Parson's chameleon

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Parson's chameleon
Parson's chameleon (Calumma p. Parsonii), ♂

Parson's chameleon (Calumma p. Parsonii), ♂

without rank: Toxicofera
without rank: Iguana (Iguania)
Family : Chameleons (Chamaeleonidae)
Subfamily : Real chameleons (Chamaeleoninae)
Genre : Calumma
Type : Parson's chameleon
Scientific name
Calumma parsonii
( Cuvier , 1824)

Parson's chameleon ( Calumma parsonii ) is one of the largest members of the Chamaeleonidae family with a total length of up to 70 centimeters and belongs to the genus Calumma .

distribution and habitat

Distribution area

Parson's chameleon lives exclusively in the north and east of Madagascar , especially on the island of Sainte Marie . Its habitat are the densely forested tree tops of the rainforests from a height of approx. 5 meters.


There are two known subspecies. The widespread Calumma p. parsonii ( Cuvier , 1824) reaches a length of up to 68 centimeters and has no back crest. Calumma p. cristifer ( Methuen & Hewitt , 1913) from the vicinity of Andasibe , on the other hand, only reaches 47 centimeters. However, this subspecies has a small ridge. In both subspecies, the males are larger than the females.

From Calumma p. parsonii , different color variants are known. However, it is not clear whether it is morph or new subspecies. It is currently believed to be a morph. The following variants are known:

  • “Orange Eye” or “White-lipped”: Here the male is relatively small and colored green or turquoise. The eyelid is strikingly yellow or orange.
  • “Yellow Lip”: The male is slightly larger and mainly green to turquoise in color. It also has a yellow border around the mouth.
  • “Yellow Giant”: The male is very large and colored yellow.
  • “Green Giant”: The male is colored green.

Behavior and way of life

Detail shot
Female Parsons chameleon


During the day, Parson's chameleons hunt for insects and small vertebrates in trees.


The female buries 20 to 38 eggs about 30 centimeters deep in the ground. The young hatch after 400 to 520 days. Outside the breeding season, Parson's chameleon lives solitary.

Protection status

Parson's chameleon has the protection status of the Washington Convention on the Protection of Species II.

Individual evidence


Web links