Parson's Chameleon

Zoo Location: Reptile Tropics
 Parson's Chameleon

Native to Madagascar, this species prefers high tree canopies in humid forests.

Wild Diet

Insects such as crickets and locusts and small vertebrates.


A solitary species outside the mating season, this large chameleon hunts during the day for large insects and small vertebrates amongst the branches of trees. It is able to change colour to camouflage but also in response to temperature, its surroundings or the presence of other chameleon.
Their upper and lower eyelids are joined, with only a pinhole large enough for the pupil to see through. Their eyes move independently from each other and can focus on two different objects simultaneously. It in effect gives them a full 360-degree arc of vision around their bodies. 


In aggressive fights at the start of the breeding season, males butt their heads together to determine dominance. Females mate just once every two years and produce 20 - 25 eggs that incubate for 20 months. The young are independent as soon as they hatch.


The main threats are wildlife trade and habitat destruction. They are found in a number of strictly  protected areas, from where all wild animal collection in Malagasy national parks is illegal.

 Parson's Chameleon


  • Latin Name: Calumma parsonii
  • Class: Reptiles
  • Order: Squamata
  • Conservation status: Near Threatened
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