Giant Carpet Chameleon or Furcifer Major

Furcifer Major or Giant Carpet Chameleon is or was a subspecies of Furcifer lateralis (IUCN). It was recognized as a true species in 2012. It shares many traits of furcifer lateralis including the bright colors, its ability to change said colors as well as the white stripe on the side of the body. Aside from the size, it has a larger head casque (Reptile Database). Males can grow larger and live longer (2-5 years) than females.

Furcifer Major found on the island of Madagascar mostly in the arid south (iNaturalist) among its smaller cousins Furcifer lateralis lateralis. It has a very wide distribution of over 130,000 sq.km. It is one of the most flexible species in terms of habitat. They can be found anywhere at altitudes of 600 to 1200 meters above sea level where there is adequate shade and humidity and access to direct sunlight.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists Furcifer major as a species of least concern (LC) as the species population is very stable. It is one of the species very much visible in the pet trade and one of the legally exported species from the island with an annual export quota of 2000 individuals. Due to the recent reclassification, that number does not differentiate between furcifer lateralis and furcifer major.

References:
1) IUCN Redlist – http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/42696174/0
2) iNaturalist.org – http://www.inaturalist.org/projects/chameleons-of-madagascar/assessments/608-furcifer-major
3) Reptile Database – http://reptile-database.reptarium.cz/species?genus=Furcifer&species=major
4) Terrarium.pl – http://www.terrarium.pl/t/species/_/furcifer-major-r383

 

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Carpet Chameleon or Furcifer Lateralis

The carpet chameleon scientifically known as furcifer lateralis is an attractive and common chameleon species. It’s brightly colored akin to a carpet where it gets its name. It’s also known as the while-lined chameleon from the noticeable white stripe on each side of the body from head to tail. They also have several ocelli or circle patterns along the white stripe (Chameleon News). Furcifer lateralis is another example of a true chameleon because they can change color depending on their mood and environment and females can display more vibrant colors when gravid (Chameleon News). The base color for males is generally green (Animal Diversity Web). Carpet chameleons can grow from 17 to 25 centimeters in length. Carpet chameleons reach adulthood within the first three months and can live for up to three years.

This species is found on the island of Madagascar except for the northern areas (IUCN). It is one of the most flexible species in terms of habitat. They can be found anywhere at altitudes of 600 to 1200 meters above sea level where there is adequate shade and humidity and access to direct sunlight. They can be found in savannah and grassland areas in trees and shrubs. They can also be found in human habitats in people’s gardens so long as the conditions are right (Animal Diversity Web).

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists furcifer lateralis as a species of least concern (LC) as the species population is very stable. It is one of the species very much visible in the pet trade and one of the legally exported species from the island. Species from the wild however have a higher mortality rate from ones that are bred in captivity.

 

References:
1) Chameleons Online – http://www.chameleonnews.com/06MayStanford.html
2) Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carpet_chameleon
3) Animal Diversity Web – http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Furcifer_lateralis/
4) IUCN Redlist – http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/42696174/0

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