The Mayotte Chameleon or Furcifer Polleni


The Mayotte Chameleon, aptly named for its abundance on Mayotte Island of the Comorros, West of Madagascar, is one of the more versatile species of chameleons. An introduced species, it firmly established itself on the island and can live in most environments (Wikipedia). Its scientific name is Furcifer Polleni after naturalist Francois P.L. Pollen (1842-1886). There is not much information to describe this species other than that it reaches up to 20 cm in length and by photographs appear to have a prehensile tail. It has varying shades of light to dark green, a white band along the flanks, a rather small casque and a small rostral appendage, and a small dorsal crest made of tubercules.

As mentioned, it is abundant on the island of Mayotte of the Comorros and is found in most environments such as forests, woodlands, plantations, arid lands, and even in urban areas. They are found up to an altitude of 459 meters. This species was also introduced on the island of Anjouan (IUCN Redlist). Its range is the entire island of Mayotte covering an area of 376.5 square kilometers.

Furcifer Polleni’s abundance and versatility has earned it the status of least concern in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN Redlist). It is protected by law on the island of Mayotte (Wikipedia) but there is little information of it being exported (IUCN Redlist).

References:

IUCN Redlist – http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/199758/0
Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mayotte_chameleon
Reptile database – http://reptile-database.reptarium.cz/species?genus=Furcifer&species=polleni
iNaturalist – http://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/33006-Furcifer-polleni

 

Images:

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Warty Chameleon Furcifer Verrucosus

The Warty Chameleon or Furcifer Verrucosus


The Warty Chameleon, scientifically known as Furcifer Verrucosus is an abundant and rather distinctive chameleon species. It is also among the larger species of chameleons with males reaching lengths of up to 22 inches. It’s also called the Giant Spiny Chameleon despite the smaller females reaching only up to 8 inches. There are two subspecies for Furcifer Verrucosus which are Furcifer V. Verrucosus and Furcifer V. Semicristasus. This species has a close resemblance to the Malagasy Giant Chameleon or Furcifer Oustaleti.

It has a large raised casque and a small crest from the snout up to between its eyes (Wikipedia). It also has a pronounced spiny crest along its back and low crests along its sides, throat and belly. This species primary colors are either brown or gray with dark blotches. It also has a white band along the side of its body up to the tip of the mouth.

This species is found in abundance across Southern and Western Madagascar (IUCN Redlist) even in degraded habitats and human populated areas at lower than 120 meters above sea level. This terrestrial species actually favors arid disturbed land.

It has a large range of over 211,000 square kilometers with over 60 individuals per hectare. This high population earns this species a status of least concern. This status also allows an annual export quota of 2000 animals for the pet trade.

 

References:

1) Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Furcifer_verrucosus
2) Encyclopedia of life – http://eol.org/pages/795473/details
3) ARKIVE – http://www.arkive.org/warty-chameleon/furcifer-verrucosus/factsheet

 

Images:

1) Main image supplied by Dr M Sandrine

 

Petter’s Chameleon or Furcifer Petteri


Petter’s Chameleon, scientifically known as Furcifer Petteri is a medium sized chameleon that can grow between 16 to 18 centimeters (Wikipedia). Its primary color is a dark shade of green with lateral white stripes on the sides of its body. It also has rostral appendages and white lips as part of its distinguishing features. It was previously classified as the subspecies Chameleo Willsii Peterri in 1966 but has earned a status as a separate species in 1994.

This species is found at the northern tip of Madagascar at the Ankarana Reserve and in fragmented populations in Montague des Francais, Antsolipa Forest and Shahfary Forest. Some have also been found at the Lokobe Reserve in the Western island of Nosy Be (Herpetology Notes Volume 7). This arboreal species has a range of only 11,000 square kilometers or 4,200 square miles. It can be found in dry humid forests from 120 meters to 850 meters above sea level (IUCN Redlist).

Its limited range, fragmented population and gradually declining habitat has earned it a vulnerable status in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN Redlist). Its vulnerability is due to its intolerance of its limited range, fragmented populations and continued human encroachment to its habitat. Exports f this species is banned due to its status.

References:
1) Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petter%27s_chameleon
2) IUCN Redlist – http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/172950/0
3) Herpetology Notes Volume 7 – http://www.herpetologynotes.seh-herpetology.org/Volume7_PDFs/Roberts_HerpetologyNotes_volume7_pp149-151.pdf

 

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Ambiky Chameleon or Furcifer Tuzetae

Ambiky Chameleon or Furcifer Tuzetae

Not much is known about Furcifer Tuzetae otherwise known as the Ambiky Chameleon. It is named after Biologist Odette Tuzet (1906-1976) of the University of Paris Laboratory in the Mediterranean (Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles). It’s listed in the IUCN Redlist as data deficient as there has only been one collected specimen (Wikipedia). The specimen was captured at Andrenalamivola in southwestern Madagascar in an arboreal setting and is assumed to live in large trees along the Mangoky River (Encyclopedia of Life).  Since only one specimen has been collected, there is insufficient data as to the extent of the population and is thus presumed to be very rare and in decline. There is no record of trade for this species and any trade will automatically be controlled under CITES Appendix II.

References:

1) IUCN Redlist – http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/176320/0
2) Encyclopedia of Life – http://eol.org/pages/795472/overview
3) Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Furcifer_tuzetae
4) Reptile Database – http://reptile-database.reptarium.cz/species?genus=Furcifer&species=tuzetae
5) 
Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles – https://books.google.com.ph/books?

 

Images:

Main image supplied by Caroline Ward

 

Rhinoceros Chameleon Furcifer Rhinoceratus

Rhinoceros Chameleon or Furcifer Rhinoceratus


The Rhinoceros Chameleon, scientifically named Furcifer Rhinoceratus is one of the most distinctive of the genus furcifer. It’s named for its prominent scaly horn-like nose (Wikipedia). Both male and female have this feature except it’s more prominent in males (Arkive). It has a small casque and some small spines along the throat and chin. Both male and female also has a spiny dorsal crest. The males can be grey or brown in color with dark brown or black stripes. There is also a white line along the sides of its body. When gravid, the females turn a beautiful neon purple color (Arkive). Males of this species can grow up to 27 cm, while females are much smaller at 12 cm.

Rhinoceros Chameleon Furcifer Rhinoceratus 1This species is endemic to Madagascar and can be found along the West to southwest parts of the island (IUCN). It had an estimated range of over 13,700 kilometers. This terrestrial species can be found in dry forests but is unknown to survive in degraded habitats.

Despite its large range, human encroachment and its fragmented population has earned it a vulnerable status in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Redlist. It is also listed in CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) Appendix II making trade of Furcifer Rhinoceratus controlled (Arkive).

References:

1) Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhinoceros_chameleon
2) Arkive.Org – http://www.arkive.org/rhinoceros-chameleon/furcifer-rhinoceratus/
3) IUCN Redlist – http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/172758/0

Images:

Main image supplied by Dr M Sandrine
Sub image supplied by Dr M Sandrine

 

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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Comoro Island Dwarf, Dwarf Panther Chameleon or Furcifer cephalolepis

Comoro Island Dwarf, Dwarf Panther Chameleon or Furcifer Cephalolepis is a small somewhat ordinary-looking chameleon. It can grow up to sixteen centimeters, half of its length taken up by the curved tail. It has a rich, bright green hue with a white lateral stripe on the sides of its body (Chameleons.com). They can also appear in shades of yellow and dark green. It has gular, ventral and dorsal crests made up of small granular protrusions.

The species can be found in Grand Comore Island of the Comoros Islands in the Indian Ocean East of Africa. Its potential range is the whole of Grand Comore which is 442 square miles. It can be found in shrubs and bushes in humid areas around the island coasts, in forests and even near towns (Wikipedia)

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Furcifer Cephalolepis as LC or a species of least concern in its Red List, as the species is abundant in the Comoros Islands and has a healthy pet trade.  More than 8,000 specimens have been exported between 2004 and 2008 (Wikipedia).

References:

1) Chameleons.com – http://translate.google.com.ph/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=http://www.chamaeleons.com/index.php%3Fpage%3DCustom%26pageID%3D71&prev=search
2) CITES – www.cites.org/eng/com/ac/22/E22-10-2-A7.pdf
3) Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Furcifer_cephalolepis
4) IUCN Red List – http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/176319/0

 

Images:

1) Awaiting images

Jeweled Chameleon or Furcifer Campani


The Jeweled Chameleon, scientifically known as Furcifer Campani is one of the more attractive chameleon species. It’s a brightly colored species with a pale to dark green base color. Three light brown lateral stripes run along its body and its skin is dotted light blue all over. It has a dorsal crest made up of small protruding granules. Its English moniker is based on the bright red spots or jewels on its head while its scientific name is in honor of a French Madagascar resident Dominique Campan. Its genus Furcifer means forked feet. Furcifer Campani is a medium-sized chameleon which grows up to fourteen centimeters in length (Wikipedia).

This species is found in the central mountainous region of Madagascar along with other chameleon species. It lives in grassy savannahs high up the mountains from 6000 to 7500 feet above sea level and has a range of over 14,500 square kilometers from Ankaratra volcano to Andringitra National Park which is vast for most chameleon species. It’s a ground-based species and is often found is shrubs, heathland, mountain grass and sometimes in trees.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists the Jeweled Chameleon as a vulnerable species in its Red List. Its vulnerability stems from human encroachment of its habitat through hack, slash and burn agriculture. Its collection is banned (Arkive) but there are still specimens in captivity for sale bred from earlier captures.

 

References:
1) Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewelled_chameleon
2) IUCN Redlist – http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/8764/0
3) Arkive.Org – http://www.arkive.org/jeweled-chameleon/furcifer-campani/

 

Images:

1) Awaiting images

Panther chameleon

Panther Chameleon – Furcifer Pardalis

The Panther Chameleon whose scientific name is Furcifer Pardalis is a large species of chameleon commonly found in Northern and Eastern Madagascar (Tropical Zoology 18 Georges Cuvier) as well as Mauritius and Reunion islands. Panther Chameleons can grow up to 20 inches in length, 17 on average for males but females are smaller about half the size of the males. They are becoming more and more common as pets these days. However, like most chameleons Panther Chameleons have certain requirements (Chameleon Paradise).



Panther ChameleonPanther chameleons are recognisable for their distinctive spotted markings thus the name. Their scientific name however actually means forked (furcifer) and spotted (pardalis). Forked refers to their feet while spotted refers to their markings.

Their actual colorations depend on the area or locales where they’re found (Lizards: A Natural History of Some Uncommon Creatures p.71). They’re mostly red when found in Antsiranana, Sambava, Maroantsetra and Tamatave while they’re mostly blue at Nosy Be, Ankify, and Ambanja (The Panther chameleon: colour variation, natural history, conservation, and captive management).  The Panther Chameleons range of colouring’s is truly amazing and this obviously makes it one of the most popular chameleons on the planet to keep in captivity.

 

References:

1) Tropical Zoology  
2) Chameleon Paradise 
3) Lizards: A Natural History of Some Uncommon Creatures p.71 ISBN 978-0-7603-2579-7.
4)The Panther chameleon: colour variation, natural history, conservation, and captive management.
Krieger Publishing Company. pp. 54, 62–63. ISBN 978-1-57524-194-4.

Images:                  

1) Main image supplied by Dan (CowYeow)
2) Sub images supplied by Roger Sargent