Rhampholeon chapmanorum is a species of terrestrial pygmy chameleon in the family Chamaeleonidae, endemic to forest fragments in the Natundu Hills, Malawi. It was described by Tilbury, in 1992 from a patch of lowland seasonal rainforest in the Matandwe Forest Reserve.
This species was originally believed to be found across several inselbergs and mountains until molecular phylogenetic analysis confirmed that it was endemic to the remaining forest in Malawi, and the species from Mozambique being endemic to individual mountains.
Threats & conservationEdit
It is assessed under IUCN criterion B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii) as Critically Endangered, with the caveat 'possibly extinct'. It is threatened by the conversion of land to agricultural operations and destruction of forests for small-scale logging operations that have limited suitable habitat to two 0.6 km2 patches of forest, averaging 0.29 km2 in size. R. chapmanorum requires intact forest floors to feed, and therefore is not recorded from transformed or disturbed forests, limiting further the amount of suitable habitats available for the species. Some individuals were seen in 1998 during the last survey of the area. This species is very small, growing to 62 mm, yet only small populations could persist within these patches of forest. Although some area of forest exists 3 km north, these are not included in assessments as they have recently been cleared and disturbed. R. chapmanorum is listed on the EDGE list of Reptiles as number 49, with an EDGE score of 5.72 and ED score of 18.142.
- "Rhampholeon chapmanorum (Chapman's Pygmy Chameleon)". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 2018-11-03.old-form url
- "Chapman's Pygmy Chameleon | Rhampholeon chapmanorum". EDGE of Existence. Retrieved 2018-11-03.