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Le caméléon panthère (<em>Furcifer pardalis<em>)  © A. Chatras

The panther chameleon

The panther chameleon is a lizard from the Chamaeleonidae family which lives in the forests and coastal plains of Madagascar.

Profile

Class, order and family :
Reptilia, Squamata, Chamaeleonidae
Life span :
up to 3 - 5 years in captivity
Size & Weight :
20 - 35 cm for females and 40 - 55 cm for males, around 80 g for females and 160 g for males
Incubation period :
7 - 9 months, 10 - 45 eggs
Natural habitat :
open forests, coastal plains
Diet :
insectivore
Native region :
Madagascar
Statut UICN : 

Least Concern (LC)

Lifestyle

Contrary to popular belief, when chameleons change colour, it often has little to do with their surroundings. It uses its colours more as a means of visual communication than a camouflaging technique.
The changes in colour are, in fact, mostly connected with the chameleon’s emotional state, and as a result are controlled by hormones: they signal a state of stress or calm and are used in courtship.

Distinctive features

With the panther chameleon, the colour distinguishes the male from the female as well as indicating its geographical origin.