The largest chameleon

The largest chameleon

Internationaler Chamäleontag

The largest chameleon in the world – well, actually several species are fighting for the title. There are three contenders: the Meller’s chameleon (Trioceros melleri) from mainland Africa, the Parson’s Chameleon (Calumma parsonii parsonii) from Madagascar and the Madagascar giant chameleon (Furcifer oustaleti).

The Meller’s chameleon is found in the mountains of Tanzania, northern Mozambique and Malawi. The main distribution area is known to be Mount Zomba. The largest chameleon of this species measured to date is said to have measured 76 cm from the tip of its nose to the tip of its tail and weighed 600 g. The Parson’s chameleon, on the other hand, is found in various places on the central and southern east coast of Madagascar. Here, the largest chameleon measured so far is said to have been 72 cm long, but there are even measurements of over 700 g in weight. The Parson’s Chameleon is therefore definitely heavier, and the size of some animals comes close to that of the Meller’s chameleon. That leaves the Madagascar Giant Chameleon. It reaches almost 70 cm and, despite its sometimes impressive size, it almost always weighs less than 500 g. So despite its name, it will probably have to make do with third place.

#show your colours #internationalchameleonday #chameleonday #chameleondayMay9 #agchamaeleons

Trioceros melleri
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International, photographed by John Lyakurwa
Calumma parsonii parsonii, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International, photographed by von Jialiang Gao
Furcifer oustaleti, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International, photographed by Sharp Photography

Chamaeleo chamaeleon in Turkey

Chamaeleo chamaeleon in Turkey


The European chameleon Chamaeleo chamaeleon inhabits a range that extends from North Africa through southern Portugal and Spain as well as Cyprus and Malta to Lebanon, Syria and Turkey. So far, however, very little is known about the populations in Turkey.

Turkish biologists have recently undertaken the first small study to change this state. They examined 29 European chameleons for their snout-vent-length and, using skeletochronology, for their age. 15 of them were males, 14 females. The animals studied were museum specimens from Dokuz Eylül University. They were collected in the surroundings of the Akyatan lagoon at earlier times. Akyatan is located in the south of Turkey directly on the Mediterranean Sea, about 200 km from the Syrian border. The nearest major Turkish cities are Mersin and Adana.

The average head-torso length of Chamaeleo chamaeleon from Akyatan was 85.34 mm, with females slightly larger than males. The smallest chamaeleon measured 59.71 mm, and the largest 106.84 mm. Thus, the studied population in Akyatan seems to be possibly somewhat smaller than the comparative populations in Spain and Egypt. However, the numbers of animals examined are too small to be able to make reliable statements about this. The age of the animals was between two and four years. The males reached sexual maturity after the first hibernation, while the females did not reach sexual maturity until the second year of life.

Age and body size of the Mediterranean Chameleon, Chamaeleo chamaeleon (Linnaeus 1758) (Lacertilia: Chamaeleonidae) specimens collected from Adana, Türkiye
Elif Yildirim, Nurettin Beşer, Can Yilmaz, Kamil Candan, Yusuf Kumlutaş, Çetin Ilgaz, Elnaz Najafi Majd
Commagene Journal of Biology
DOI: 10.31594/commagene.1104020