Chameleon at Samburu Game Reserve, Kenya
Chamaeleo sp?
Samburu Intrepids tented camp
Samburu Game Reserve
July 14, 2000
This chameleon was discovered in the foliage at the camp by a member of the camp staff. They pointed it out to our guide, who pointed it out to me, who had been pestering our guide about chameleons at every free moment. Remarkably, the camp guards were quite frightened of this entertaining little lizard. They would let me take photos but they shouted warnings when I leaned too close. One of them said it would spit poison. Maybe that's what it's preparing for in the second photo?

I haven't identified the species yet but I don't think it will be impossible. The EMBL Reptile Database lists a dozen Chamaeleo species in Kenya: C. bitaeniatus, C. dilepis, C. ellioti, C. gracilis, C. hoehnelii, C. jacksonii, C. laevigatus, C. marsabitensis, C. quilensis, C. roperi, C. schubotzi, and C. tremperi. Hopefully I can track down enough information about these species to figure out which it is. This individual was between 3 and 4 inches long, not counting the tail.

Please send me mail if you have any further information, reference suggestions, or wild guesses that might help me identify this chameleon.

7/7/00 -- Dr. Drewes identified this chameleon as Chamaeleo gracilis.

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