Jewel chameleon FEMALE (Furcifer lateralis) commonly encountered across the island except in NW MADAGASCAR. Usually found in open scrubby lowlands, gardens and degraded habitats and within humid or dry areas. It is also found in and around the capital of Antananarivo.
A small chameleon that may reach a length of 22cm. Coloration varies from uniformly green to a beautiful mix of green, blue, yellow and red. Three dark circles and a longitudinal white line along hte flanks are visible in most individuals. Dark stripes radiate out from the eyes and males and females are similar.
There are more than 150 species world wide and over half of those are only found in Madagascar. All species on the island are Native.
Chameleons are well-known for their special adaptions: The ability to change color rapidly to either match their surroundings or to reflect their mood. They have the capacity to move their turreted eyes independently of each other which allows them to look in different directions simultaneously. They have independent 360 degree vision except when hunting they use binocular vison to estimate the distance of the prey. They capture their prey with the rapid firing of their tongue which can extend to approximately half of their body length and is ended with a kind of gluing hammer. All species found in Madagascar lay eggs (Oviparous) and do not give parental care. The calumma and furcifer group are known as true chameleons as they have a prehensile tails. They tend to be solitary except during the breeding season.
Furcifer lateralis is CITES 11 classification BUT is one of four species that may be exported from Madagascar - mainly for the international pet trade.
ENDEMIC TO MADAGASCAR