OTHER COMMON NAMES
French: Caméléon panthère; German: Pantherchamäleon; Malagasy: Amboalava, tana.
This species grows to 8–17 in (305–381 mm) in size. The coloration of grownup males can differ considerably between geographic locales, however normally it contains two or three predominant colours from the next palette: pink, purple, maroon, orange, yellow, inexperienced, turquoise, cobalt blue, brown, tan, grey, black, and white. Excited coloration could produce extra colours on varied elements of the physique that aren't apparent in a peaceful male. There is a damaged white, bluish, or cream lateral stripe midflank. Regardless of geographic locale, females are shades of reddish orange or tan marked with brown or black. Juveniles are reddish brown or grey and black at start. These shade variants usually are not thought of legitimate subspecies as of 2002, however there's anecdotal proof that interbreeding specimens from distant locales leads to sterile offspring. The snout terminates in a brief bony course of that's extra distinguished in males than females, and the chameleons possess full dorsal, ventral, and gular crests.
The species occupies roughly the northern third of Madagascar, from Toamasina on the central-eastern coast to Ambanizana within the Masoala Peninsula, Sambava on the northeastern coast, Antsiranana within the north, and Ankaramy on the northwestern coast. They additionally inhabit islets adjoining to Madagascar: Nosy Be, Nosy Komba, Nosy Tanikely, Nosy Faly, Nosy Mangabe, and Nosy Boraha. They have been launched to the island of Réunion.
The species is arboreal and primarily inhabits degraded or anthropogenic vegetation, together with forest and scrub in addition to the undisturbed edges of rainforest on Nosy Be, Nosy Mangabe, and the Masoala Peninsula.
Males are lively and extremely mobile and regularly are seen crossing roads. Females are extra sedentary and secretive. The species is just not notably aggressive towards conspecifics or people.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
The panther chameleon feeds on invertebrate and vertebrate prey typical for medium-size to massive chameleons in addition to some vegetation.
Panther chameleons lay 10–46 eggs about 45 days after copulation and might produce greater than 4 clutches of eggs yearly. The younger hatch 4 to 9 months later, relying on weather conditions. Growth is fast, and ####ual maturity happens between the ages of six and 9 months.
This species is listed on Appendix II of CITES. Before 1999 industrial commerce was unrestricted, and greater than 34,000 wildtaken specimens have been exported from Madagascar in 1998 alone, elevating considerations that native populations of distinctive shade variants could be extirpated. An annual export quota of two,000 specimens was established by CITES in 1999, to scale back commerce quantity. Conservation is just not depending on preserving pure habitat, owing to the largely profitable adaptation of this species to closely degraded habitat.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
The panther chameleon is captured extensively for the worldwide industrial pet commerce. More than 100,000 specimens have been exported between 1986 and 1999. Captive breeding packages skilled restricted success by producing a number of generations, however there have been no established industrial closed-cycle operations as of 2002 the place solely captive-born grownup animals lay eggs to present the inventory that's subsequently bought.