The 26 currently recognized species of Brookesia typically dwell and forage on the ground, often within the leaf litter on the floor of rainforest and dry deciduous forest, and climb at night to low perches in the vegetation for sleeping. They are characterized by a typically dull brown or (rarely) greenish colour, a short non-prehensile tail that is used as “fifth leg” in walking [Boistel R, Herrel A, Daghfous G, Libourel P-A, Boller E, et al. (2011)].
Most species of Brookesia have very small distribution ranges [Raselimanana AP, Rakotomalala D (2003) ], [Raxworthy CJ, Nussbaum RA (1995)]; indeed, almost 50% of the species are known from single localities [Carpenter AI, Robson O (2005)]. Within Brookesia, both species diversity and levels of endemism are highest in northern Madagascar, and are correlated with elevational and environmental heterogeneity in this area [Townsend TM, Vieites DR, Glaw F, Vences M (2009)].