IUCN Status: Least concern
Depending upon their range, the panther chameleons will primarily eat worms that are available in the wild, but also insects like crickets, grasshoppers, cockroaches, caterpillars etc. In captivity they are fed on crickets and locusts which can be suplemented with native insects caught by sweep netting.
Female panther chameleons only live about half the life span of the males ( 5 - 7 years) as they produce between 5 to 8 cluches of eggs numbering up to 40 in a clutch. This scientists beleive drains their reserves and shortens their life span. Gestation is about 4 to 6 weeks and incubation about 240 days as the embryos grow.
We have a male panther chameleon on exhibit in the encounter zone. The males are sexually dimorphic being far more colourfull and this individual is predominantly green with red. He can be difficult to find due to his camouflage and it is always a challenge to locate him in his vivarium!
Located in the lowland areas of north and north-east of Madagascar these are lizards of the tropical forests.
Depending on the locale the individual chameleon comes from they can change their body colours to match the environment. However, chameleons cannot change to all the different colours, so some can be predomintly red or green or yellow. Chameleons are zygodactyluus (have thier five toes fused into a two and three tong like appearance) and a tongue nearly as long as their body! Their eyes are the most distinctive of all lizards raised and mounted like rotating gun turrrets!
Chameleons are highly territorial. They only come together for mating. They are diurnal using their incredible eyesight for hunting insects in the trees and shrubs.