Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

In common with other chameleon species, the Sahel chameleon feeds on large insects, which it catches using its 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 (3). The colour changing abilities of chameleons are well known, and serve multiple purposes, including social displays and indicating breeding condition (3). In this species, gravid females utilize their body colour to indicate that they are not receptive to mating, thereby preventing unwanted attention from breeding males (5). In captivity, the Sahel chameleon lays up to 70 eggs in a single clutch, and buries them in an underground nest. However, fewer eggs are typically laid in the wild. Once the eggs hatch, the juvenile chameleons take between 12 and 16 months to reach sexual maturity (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

The Sahel chameleon is one of the most common species of chameleon in Africa. While this species' usual colouration is green, with two thin, horizontal yellow bands running across the flanks, like other chameleons, it can rapidly change colour, becoming various shades of grey or yellow (2). The eyes are located on cone-shaped turrets that can swivel round independently in all directions and the head extends to the rear into a raised, bony protuberance known as a “casque”. Chameleons are remarkably well-adapted for tree climbing, with long prehensile tails and toes that are fused into opposing pads, providing a secure, pincer-like grip when moving along thin branches (2) (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

Comprehensive Description

Description

Medium to large lizard, largest Egyptian specimen with a SVL of 190 mm (total length of 340 mm). Occipital flap absent, casque low; body scales small, granular, more or less uniform. Limbs rather long; a tarsal spur present in males. Basic color green with small dark spots with a ventral white line from throat to vent. Color highly variable according to season and disposition. In breeding males color can be light sky-blue, with green and yellow bands. Sick or injured animals can be brown or gray.

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

© Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Source: Bibliotheca Alexandrina - EOL Ar

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Distribution

Distribution in Egypt

Nile Delta and Valley. Most widespread in the northern parts of the Delta, between Alexandria and Damietta, south to El Mansoura. One road casualty was found in Wadi El Natrun. Distribution in the Nile Valley is not well known. Recorded from Wadi Haifa, Dabarosa (both in Sudan), El Deir, and Krosko (Anderson 1898, Flower 1933, Smith et al. 1998), localities now inundated by the waters of Lake Nasser. A record of several C. chamaeleon from near the Saqqara Pyramid (Meininger and Atta 1994) is probably referable to C. africanus. The species is also known from a small island in the Nile opposite El Saff . C. africanus is likely to be widespread in the Nile Valley, but is under-documented due to its cryptic coloration and habits. Anderson (1898) speculated that the origin of the population of C. africanus in lower Egypt might be due to introduction by human agency. However, the mention by the same author of old reports of "Chameleons" being common in and around Cairo orchards (most likely of this species) in the 14fh and 15th century A.D., and the spo­radic occurrence of the species along the Nile Valley (which links northern and southern populations), in addition to the morphologi­cal differences between Egyptian and sub-Saharan populations, all indicate that the species' northern extension is a natural one.

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

© BA Cultnat

Source: Bibliotheca Alexandrina - EOL Ar

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Global Distribution

Egypt, Sudan, west along the Sahelian belt to Mali. A small population recently discovered in Greece (Bohme et al. 1998) was probably introduced from Egypt, possibly in historical times, or per­haps in more recent years.

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

© Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Source: Bibliotheca Alexandrina - EOL Ar

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Continent: Africa Europe
Distribution: Mauritania, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Egypt, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Benin, Sudan, Greece  Type locality (restricted): Africa (fide MERTENS 1966: 6)
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

Mainly distributed throughout sub-Saharan Africa, the Sahel chameleon can be found from Mali eastwards to the Horn of Africa, southwards along the west coast from Cameroon to Gabon, and northwards along the east coast from Somalia to Egypt (1). Interestingly, a population also exists in southern Greece that was introduced from Egypt (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

Ecology

Habitat

It inhabits cultivated areas, where it is found in orchards, often near or at the margin of wetland. Seens to prefer short dense trees and reeds. However, near El Saff it has been observed high on large mango trees near the Nile.

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

© Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Source: Bibliotheca Alexandrina - EOL Ar

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

The Sahel chameleon mainly inhabits dry forests and savannah (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

Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Chamaeleo africanus

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 3 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.  Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.  See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

CTTCGTTGACTTCTTTCAACTAACCATAAAGACATTGGCACTATATATTTCTTATTTGGACTGGCCGCAGGGCTTGTTGGA---GCTACCTCAAGCCTGCTAATACGTACAAAACTTAGCCAACCTGGGTTCTCCCTGGGAGAT---GACCATGCCTATAACGTATTAATCACCCTACACGGATTAACTATAATTTTCTTCATGGTAATACCAATCATAATTGGAGGATTCGGAAATTGACTTGTACCCCTAATG---CTTGGAGCACCAGATATAGCCTTTCCACGTATAAACAACATAAGCTTCTGACTTCTTCCACCATCATTTATGCTCTTATTAGCATCATCTAAAGCCGGAACCGGAGTCGGAACAGGATGAACTATCTACCCGCCACTATCTGGCAATATAGCTCACTCAGGCCCATCCATAGATTTA---GCAATCTTCTCACTCCACCTAGCAGGAATCTCTTCCATTCTTGCCTCAATTAATTTCATCACAACTAGCATTAACATAAAACCACACCACATAGTCCTCTATAACTTACCCCTATTCGTATGATCAGTTATATTGACCGCGATCCTACTAATCCTAGCCCTACCAGTACTGGCTGCA---GCCATCACAATACTTCTAACAGATCGAAACTTAAACACAGCATTCTTCGATCCTGTTGGGGGTGGAGATCCTGTACTATTCCAACACCTATTCTGATTTTTTGGACACCCAGAAGTATACATCCTCATTCTACCGGGATTTGGAATTATTTCACATATTATCACACACTATTCATGTAAAAAA---GAACCATTTGGATACATAAGCATGGTATGAGCTATACTAGCAATCACTATTCTGGGCTTCATAGTATGAGCCCACCACATGTTCACCGTAGGACTTGATATTGACACCCGAGCCTACTTCTCCGCAGCAACAATAACTATCGCTGTACCAACCGGAATTAAAGTATTTAGTTGA---ACAGCAACAATCTTCGGAGGA---AAAATTAACTGAGAACCCCCAATACTTTGAGCTCTCGGATTCATGTACTTATTTACCATTGGGGGACTAACGGGAATTACACTATCTAACTCTACCCTAGATGTCTTACTTCACGATACCTACTATGTTGTAGCCCACTTCCACTACGTA---CTATCAATAGGTGCTGTATTTGCAATCATAGCAGGTACAGTCTACTGATTTCCACTAATTTCAGGATATGCACTCAACAAAAAATTAGCATACTCACAATTTACTATTATATTCATCGGAGTCAATATCACTTTTTTTCCACAGCACATGCTAGGACTAGCGGGGATACCACGA---CGATACTCAGACTTCCCAGACGCCTACGCA---ATCTGAAATAATATCTCATCAACCGGAGCACTAATTTCAATACTAGGCGCACTAATAATAGTCACAATCCTATGAGAAGCAATGGTAAAAAAACGAAAAATC------TCACGAACACTATCTGACACAACC
-- end --

Download FASTA File
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Chamaeleo africanus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 3
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation

Conservation Status

Status in Egypt

Fairly common in the northern Delta. On 8 September 1991 seven fresh casualties were found along a 20-km stretch of road near Rosetta. Fairly large numbers are col­lected for the pet trade. Chameleons are popular pet animals in trade. The impact of collection on this species is probably not significant yet, but numbers collected appear to be larger than in the past. In Egypt it is Vulnerable.

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

© Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Source: Bibliotheca Alexandrina - EOL Ar

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Least Concern

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

© Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Source: Bibliotheca Alexandrina - EOL Ar

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

Threats

While the main threat to the Sahel chameleon has been overexploitation for the international pet trade, it has never been one of the major exported species and therefore does not appear to be particularly at risk (1) (6). The small, introduced population in southern Greece is currently threatened by tourist development, but as it is non-native to the country, there is some controversy over whether it should be targeted for conservation action (7).
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

The Sahel 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). The Hellenic Ornithological Society is running an ongoing project to help protect and conserve the introduced population of the Sahel chameleon in Greece, using volunteers to research and monitor this species, as well as to protect the nests (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

African chameleon

The African chameleon or Sahel chameleon (Chamaeleo africanus) is a species of chameleon native to the Sahel and Nile Valley, although it has been introduced to Greece.[1] An average size may be around 34 cm (13 in) long, including its tail.[2]

Range[edit]

Chamaeleo africanus is found in much of the Sahel, from Mali and Mauritania to Sudan.[3] Its range also extends north along the Nile to Egypt, but it may have been introduced there.[4] From Egypt, the species has been brought to the Peloponnese.[5] It lives in dry savanna.[1]

Description[edit]

The African chameleon is a slow-moving, laterally flattened species growing to a maximum length of 46 cm (18 in). It has bulbous eyes which can move independently of each other and a prehensile tail. It is very similar in appearance to the common chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon) but has no flaps at the back of its head and is rather larger.[6] It is often green with many black spots, but like other chameleons, is capable of changing its colour. It has a large bony casque on its head. It has long limbs, and the male has tarsal spurs.[4][5]

Behaviour[edit]

The African chameleon is usually found on the lower branches of trees, on shrubs and on reeds (Phragmites). It grasps its support with its four-toed feet, a pair of toes on either side of the branch, and its tail, and remains stationary or advances slowly and stealthily. It feeds mainly on insects which it catches by suddenly extending its sticky-tipped tongue. It may also eat small lizards or fledgling birds.[6] The female descends to the ground to breed and lays a clutch of up to seventy eggs in an underground nest. These take about three months to hatch and the young chameleons take a year or more to reach maturity.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Sahel chameleon (Chamaeleo africanus)". Reptiles. arkive.org. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  2. ^ "Chamaeleo africanus". EOL. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "Chamaeleo africanus Laurenti, 1768". reptile-database. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Chamaeleo africanus Laurenti 1768". lifedesk. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "African Chameleon (Chamaeleo africanus)". Library. wildlife-archipelago. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Arnold, E. Nicholas; Ovenden, Denys W. (2002). Field Guide: Reptiles & Amphibians of Britain & Europe. Collins & Co. p. 120. ISBN 9780002199643. 
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!