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

Chamaeleo (Trioceros) bitaeniatus

Two-lined or Side-striped Chameleon Chamaeleo bivittatus, Chamaeleon bitaeniatus
see a species list of Chamaeleo
Fischer 1884 Small Live

Widely and abundantly distributed throughout east Africa including Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, southern Sudan, northern Tanzania, Uganda, and northeastern Congo (Zaire). C. bitaeniatus prefers humid regions up to 3,000 m elevation.

This small (total length 6 inches) chameleon is only moderately aggressive toward conspecifics and timid toward keepers.

C. bitaeniatus has a low casque lacking occipital lobes. Enlarged, granular scales adorn the canthi rostralis. Despite what its inclusion in the subgenus Triocerus (i.e., 3 horns) might imply, rostral processes are absent. Squamation is relatively heterogeneous. Small, light colored gular, dorsal and ventral crests are composed of conical scales. Two rows of light colored, enlarged, plate-like or lens-shaped (i.e., lenticular) scales run down the flanks and give the species its name. As is often the case with species so extensively distributed, coloration is highly variable. Basic coloration may be brown, gray, black or brownish-green. Females may be identified by their thinner tail and higher tail length : body length ratio. Males exhibit a thicker tail base.

3-25 live young are produced and produce 1-2 clutches per year. Sexual maturity occurs at approx. 6 months.

Contributed by E. Pollak

Klaver, C. & W. Boehme. 1997. Chamaeleonidae. Das Tierreich, 112: i-xiv' 1 - 85. Verlag Walter de Gruyter & Co., Berlin, New York.
Martin, J., 1992. Masters of Disguise: A Natural History of Chameleons. Facts On File, Inc., New York, NY.
Necas, P. 1999. Chameleons: Nature's Hidden Jewels. Krieger Publishing Company, Malabar, FL.

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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