Brookesia therezieni

CITES quotas
2011-13 each 100 specimens, 2014-23 each 500 specimens for legal export


First description:IUCN Red List: least concern

Brygoo & Domergue, 1970

Origin of the species name:

Édouard-Raoul Brygoo (later working at the Natural History Museum in Paris, France) and Charles Antoine Domergue of the then Institut Pasteur in Antananarivo, Madagascar, named the species after the biologist Yves Thérézien. Jean Thiel had brought animals of the species from Andasibe to Institut Pasteur in Antananarivo for scientific research in 1967, but another leaf chameleon was already named after him. Thérézien later worked at the Natural History Museum in Paris, France, where Brygoo and Domergue later worked as well. He was mainly concerned with freshwater algae and fish and worked in various institutes on Madagascar from 1958 to 1966.

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Brookesia therezieni

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Vohimana: -18.927397, 48.489876
Anosibe An\'Ala: -19.438100, 48.206100
Anjanaharibe-Sud: -14.713791, 49.461823
Imerimandroso: -17.427900, 48.592300
Mantadia: -18.821817, 48.477173
Marojejy: -14.447979, 49.671936
Vohidrazana: -18.981948, 48.514595
Andasibe: -18.936490, 48.432884
Tampolo: -15.736745, 49.967194
Ranomafana: -21.224102, 47.440338


This small chameleon species is distributed in Madagascar’s eastern rainforests around Andasibe-Mantadia national park. We have found it successfully yet in the middle of the Vohimana reserve. Like all other leaf chameleons, the individuals of this species live in the forest litter, well hidden beneath the foliage or on small branches just above the soil.

Appearance & size:

This is a rather large leaf chameleon with a total length of 90 mm in males. Females reach a maximum of 68 mm. The ground colors of Brookesia therezieni are brown to beige, in general, they look similar to Brookesia superciliaris, but have a more heterogenous scalation. They also have a strong bone appendage above the eye and a point-like tubercle on the chin. To each side, there runs a series of ten or eleven spines that are – in contrast to B. superciliaris – continued on the tail. Some individuals have brighter areas on the belly.


Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average temperature 23 24 23 23 22 19 19 19 20 21 22 23
Minimum temperature20 20 20 19 18 15 15 15 15 16 18 19
Maximum temperature 27 27 27 27 25 23 23 23 24 25 26 27
Rain days 27 24 26 19 17 18 21 20 15 16 20 25

We have collected the data given above over several years with thermometers and hygrometers at the finding places of the chameleons. "Average temperature" means that values of a whole month have been calculated to one average value per month. For example all measured minimum temperature values of February have been calculated to one average minimum temperature for February. In plain language, this means single peak values of a day may be a little higher or lower than the average minimum and maximum temperatures. It is possible that a location has an average maximum temperature of 29°C, but one day during that month it had 33°C or even 35°C there.

Three examples of a daily course of temperatures in Andasibe in the rainy season can be found below. Both were recorded with data loggers in 2023.

2023 Temperaturen in Andasibe 2023 Temperaturen in Andasibe 2023 Temperaturen in Andasibe

The region around Andasibe with the associated forests of Mantadia, Mitsinjo and Analamazaotra lie in the eastern highlands of Madagascar at altitudes between 900 and 1250 m above sea level. During the day, the temperature may sometimes exceed 25°C, but the thermometer rarely climbs above 30°C, or only in sunspots. At night, temperatures plummet, especially during the dry season. 10° to 15° degrees are the rule.

Humidity in the rainforests around Andasibe is high all year round. During the rainy season it rains extensively every day, sometimes the rain lasts for days. But the dry season is not massively different either, except that it has slightly cooler temperatures overall and reaches lower temperatures at night. It still rains at least every other day. Rain, high humidity and a drop in temperature at night are therefore the central points of Andasibe's climate. In 2023, we measured relative humidity with data loggers on different days in Andasibe in the rainy season, the data can be found below.

2023 Luftfeuchtigkeit in Andasibe 2023 Luftfeuchtigkeit in Andasibe 2023 Luftfeuchtigkeit in Andasibe
2014 UVI Andasibe 2016 UVI Andasibe Tageszeit = day time, Sonne = sun, Halbschatten = half shade, Schatten = shade

We have measured UVB data with a Solarmeter 6.5 in spring (March, April) at the peak of activity of chameleons in Madagascar. We always measured the values that a chameleon could maximally reach in its habitat.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Morning 23,2 23,4 22,0 22,1 20,5 16,0 16,3 16,5 17,4 16,7 21,2 -
Midday 25,4 25,3 24,5 22,5 20,2 16,5 16,3 17,7 18,3 18,0 21,4 -
Evening 25,5 25,1 25,0 25,3 20,8 17,2 16,1 17,0 19,6 23,0 22,0 -

Between 21 March 2018 and 05 February 2019, we measured ground temperatures in the rainforest of Andasibe and surrounding areas (Analamazaotra, Andasibe, V.O.I.M.M.A. and Mitsinjo) about every other day - the table is the result of these measurements. Only in December no measurements were taken. detailed review can be found here. In total, we took 418 soil temperature measurements and measured an estimated 70 different locations in Andasibe and the surrounding area at a depth of 20 cm.

In 2023, in addition to other climate data, we also measured the air pressure at the locations we visited in Madagascar. The following data is from different days during the rainy season in Andasibe. On the X-axis is the time of day or night. In Madagascar, the day begins around 6 am, and night falls at 6 pm. The Y-axis shows the atmospheric pressure in hPa.

2023 Luftdruck in Andasibe 2023 Luftdruck in Andasibe 2023 Luftdruck in Andasibe


The following pictures show the habitat of Brookesia therezieni during the rainy season in Andasibe and Vohimana. The habitat is always moist with rich undergrowth, moss, ferns and lots of small bushes and plants. This species occurs only inside rainforests and avoid any secondary vegetation.

Below you will find some 360° images from Analamazaotra. With the mouse, you can rotate in all directions. If you click on the Theta logo, the images will open in an enlarged view in a separate window. There is also the possibility to run the pictures in full-screen mode. Have fun watching!

Regenwald im Nationalpark Andasibe-Mantadia, Region Alaotra-Mangoro, Madagaskar, April 2018 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA


Regenwald im Nationalpark Andasibe-Mantadia, Region Alaotra-Mangoro, Madagaskar, April 2018 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

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