Jeweled chameleon (Furcifer campani)

Jeweled chameleon
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Jeweled chameleon fact file

Jeweled chameleon description

GenusFurcifer (1)

The tiny jeweled chameleon (Furcifer campani) varies from pale green to dark brown in colour, and is elaborately decorated with numerous small, light-coloured spots and three prominent pale bands running horizontally along the flanks (2). Red spots may also appear on the head, above the eye (2).

Also known as
Madagascar Forest Chameleon.
Length: up to 14 cm (2)

Jeweled chameleon biology

Chameleons are strictly diurnal, solitary animals that are often aggressive towards members of their own species, which may be marked by rapid colour change and aggressive posturing (5). These lizards wait for prey to pass within range, and then fire out their long, sticky tongue to claim their victim (5).

Little is known about the reproductive biology of this species, other than that it is egg-laying (oviparous) with a relatively short incubation period of seven to ten weeks (2). There are reports that 2 to 3 clutches are laid each year, with each clutch containing between 8 and 12 eggs (6).


Jeweled chameleon range

The jeweled chameleon is restricted to the central highlands of Madagascar, between Andringitra and just south of Antananarivo (1).


Jeweled chameleon habitat

This species has been recorded between 1,850 and 2,300 metres above sea level where it inhabits grassy and shrubby savannah (1) (4).


Jeweled chameleon status

The jeweled chameleon is classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List (1), and listed on Appendix II of CITES (3).

IUCN Red List species status – Vulnerable


Jeweled chameleon threats

The grasslands inhabited by the jeweled chameleon are subject to regular, intense, wild fires and this may pose a threat to the species, especially if the extent and frequency of fires increases (4).

The jeweled chameleon is known to be collected from the wild for sale in the western pet markets, and although commercial exports of this species were suspended in 1995 (7) (8), some illegal trade continues. While insufficient data exists to fully understand the impact of this trade (7) it is unlikely that the jeweled chameleon is threatened by collection (9)


Jeweled chameleon conservation

The jeweled chameleon is listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which regulates the volume of international trade in the species (1). It also occurs within Andringitra National Park (10).

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.


Authenticated (07/03/11) by Dr Richard K.B. Jenkins, Madagasikara Voakajy and Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, University of Kent.



Active during the day.
The sides of the body between the ribs and the hips.
The act of incubating eggs, that is, keeping them warm so that development is possible.


  1. IUCN Red List (January, 2007)
  2. (January, 2007)
  3. CITES (January, 2007)
  4. Randrianantoandro, J.C., Andriantsimanarilafy, R.R., Rakotovololonalomanana, H., Hantalalaina, E.F., Rakotondravony, D., Ramilijaona, O., Ratsimbazafy, J., Razafindrakoro, G.F. and Jenkins, R.K.B. (2010) Population assessments of chameleons from two montane sites in Madagascar. Herpelogical Conservation and Biology, 5: 23-31.
  5. Madagascar (January, 2007)
  6. Brady, L.D. and Griffiths, R.A. (1999) Status Assessment of Chameleons in Madagascar. IUCN Species Survival Commission. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.
  7. Carpenter, A.I., Robson, O., Rowcliffe, J.M. and Watkinson, A.R. (2005) The impacts of international and national governance changes on a traded resource: a case study of Madagascar and its chameleon trade. Biological Conservation, 123: 279-287.
  8. Carpenter, A.I., Rowcliffe, J.M. and Watkinson, A.R. (2004) The dynamics of the global trade in chameleons. Biological Conservation, 120: 291-301.
  9. Jenkins, R. (March, 2011) Pers. comm.
  10. Raxworthy, C.J., and Nussbaum, R.A. (1996) Montane amphibian and reptile communities. Conservation Biology, 10: 750-756.

Image credit

Jeweled chameleon  
Jeweled chameleon

© Rhett A. Butler /

Rhett Butler


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