Chamaeleo (Trioceros) goetzei

Scientific name Common name(s) alternate scientific names described by year size brood

Chamaeleo (Trioceros) goetzei

Goetze´s chameleon Chamaeleon goetzei
see a species list of Chamaeleo
Tornier 1899 Medium live

The nominate form, C. g. goetzei is endemic to the Uzungwe, Rungwe, and Poroto Mts. of Tanzania. A subspecies, C. g. nyikae inhabits the Nyika Plateau of Malawi. C. goetzei favors montane forest edges, moist savannas and montane meadows. The Nyika plateau is at 7500 ft.

C. goetzei resembles C. bitaeniatus and is often imported as that species. It has two lateral stripes, the upper stripe is continous while the lower stripe is interrupted. Both sexes sport small occipital lobes, the major criterion by which they may distinguished from C. bitaeniatus. Some populations have a black gular spot similar to that in C. ellioti. Overall length is 8 inches (SVL 3.5 inches). Weight is to 15-20 grams. The males have a clearly visible hemipenal bulge and are slightly smaller than the females.

C. goetzei can be kept in pairs in a densely planted screened cage. This species seems to be very sensitive to URI due to poor ventilation. They benefit greatly from outdoor housing during the summer in an all-screen cage in the semi-shade. When kept inside, a basking spot is necessary for thermoregulation. Day temperatures should be in the mid-seventies with a night drop to at least 60ºF. Misting twice a day and a dripper are essential for their humidity needs. All food items of appropriate size, such as flies, crickets and small locusts are eagerly accepted. Obesity has not yet been observed. Temperament is docile towards keepers and conspecifics but males are aggressive amongst themselves.

Breeding/incubation techniques: If kept together, mating can take place without observation due to the calm temper of the animals. The only hint that copulation has taken place may be some superficial skin lesions on the female. Gestation takes 6-8 months, depending on the average temperature. The babies are born in the morning hours in the usual ovoviviparous way. They can be raised in small groups with Drosophila and pinhead crickets. The babies seem to very sensitive to dehydration and should, therefore, not be raised in all screened cages unless an ultrasonic humidifier is used. The offspring reach sexual maturity within the first year. One-two clutches are born per year.

Contributed by Stefan Dangel

Klaver, C. & W. Boehme. 1997. Chamaeleonidae. Das Tierreich, 112: i-xiv' 1 - 85. Verlag Walter de Gruyter & Co., Berlin, New York.
Necas, P. 1999. Chameleons: Nature's Hidden Jewels. Krieger Publishing Company, Malabar, FL.
Schmidt, W., Tamm, K. & Wallikewitz, E. 1996. Chaméleons -Drachen unserer Zeit. Herpetologischer Fachverlag, Muenster.

Spawls, S., Howell, K., Drewes, R., and Ashe, J. 2002. A Field Guide to the Reptiles of East Africa. Academic Press, New York.

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