Colloquial (Common) Names: Oos-Kaap Dwerg-verkleurmannetjie (Afrikaans); ilovane (isiXhosa); umwabu (isiZulu).

Taxonomy: Class: Reptilia; Order: Squamata; Suborder: Sauria (Lacertilia); Infraorder: Iguania; Family: Chameleonidae.

Identification: A large dwarf chameleon with a medium-sized casque which slants slightly backwards. The throat region is often pale. Often grey to brown in colour, with large reddish tubercles along its flanks.

Size: 150-160mm total length.

Distribution: Throughout most of the Eastern Cape Province, just entering the Western Cape. Often translocated to areas outside its natural range, individuals have been found around Johannesburg in Gauteng, Bloemfontein and a few other locations in the Free State.

Habitat: Fynbos, Albany Thicket, Grassland and Nama-Karoo where they frequent shrubs, trees and bushes.

Activity & Behaviour: Diurnal and mostly arboreal, but will descend to the ground to move between shrubs.

Diet & Feeding: Various insects.

Reproduction: Females give live birth to 10-22 young and may have more than one litter in a season.

Conservation Status: Least Concern.

References and Recommended Further Reading:

  • Bates, M., W. Branch, A. Bauer, M. Burger, J. Marais, G. Alexander, & M. De Villiers (eds). 2014. Atlas and Red List of the Reptiles of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Suricata 1. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.
  • Tolley, K. & M. Burger. 2007. Chameleons of Southern Africa. Struik Publishers.

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