AKA: Nosy Be Chameleon
Locale: Nosy Be – chameleons with characteristically blue hues, yellow lips and yellow face accents.
Native to: Madagascar, specifically the Nosy Be island off the northwestern coast of Madagascar.
Environment: Nosy Be Panther Chameleons typically live in the tropical forests of Madagascar. As an arboreal species, it lives and sleeps in trees and shrubs, finding security high in the tree branches. Chameleons are shade dwellers who move throughout the tree canopy in order to seek out and balance their exposure to shade, direct sun light (UVB), humidity, and temperature.
Eats: Chameleons are primarily insectivores – feeding on various insects in the wild. In the wild, chameleons do occasionally eat other small reptiles, lizards, birds and other small animals.
In their natural habitat, a chameleon will find a very large variety of insects to eat, all of which have different organic diets. This varied diet is key to the chameleon receiving a variety of vitamins and nutrients from the insects. Keepers should try to introduce a varied and diverse diet of well fed, safe feeder insects, taking care to research and avoid any potentially toxic feeders. It is generally not recommended to feed chameleons animal protein, or other reptiles or mammals.
Sexing: Sexing male chameleons is easy with adults. Adult male Panther Chameleons are typically very vibrant shades of blues, greens, reds, yellows, and oranges. Females are typically less diverse, having a primarily peachy-pink color with subtle black, purple, and blue accents.
As babies, Panther Chameleons can be sexed by examining their tails and vent areas. Baby females have a thinner tail and base, as well as a small indent after the vent. Baby males have a slightly thicker tail and base, and eventually develop a telltale bulge at the base of the tail where their hemipenis resides.
There is a great visual resource on sexing Panther Chameleons at www.muchadoaboutchameleons.com.
Pictured above is Walter, our male Nosy Be chameleon. Walter’s resting colors range from a light turquoise blue to a bright mint green, with subtle hints of yellow and white. When fired up or excited, he often exhibits black bars with a bit of yellow along his back. When outside, or free ranging, he will often transition to a lemon/lime color, with a bright yellow along his back and a brighter green coloration that fades to bright blue on his stomach.
Walter is a gentle, reserved chameleon who often finds a comfortable perch to spend the day just watching the world around him. Despite his gentle, shy demeanor, he’s gained the nickname “Tank” due to the way him fires up and marches around his enclosure in a territorial display when he catches even a momentary glance of another chameleon.