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.
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
1) Main image supplied by Dr M Sandrine