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Roost site characteristics of sympatric dwarf chameleons (genus Brookesia) from western Madagascar

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image of Amphibia-Reptilia

Madagascar's Brookesia dwarf chameleons are believed to require relatively intact forest for survival. Although they have featured in herpetological surveys, taxonomic reviews and trade assessments, very little is known about their microhabitat requirements or ecology. Over a 5 night period in a deciduous forest in western Madagascar we recorded the night roosting sites for three sympatric Brookesia species. We calculated the area and distance between successive night roost locations and described the characteristics of each roost. Distance between roosts and the area used were larger for B. brygooi and B. perarmata than B. exarmata. The distance between roosts was significantly greater for male than female B. brygooi and B. perarmata. Roost sites were generally in low vegetation (<0.75 m) with the animals located on stems or leaves. Roost height differed significantly between the species, with B. brygooi using the highest perches and B. exarmata the lowest.

Affiliations: 1: Madagasikara Voakajy, B.P. 5181, Antananarivo (101), Madagascar; 2: Madagasikara Voakajy, B.P. 5181, Antananarivo (101), Madagascar, Département de Biologie Animale, Université d'Antananarivo, B.P. 906, Antananarivo, Madagascar; 3: Département des Sciences Biologiques, Faculté des Sciences, Université de Toliara, Toliara (601), Madagascar; 4: Département de Biologie Animale, Université d'Antananarivo, B.P. 906, Antananarivo, Madagascar; 5: Madagasikara Voakajy, B.P. 5181, Antananarivo (101), Madagascar, School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, AB24 2TZ,, Email:


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