Flap-necked Chamaeleon

(Chamaeleo dilepis)


Flap-necked Chamaeleon IUCN LEAST CONCERN (LC)


Facts about this animal

The total length is 35 to 40 cm. Their characteristic are large occipital lobes. Relaxed colours of this species are a light green (or grey, or brown) with a small white stripe along the side. When they get excited and/or stressed, they quickly acquire small black dots throughout their bodies. It is a diurnal, active species that moves around all day, but it is also rather shy and aggressive. When ready to mate, females change their colour (green with yellow spots) and tolerate males near them. Mating lasts about one hour. Females lay between 20-30 eggs after a gestation period of about a month in a whole they have been digging themselves. The eggs hatch after an incubation of 6 to 7 months. After only 9 moths the offspring reaches sexual maturity.

Did you know?
that the females of this species are larger than the males and superior to them? They occupy the best spots, establish territories attack the adult males and the younger individuals and drive them away. Only during the short mating period they tolerate males within their territory and near them. When however gravid females come into contact with a male, they turn almost completely black and begin to head-butt the intruding male.


Name (Scientific) Chamaeleo dilepis
Name (English) Flap-necked Chamaeleon
Name (French) Caméléon bilobé
Name (German) Lappenchamaeleon
Name (Spanish) Camaleón lobulado
CITES Status Appendix II
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
Pierre-Yves Vaucher



Range Angola , Botswana , Burundi , Cameroon , Congo , Democratic Republic of the Congo , Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea , Ethiopia , Gabon , Kenya , Malawi , Mozambique , Namibia , Nigeria , Rwanda , Somalia , South Africa , Swaziland , Uganda (?), United Republic of Tanzania , Zambia , Zimbabwe
Habitat They live in forest-, bush- and grass-savannahs (rather open and dry habitat), where the temperatures are moderate, however they can stand temperatures as cold as 5 degrees C and as warm as 35 degrees C, but with high humidity and only for short periods of time. They stay on branches of trees and bushes, also on high grass, but rarely on the ground.
Wild population Widespread and common, apparently not threatened. Population trend stable (Red Lis IUCN 2011)
Zoo population 19 reported to ISIS (2007)

In the Zoo

Flap-necked Chamaeleon


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
Pierre-Yves Vaucher

Why do zoos keep this animal

The flap-necked chameleon is not a threatened species. Zoos and aquariums keep it primarily for educational reasons. It is, however, less frequently kept than the larger Yemen chameleon.