Furcifer angeli

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

Furcifer angeli

Angel's Chameleon Chamaeleo angeli
see a species list of Furcifer
Brygoo & Domergue 1968 Medium Eggs

The distribution of F. angeli (named after F. Angel) is limited to the dry, western domain of Madagascar. It is found within the Réserve Naturelle Intégrale Ankarafantsika (R.N.I. 7), both within and outside the protected area, Bekomanga forest. It seems to be more restricted to undisturbed habitat than F. rhinoceratus with which it occurs sympatrically at the Ankarafantsika Reserve. Only a very few specimens of this rare species are known to science.

The current best information suggests that males reach a maximum total length of just over 12 inches (33 cm) females 8 inches (21 cm). However, because so few specimens are known, it is not unrealistic to suspect that larger specimens may ultimately be found. Thus, Necas (1999) suggests a maximum total length of 16 inches (40cm).

Scalation is heterogenous, often with a longitudinal row of enlarged scales at the flanks. Males exhibit a prominent, rigid, boney nasal projection, almost as wide as high and in many aspects similar to the nasal projections seen in male Calumma brevicornis but larger. The nasal projection in females is very small and barely visible. Both sexes possess low casques and gular crests of small, pointed tubercles. Enlarged scales may be present on the cheeks and casque. Males are dark brown, reddish brown or rich orange-pink (when displaying) with irregular darker brown or black saddle-shaped transverse bands. A very prominent white, longitudinal line at the flanks ends at the insertions of the front legs. The lips (maxillary and mandibular labia) are white. The females are rust brown with head, limbs and tail a paler brown. Markings of darker shades of brown appear on the cheeks, body and tail. Elongated, longitudinal spots of a light brown color form an interrupted line at mid-flanks. Displaying females have numerous neon-purple scales all over the body and cheecks. It is unknown if these neon-purple scales are a sign of gravidity, In both sexes, the dorsal crest is composed of numerous small tubercles, the largest at the first half of the body. A ventral crest of small pointed tubercles is present in both sexes.

As far as we know, there are no published records of captive breeding of this species. Probably very few have ever been kept in captivity. They have been banned from export since 1995.

Similar species: Males are very distinct from other Malagasy chameleons. Females look superficially similar to female F. pardalis but confusion in the field is impossible because the two species nowhere occur sympatrically.

Contributed by Olaf Pronk, Centre Soafiavy, Madagascar

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.

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