Jackson’s chameleon, also known as Triceros jacksonii, is a specie of chameleons most diverse in Madagascar and also found in Europe, Africa, Comoro Islands, India and Sri Lanka (François Le Berre, 2000). They are native to humid and cool regions and inhabit abundantly at elevations above 3000m. However, in 1971, Jackson’s chameleons (Chamaleo (Triceros) jacksonii xantholophus) were inadvertently inhabited on Oahu, Hawaii, and as of today have an established existence throughout the stretch of the Hawaiian Islands.
C Jacksonii species bear easily identifiable features. Typical male Jackson’s chameleon are green and can grow up to a maximum of 10-12 inches in length whereas females are found to be of 7-8 inches on an average (Bartlett, 2001).
Their body consists of a long, prehensile tail constituting for half its length. Males generally have 3 horns protruding from their forehead while females never have horns. Jackson’s chameleons have a prominent dorsal (under) ridge with a very rugged pattern of saw-tooth shaped scales and they do not have a gular crest (Bartlett, 2001).
Although capable of making noticeable colour changes, all subspecies of the Jackson’s chameleon are found to be in shades of green. A narrow to wide, light dorsolateral line, either entire or broken into dashes is generally present. A bright green colour is displayed when the males are involved in territorial fights. The newborns possess a dark-barred tan or are light grey coloured.
Jackson’s chameleons were unarguably the first chameleons to have been successfully held captive and they make up for good pets with an average life span of above 5 years with a few living up to 10 years. Generally, the males are found to outlive the females slightly. But they need to be well taken care of when bred. They need large areas for breeding when in captivity as they are native to forests. The suitable temperature gradient is from 65-80 F with humidity levels ranging between 60-80 %( Fry, Michael).
1) Bartlett, R. D., and Patricia Bartlett. Jackson’s and Veiled Chameleons. Hauppauge, NY: Barron’s Educational Series, 2001. Print.
2) Berre, François Le, R. D. Bartlett, Patricia Bartlett, and François Le Berre. The Chameleon Handbook. Hauppauge, NY: Barron’s, 2000. Print.
3) Michael Fry. “Caring for your Jackson’s Chameleon.”
1) Main image supplied by Chicago John
2) Sub images supplied by Chicago John