C. gastrotaenia can be found in forests above altitudes of 600 meters all over central and eastern Madagascar. 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. C. gastrotaenia has been banned from export by CITES since 1995.
Description: This is a quite small species, only reaching around 6 inches (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. They may also display some light spots. The abdomen shows a vivid white color. The body is elongated with the tail comprising more than half of the body length. C. gastrotaeniata shows no prominent features other than a very slightly offset casque. The animals are most often found sleeping within 1-2.5 meters above ground level.
Climate: The temperatures in areas where gastrotaenia are found are often above 86 F (30 C) but because the animals are living inside the forests the temperatures seldom rise above 75 F (24 C). Because of this regulation by the forest the
night drop is as prominent as it
is in more open areas. In winter the temperatures outside the forests drop below 32 F (0 C) it is slightly warmer in the forests. Annual rainfall is about 3000 mm, creating a humidity of 90%.
Captive Care should be based on the fact that gastrotaenia is a pure rainforest dweller. The daytime temperature should be around 75-77ºF (23-25ºC) with a nighttime temperature drop to around 64ºF (18ºC). Humidity should be kept around 60-80% with an increase at night. As
gastrotaenia are not overly aggressive towards each other it is possible to keep a pair in a larger enclosure (of at least 24Lx16Wx24H (60x40x60 cm) but period observations must be conducted to ensure that no animal is being stressed. check that no animal is suppressed.
Food: Insects of a size that fits the size of the animals.
Breeding: It seems that a brumation during winter at temperatures below 68ºF (20ºC) is necessary to promote mating. The eggs should probably be incubated at room temperatures.
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