Fast Living Labord’s Chameleon
The shortest full-life of any vertebrate in the world is five months. That distinction belongs to Furcifer Labordi also known as Labord’s chameleon. It’s also one of the few true chameleon species that are able to change their body colour. The eggs hatch during the wet season in November. The babies feed voraciously and grow rapidly until they reach adulthood by January. They are sexually dimorphic meaning their appearance differ on gender. They breed until late February until they lay their eggs by March until the whole population dies off (Wikipedia). The population consists of only eggs during the dry season (BBC).
Furcifer Labordi is quite colorful and attractive in both males and females especially during their mating season. The body is compressed covered with beautiful colorings. The body is generally green with colorful red, violet and blue patterns for males while females are more colorful. The casque is not protruding but bony and they have a small protrusion on their nostrils as well as red stripes on the throat. The males can grow up to 308 mm while the females can only grow up to 177 mm (Arkive).
The species can be found in Madagascar to the west (Menabe forest) and southwest regions (Mikea forests) as well as Katsepy and Soalala and Parc National de Kirindy Mitea (IUCN Red List). Unlike other species, it lives in low-lying areas about 20 to 100 meters above sea level.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists the Furcifer labordi as a vulnerable species in its Red List despite its wide range of over 16,000 square kilometers. Its vulnerability stems from human encroachment of its habitat. Its collection is banned by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) (Arkive) but there are still specimens in captivity for sale bred from earlier captures.
1) Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labord%27s_chameleon
2) IUCN Redlist – http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/8765/0
3) Arkive – http://www.arkive.org/labords-chameleon/furcifer-labordi/
4) BBC – http://news.bbc.co.uk/earth/hi/earth_news/newsid_9398000/9398679.stm