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Common Chameleon Facts

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TAXONOMY

Chamaeleo (Chamaeleo) chamaeleon Linnaeus, 1758, Europe, Middle East, Greece, northern Africa, Egypt (Sinai Peninsula), southwestern Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. Two subspecies are acknowledged.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: European chameleon, Mediterranean chameleon; French: Caméléon commun; German: Europäisches Chamäleon, Gemeines Chamäleon.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

The species attains a size of 8–15 in (200–400 mm). Females are sometimes bigger than males. Coloration varies however consists of inexperienced, yellow, grey, and brown with quite a few stripes and spots forming constant patterns on every type.

DISTRIBUTION

Ch. c. chamaeleon happens in southern Portugal, southern Spain, Canary Islands, Sicily, Malta, southern Turkey, Cyprus, Syearia, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, southern Peloponnese, Samos, Chios, Crete, western Sahara, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt. Ch. c. musae inhabits the Sinai Peninsula and Egypt. Ch. c. orientalis is present in southwestern Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

HABITAT

Owing to a large distribution, the species is present in quite a few habitat varieties at elevations up to 8,500 ft (2,600 m), together with forests, plantations, and scrub in semidesert or coastal areas, often close to a supply of water.

BEHAVIOR

This chameleon is pretty aggressive towards conspecifics.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

The frequent chameleon feeds on a variety of invertebrate and vertebrate prey, together with younger birds and reptiles, and a few vegetation.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Specimens uncovered to seasonal temperatures close to freezing expertise a dormant interval (brumation) till temperatures turn into hotter. As they return to regular exercise, males search females for mating. Unreceptive females might gape, inflate with air, and butt males. Receptive females stay passive and allow copulation. Several copulations might happen per day till the feminine adopts darkish coloration with orange markings and rejects the male’s advances. Females produce up to 60 eggs after a gestation interval of two months. Young emerge six to 11 months later, relying on weather conditions and size of diapause, a dormant interval in embryonic growth.

CONSERVATION STATUS

The species is listed on Appendix II of CITES. In Greece it's strictly protected against assortment, killing, abuse, wounding, captivity, and export by a presidential decree, and it's listed within the Greek Red Data Book of Threatened Vertebrates. Populations on Chios and Crete are believed to have been extirpated as of the late 1980s. It is included within the “European Community Habitats Directive” in Appendix IV as a precedence species, requiring institution of protected areas. The species has been proposed for an IUCN classification of Lower Risk: Conservation Dependent in Andalusia, Spain, and the European Union, with a further classification of Vulnerable within the provinces of Huelva and Cádiz, Spain, based mostly on a research carried out from 1993 to 1999. Major threats are habitat destruction and modification, highway mortality, and translocation. The conservation standing is unknown in northern Africa, the Middle East, and the Saudi Arabian Peninsula.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

The frequent chameleon was exported from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, and Morocco in restricted numbers from 1986 to 1999 for the industrial pet commerce. Life span and replica in captivity are thought-about very poor. Large numbers of specimens are collected and bought at markets in northern Africa for functions of conventional people medication and to keep at bay dangerous luck. A typical apply in Morocco is to throw stay chameleons into a hearth. Hundreds of dried chameleons are strung in teams of 30–50 utilizing stout twine and hung within the food markets in Morocco.

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