Nature's Hidden Jewels. Krieger Publishing Company, Malabar, FL.

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