Malagasy Side-striped Chameleon

(Calumma gastrotaenia)


Malagasy Side-striped Chameleon IUCN LEAST CONCERN (LC)


Facts about this animal

C. gastrotaenia is a quite small species, only reaching around 15-20 cm in total length. The body is uniformly brown, yellow, or green with a lighter stripe reaching from the eye to the tail base. There may also be some light spots. The belly shows a vivid white color. The body is elongated with the tail comprising more than half of the body length. It shows no prominent features other than a very slightly offset casque.

Did you know?
that because of its wide distribution there are several geographical subspecies: C. gastrotaenia andringitraensis is found in the Andringitra Massif, C. gastrotaenia guillaumeti in the Marojezy massif and Tsaratanana and C. gastrotaenia marojezens is found in the Marojezy massif.


Name (Scientific) Calumma gastrotaenia
Name (English) Malagasy Side-striped Chameleon
Name (French) Caméléon de Perinet
Name (Spanish) Perinet chameleon
CITES Status Appendix II, but banned from export since 1995
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
Franco Andreone



Range Madagascar
Habitat In forests above altitudes of 600 meters. The animals are most often found at the edge of primary and secondary forests on bushes and trees within 1-2.5 meters above ground level. The temperatures in areas where gastrotaenia are found are often above 30 C but because the animals are living inside the forests the temperatures seldom rise above 24 C. Also because of this regulation by the forest the night drop is not as prominent as it is in more open areas. In winter when the temperatures outside the forests may even drop below 0 C it is still slightly warmer in the forests. Annual rainfall is about 3000 mm, creating a humidity of 90%.
Wild population In its range the populations can be quite numerous.
Zoo population None reported to ISIS (2007)

In the Zoo

Malagasy Side-striped Chameleon


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 41 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
Franco Andreone

Why do zoos keep this animal

Due to the export ban, there are hardly any specimens of this species left in zoos. The species in not threatened with extinction. Zoos and aquariums would keep it primarily for educational reasons and as an ambassador species for the conservation of highland forests in Madagascar.