Colloquial (Common) Names: Black-headed Dwarf Chameleon (English); KwaZuluDwerg-verkleurmannetjie (Afrikaans); ilovane (isiXhosa); umwabu (isiZulu).
Taxonomy: Class: Reptilia; Order: Squamata; Suborder: Sauria (Lacertilia); Infraorder: Iguania; Family: Chameleonidae.
Identification: A small, brownish to olive green chameleon, sometimes with pale stripes on the sides.
Size: 100-110mm total length.
Distribution: Almost endemic to KwaZulu-Natal, just entering the Eastern Cape.
Habitat: Indian Ocean Coastal Belt and Savanna Biomes where it is found in coastal forest, riverine bush and reed beds.
Activity & Behaviour: Diurnal; arboreal – moves slowly through shrubs, trees and dense grass during the day.
Diet & Feeding: A variety of insects, including grasshoppers.
Reproduction: Live-birth; females produce up to 12 young during summer.
Conservation Status: Vulnerable (due to habitat destruction).
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.