Chameleons in mythology

Chameleons in mythology

General topics Newspaper articles

With its independently moving eyes, shooting tongue and ability to change colour, the chameleon was already the subject of superstition and myths in ancient times – and has remained so in many places to this day. An article now published by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Böhme and natural historian Thore Koppetsch deals with precisely this topic.

The content ranges from the so-called Brooklyn Papyrus, which described a still unexplained “colour-changing” creature of antiquity, to bizarre events involving mother’s milk and chameleons in the Gambia of our time. Probably the oldest written record of a chameleon comes from Greece, from Aristotle himself, who lived from 384 to 322 BC. The term chameleon itself probably goes back to the Greek: chamai and leon were put together to form “earth lion”. However, this interpretation of the origin of the word is not entirely undisputed. The article also deals with superstitions on the island of Samos, in Morocco, Tunisia, Togo, Benin, Cameroon and Madagascar, and the use of chameleons for pseudo-medicine and occultism.

Chamäleons in der Mythologie der Völker
Wolfgang Böhme, Thore Koppetsch
Koenigiana 17, 2023, pp. 39-50
DOI: nicht vorhanden

Keeping and breeding Parson’s Chameleons

Keeping and breeding Parson’s Chameleons

Haltungsberichte Newspaper articles

The keeping and breeding of Calumma parsonii parsonii has become quite successful in Germany in recent years. There are regular offspring and keeping is also becoming increasingly popular. In the current issue of Elaphe, the magazine of the DGHT e.V., there is a detailed report on keeping this beautiful, large chameleon species. It was written by three members of the AG Chamäleons.

They keep their animals in self-built terrariums made of aluminium profiles and Forex with a completely ventilated lid, and door as well as a full side area or in spacious winter gardens. Living plants provide sufficient cover. Both sexes are kept individually. Lighting is provided by Reptiles Expert metal halide lamps, Arcadia UV-B tubes, and HQIs. The lighting time is 10 to 12 hours in summer and winter. The enormous drinking needs of the species are satisfied by daily manual watering. In addition, feeding is rather sparse with only one adult food animal, e.g. a grasshopper, per chameleon per day (or the equivalent of several smaller food animals). A cooler winter hibernation, imitating the dry season in Madagascar, ensures a higher life expectancy and is therefore recommended by the authors.

Mating takes place in the German midsummer from July to August. The chameleons are put together for a few days until successful matings have taken place. The females are pregnant for four to six months. Between late December and early February, the female digs an elongated tube into the ground and lays 20 to 69 eggs. The incubation of the eggs takes place on perlite at 23 to 24°C. Weekly the eggs are sprinkled with distilled water. In February, a diapause is carried out at 13 to 14°C without further water supply. The young hatch after 15 to 24 months and are then raised individually. Unfortunately, the sex can only be determined at the age of 9 to 12 months.

All in all, this is a very detailed article with a lot of information for chameleon lovers who are interested in keeping this great species or are looking for one or two tips for breeding. In addition, the article discusses the distribution and habitat of the different colour varieties of Calumma parsonii parsonii on Madagascar.

Parsons-Chamäleons (Calumma parsonii parsonii) – Madagascar’s Gentle Giants
Alexandra Laube, Andreas Augustin und Thorsten Negro
Elaphe 3, 2023, pp. 12-25

Foto: Schlupf eines Parsons Chamäleons, fotografiert von Alex Laube


Panther chameleons in Madagascar

Panther chameleons in Madagascar

General topics Verbreitung Newspaper articles

In the bi-monthly magazine of the DGHT e.V., the Elaphe, a nice article on the panther chameleons of Madagascar has been published. It was written by two members of the AG Chamäleons who regularly travel to the island.

The article describes in words and pictures the distribution area of the panther chameleons on Madagascar, which extends over the northern half of the island, more precisely from a few kilometres south of the village of Ankaramibe in the northwest to the north of Madagascar and down the east coast to about 90 km south of the port city of Toamasina. The chameleons are found mainly in secondary vegetation in open landscapes, but also in cocoa plantations, overgrown gardens and rainforests.

The life cycle of the panther chameleons in Madagascar is mainly determined by the rainy season between November and March. The chameleons mate during this time. After 30 to 40 days, the females lay between 11 and 35 eggs in a nest they have dug themselves. The young hatch only in the next rainy season.

The article goes into particular detail about the different local forms, the different colour appearance of the male panther chameleons depending on the location. The authors currently count more than 30 different local forms on Madagascar, which are separated from each other by natural barriers such as rivers. There are probably many more, but not all of them have been discovered yet.

Pantherchamäleons (Furcifer pardalis) – Meister der Farben
Thorsten Negro and Alexandra Laube
Elaphe 3, 2023, pp. 12-25

Photo: Panther chameleon of the local form Ambanja on Madagascar, photographed by Thorsten Negro.