Graceful Chameleon

Graceful Chameleon (Chamaeleo gracilis) in defensive display
Graceful Chameleon in defensive display © Warren Photographic

Graceful Chameleon, Chamaeleo gracilis, is a species of Chameleon native to Central African region, a specialized clad of lizard measuring about 40 cm, that can change color but which are basically olive green with white or black spots.

The Graceful chameleon is very sensitive to temperature and humidity, enjoying only temperatures ranging from 17-23°C. In addition to this moderate temperature, it will be most comfortable when the humidity is very high, about 90-100% on the hygrometer. In Yoruba mythology, the chameleon, called Oga or Alagemo, was indeed reported as Olodumare’s trusted servant sent immediately after creation to verify if the earth was dry. This chameleon species shows ability to withstand deforestation, and it has presumably increased in number after an extensive deforestation in Nigeria. It is diurnal and feeds on a variety of invertebrate species, which it catches using its remarkable, extensile tongue.

In a year, females will have about 60 eggs in two batches, called clutches. They will incubate at 23°C for six months before hatching. Maximum lifespan in captivity is about 12 years.