Rhampholeon hattinghi is one of many pygmy chameleons found in East Africa. These chameleons diverged from all reptiles more than 40 million years ago.
This chameleon grows to just 5.6 cm in length, and has prominent white spots on each side of its short, broad tail. It is a closed-canopy forest specialist that cannot tolerate habitat degradation and destruction.
At present only 1.25 km2 of highly fragmented forest remains. This represents a 50% reduction of the forest in less than a decade, which is a major threat to this species.
It has been assumed that this loss in forest had led to a loss of around half of the population of Rhampholeon hattinghi. The conversion of the habitats is primarily for local subsistence agriculture and resource extraction.
The rapid loss of forest on Mount Nwaza could very easily lead to the extinction of this chameleon. There are no undergoing conservation projects to safeguard this species nor their habitat.
- Order: Squamata
- Family: Chamaeleonidae
- Population: Unknown
- Trend: decreasing
- Size: 5.6cm (?)
The species is found on Mount Nzawa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Habitat and Ecology
This species lives in closed canopy Afrotemperate montane forest. It forages among leaf litter and perches on low branches at night.