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Chamaeleo chamaeleon / Bukalemun , Hamalyo, Burnukapan / Common Chameleon

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Chamaeleo chamaeleon / Bukalemun , Hamalyo, Burnukapan / Common Chameleon

Chamaeleo chamaeleon / Bukalemun , "Hamalyo", "Burnukapan" / Common Chameleon [Adult / Erişkin] from Akyatan, Karataş, Adana.

A medium-sized reaching a maximum total length of about 30 cm. It is quite different and unmistakable species with a laterally flattened body and characteristic slow movements. The head narrow and high, in adults in the form of a bony helmet: it wears well-pronounced lateral and parietal crests, the later exceeding the level of the neck and forming a postero-dorsally pointed casque. The eyes are fairly big and bulbous, with fused eyelids leaving a small opening for pupil. The eyes can move independently or together for stereo vision. Laterally compressed body is covered by homogenous granular scales. There is a dordal (vertebral) and ventral crest consisting of enlarged scales. The toes are arranged as two opposed to three (reversing in front and hind feet) so that feet are modified to gripping rather than walking. Tail is strongly prehensile and almost of the same length as SVL. It can change colour rather quickly, the ground colouration may be overlaid by darker or lighter maculations, spots and/or lateral stripes. A medial abdominal yellowish line, extending posteriorly to anus, does not change colour. The females are bigger and heavier-bodied than the males, which have also a relatively higher casque, better pronounced dorsal and ventral crests and a swollen tail base.

Chameleon is strongly arboreal, moves slowly but easily among twigs and branches by means of its grasping feet and prehensile tail; catching various insect preys with a sticky extensible tongue. The eyesight is a dominant sense. It feeds predominantly on arthropods, accepting excepltionalyy also small reptiles, as well as fruits, leaves and flowers. It is an oviparous species. The matting takes plase in summer, female deposits 20 or more eggs into burrows dug in soil.

Known range of the species extends from N Africa and Spain to W Asia; including Turkey and Cyprus with a vertical distribution to 700 m. It is stated that the Cyprus race of this species belongs to C. chamaeleon recticrista. Animals from Turkey and Grecee, suggest that eastern Mediterrenean specimens attain larger dimensions than western ones (Portugal, Spain). Furthermore, there seem to be slight hemipenial differences between the two groups. Thus, the population of Cyprus belongs to the eastern Mediterranean form, i.e., C. chamaeleon recticrista.


Kaynaklar/References & Daha Fazla Bilgi için/For More Info: 1. Göçmen, B. (Unpub. results). The results of herpetological trips. 2. Budak, A. & Göçmen, B. (2005). Herpetology. Ege Üniversitesi Fen Fakültesi Kitaplar Serisi, No. 194, Ege Üniversitesi Basimevi, Bornova-Izmir, 226 pp. [2nd Edition/2nci Baskı, 2008].  

3. AdaMerOs Herptil Türkiye / Turkherptil.


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Author Bayram GÖÇMEN
Created on Friday 07 September 2012
Posted on Monday 07 January 2013
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