Presentation in Dortmund about Socotra (Yemen)

Presentation in Dortmund about Socotra (Yemen)

Live lectures

On Friday, 7 June 2024, the ‘AG veteran’ Wolfgang Schmidt will give an illustrated lecture on Socotra in Bergkamen near Dortmund. He will report on a trip to the island in the Indian Ocean. Socotra officially belongs to Yemen, but has been ruled by the United Arab Emirates since 2018. The island is also known as the ‘Galapagos of the Indian Ocean’ because its centuries of isolation as an island have allowed a unique flora and fauna to develop. Over a third of the plant species found there are endemic, and the number of amphibians and reptiles is likely to be even higher. Between dragon trees and the largest coastal dunes in the world, there are many exciting herpetological observations, including chameleons.

Wolfgang Schmidt Socotra [German!]
DGHT City Group Dortmund
Restaurant Olympia
Im Alten Dorf 2
59192 Bergkamen

Lecture starts at 7.30 pm

The Arabian Chameleon in Abyan (Yemen)

The Arabian Chameleon in Abyan (Yemen)

Verbreitung Science

The majority of overview studies on the occurrence of reptiles in Yemen date back to the 1990s. More recent research is mainly based on areas close to cities, but less on more remote regions. Two biologists from the Universities of Aden and Abyan have recently published a survey on the occurrence of reptiles in Abyan.

The Abyan governorate is located in the south of Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula. It borders the Gulf of Aden to the south and the governorates of Aden, Lahji, Al Bayda, and Shabwa to the west, north and east. 44 areas in Abyan were surveyed within a whole year. Reptiles were caught by hand and some were merely documented, while others were killed and preserved. A total of 202 animals were examined.

A total of 24 different reptile species were found. Chamaeleo arabicus was found in the districts of Lawdar, Zinjibar, Khanfir and Jayshan. Of the 23 finds, most were made in western Khanfir, not far from the town of Zinjibar. Two chameleons were found in northern Lawdar and only one in southern Jayshan. The authors point out that the chameleons are mainly found in cultivated landscapes.

Distribution of lizards in Abyan Governorate, Yemen
Salem M. Busais, Wafa A. Abo-Alib, Hasan M. Alrahowi
Electronic Journal of University of Aden for Basic and Applied Sciences 4 (1), 2023
DOI: 10.47372/ejua-ba.2023.1.220

Comparisons on limbs of Hadramaut agama and Veiled Chameleon

Comparisons on limbs of Hadramaut agama and Veiled Chameleon


A Yemeni biologist at Al Saeed University recently took measurements on two different reptile species to compare their forelimbs and hindlimbs structurally and functionally. Both the Hadramaut Agama (Acantocercus adramitanus) and the Veiled Chameleon (Chamaeleo calyptratus) occur in the same habitats in Yemen, but they inhabit different microhabitats and move differently. While the agama lives mainly on the ground and in low bushes, the Veiled Chameleon is a pure tree dweller.

For the study, 10 specimens of each species were taken from the wild in Taiz. The head-torso length of the agamas ranged from 52 to 125 mm, and that of the chameleons from 90 to 200 mm. The animals were killed and the limbs were removed, stained, and then measured.

The structure of the limbs was basically the same in both species, but the hands and feet were clearly different. The Hadramaut Agama has five carpal bones, whereas, in the Veiled Chameleon, the distal carpal bones 2,3, and 4 are fused. Both species lack distal tarsal bones 2 and 5. The Veiled Chameleon lacks the sesamoid ossicles, which are variable in the agama. As expected, the long bones of the Veiled Chameleons were almost equally long on the forelimbs and hindlimbs, while in the agamas the forelimbs were significantly shorter than the hindlimbs. Overall, all long tubular bones were longer in the chameleon than in the Hadramaut Agama.

The skeletal characteristics of limb of two endemic lizard species (Acantocercus adramitanus and Chamaeleo calyptratus) in Yemen
Yaser H.A. Obady
Al-Saeed University Journal of Humanities and Applied Sciences 06 (1) 2023: pp. 188-210
DOI: 10.17161/randa.v30i1.18614