Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

Active during the day, the crested chameleon commences foraging in the early morning, becoming increasingly energetic as the temperature rises (4). It moves slowly and stealthily along branches, aided by its specially adapted feet, the toes of which are fused into two opposing pads, providing a pincer-like grip. Once prey has been sighted it is caught by means of the crested chameleon's remarkable, extensile tongue. The contraction of special muscles within the tongue rapidly propels it towards the prey, which is snared by a combination of the tongue's sticky mucous coating and a vacuum created by muscles in the tip (5). While the crested chameleon mainly feeds on insects such as locusts and grasshoppers, it has also been recorded catching a young frog. During the hottest part of the day, this species rests in the shade where it conceals itself from predators behind broad leaves. It recommences hunting from late afternoon until dusk, before spending the night resting amongst vegetation close to ground level (4). The breeding season occurs from July to September in the period between the end of the wet season and the beginning of the dry season. Males establish territories where they mate with receptive females and which they defend from rival males (5). After mating, the female lays a clutch of between 11 and 14 eggs (4), but clutches of as many as 16 to 37 have been reported among captive bred specimens (2).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Description

With a high, fanlike crest running along the top of its body, the crested chameleon is one of the most easily recognisable chameleon species. Although the female is the larger of the sexes, the male's crest is significantly taller and more pronounced. The crested chameleon's head extends, at the rear, into a bony prominence called a “casque”, formed from ridges that run along either side of the head. In the male, these ridges are outlined with vibrant blue scales, which brighten during territorial displays. Like other chameleon species, the crested chameleon has the remarkable ability to change the colour of its body. Females generally adopt greenish hues, while males most commonly appear grey, brown or tan, but both sexes can assume a range of colours, even becoming maroon (2). Unlike chameleon species which live high in the trees and have long, prehensile tails to aid climbing, the crested chameleon occupies the forest undergrowth and has a particularly short tail relative to its body length (3)
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Distribution

Range Description

This species is distributed in west and central Africa from Nigeria eastwards into the Congo basin. This species is reported to be uncommon in at least the Cameroon and Nigerian portion of its range (Gonwou 2002, Akani et al. 2001). It is found between an altitude of 10 and 900 m above sea level and its extent of occurrence is in excess of 1 million km2.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 1 person

Average rating: 4.0 of 5

Continent: Africa
Distribution: Bioko = Fernando Po, Equatorial Guinea (Mbini), Cameroon,  Central African Republic, Congo, Gabon, Nigeria, Ghana, Togo  
Type locality: Gaboon.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Peter Uetz

Source: The Reptile Database

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Range

The crested chameleon is found in many of the countries bordering the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa. Its range extends from Nigeria eastwards through Cameroon to the Central African Republic and southwards through Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. This species may also occur in Ghana and Togo (1).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species is found in farmland, forest, disturbed forest and secondary forest (M. LeBreton pers. comm.), and in the savanna-forest mosaics (Chirio and LeBreton 2007).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Although the crested chameleon may be found at a range of altitudes from lowland to mountainous regions it, nevertheless, has quite specific habitat requirements. It is restricted to dense forest undergrowth, and is most commonly found in low-growing shrubs, and occasionally on the ground, where the conditions are extremely humid and shady (4).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2013

Assessor/s
LeBreton, M., Carpenter, A.I. & Luiselli, L.

Reviewer/s
Bhm, M., Collen, B., Ram, M. & Tolley, K.

Contributor/s
De Silva, R., Milligan, H.T., Wearn, O.R., Wren, S., Zamin, T., Sears, J., Wilson, P., Lewis, S., Lintott, P. & Powney, G.

Justification
Trioceros cristatus is widely distributed and despite the ongoing loss and degradation of its habitat, it is unlikely to be undergoing significant declines in all of its range. Therefore it has been assessed as Least Concern. However, its population may also decline locally as a result of exploitation for the pet trade, so that more research into harvest levels is required as a threat category may be triggered in the future if trade in this species increases.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Status

Listed on Appendix II of CITES (1).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Population

Population
There is no population information available for this species.

Population Trend
Unknown
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Threats

Major Threats
This species is thought to be resilient to the effects of habitat loss and degradation unless these threats are both acute and extensive. Logging has been blamed for the possible disappearance of the species from one location in Nigeria (Akani et al. 2001). However, limited local forest disturbance, such as smallholder rotating slash and burn agriculture, may even benefit this species; this creates mosaic habitats in which the species is often found, such as open forest and farm bush (M. LeBreton pers. comm. 2008). Other agricultural methods, however, such as industrial monoculture farming (e.g., for banana or palm oil) would cause habitat loss.

Additionally, this species is collected for the international pet trade industry, and approximately 3,000 live individuals were exported from countries within the species' range between 2005 and 2008 (UNEP-WCMC 2010).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Although not currently listed on the IUCN Red List, the crested chameleon is threatened by the high levels of deforestation occurring in many parts of its range. In southern Nigeria, intensive logging of the forest and burning of the bush for agricultural purposes has been shown to completely destroy local crested chameleon populations (4). In addition, this species is also collected for trade and to be used in traditional medicines (4) (6).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species is listed on CITES Appendix II and the distribution of this species falls within a number of protected areas. Further research is required to understand why this species is uncommon in the Cameroon and Nigerian portion of its range, and to assess harvest levels.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation

The crested chameleon is listed on Appendix II of the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and any international trade in this species is therefore strictly controlled and regulated by annual maximum export quotas (1). In addition, the crested chameleon is found in a number of protected areas within its range, including Takamanda Forest Reserve in Cameroon (7) (8). Nevertheless, many of these areas are under threat from uncontrolled hunting and both legal and illegal logging. Stronger legislation and adequate funding must be provided if these areas are to continue to provide a refuge for the rich biodiversity they harbour (7) (8).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Wikipedia

Trioceros cristatus

The crested chameleon,[1] Trioceros cristatus, is a species of chameleon endemic to Africa. The species was first described by Samuel Stutchbury in 1837 and is one of the most recognisable species of chameleon.

Contents

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The crested chameleon can be found in Bioko, the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, the Republic of Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of the Congo, the Gabonese Republic, the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Republic of Ghana and the République Togolaise (Republic Togo). It has a geological type locality of the Gabonese Republic.[1] It is found at an altitude between 10 and 900 metres (33 and 3,000 feet) above mean sea level, and over an area of 1,000,000 square kilometres (390,000 square miles).[2] The IUCN (IUCN) have classed Trioceros cristatus as Least Concern.[3]

Description[edit]

The female is larger than the male. The total length of a female is 28 cm (11 in), and the total for a male is 25 cm (9.8 in). Females lay between 11 and 14 eggs, although a clutch of 37 was once found.[4]

Taxonomy[edit]

The crested chameleon was first described by Stutchbury in 1837. In 1865, Gray described it as the Pterosaurus cristatus. Werner described it as the Chamaeleon cristatus in 1911, and Mertens described it in 1966 as Chamaeleo cristatus. Klaver and Böhme described it as Chamaeleo (Trioceros) cristatus in 1986, and Necas described it under the same name in 1999. The species was most recently described by Tilbury and Tolley in 2009 as Trioceros cristatus.[1]


References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Trioceros cristatus | The Reptile Database". Reptile-database.reptarium.cz. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  2. ^ "Facts about Crested Chameleon (Trioceros cristatus) - Encyclopedia of Life". Encyclopedia of Life. Eol.org. 2012-10-23. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  3. ^ "Trioceros cristatus (Crested Chameleon)". Iucnredlist.org. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  4. ^ "Crested chameleon videos, photos and facts - Trioceros cristatus". ARKive. 2009-02-23. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Source: Wikipedia

Unreviewed

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Disclaimer

EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!