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Chameleons of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:12 am
by Nick Evans
On Saturday, some friends and I went in search for a very special chameleon. It was the last of the chameleon species occurring in the province that we were yet to see. We saw it!
There's 8 Dwarf Chameleon (Bradypodion), including one yet to be fully described, which occur in the province of KwaZulu-Natal (our home province). Here are some of my photos of the whole lot.

We left on Saturday morning, and over 800km later, we returned home at 1:30, feeling happy!

Here it is!
The Ngome Dwarf Chameleon (Bradypodion ngomense).
A species seen by few, as it only occurs in a single forest, which is miles away from civilization. It is currently listed as Near Threatened.

Male
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Another male
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Females are pretty, but not quite as good looking as the males:
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My favourite Dwarf Chameleon,
Emerald Dwarf Chameleon (Bradypodion spp). This absolutely stunning species has still yet to be described. Just look at those gorgeous colours!

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Another seldom-seen species..
Qudeni/Zululand Dwarf Chameleon (Bradypodion nemorale). Near Threatened.
The weather was miserable on this occasion. Heavy mist had set in, and it was raining. Still, delighted that we managed to find it, and relatively pleased with my pics.

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And another...
Umlalazi Dwarf Chameleon (Bradypodion caeruleogula). This species is listed as Endangered.

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Another Endangered species occurring in the northern parts of the province, in coastal forests...
Setaro's Dwarf Chameleon (Bradypodion setaroi)

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Midland's Dwarf Chameleon (Bradypodion thamnobates)
I love this species. Their colour varies quite drastically, but nevertheless, those colours are always outstanding!

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Drakensberg Dwarf Chameleon (Bradypodion dracomontanum). This species occurs at very high altitudes!

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The one found closest to home, in Durban...
KwaZulu-Dwarf Chameleon (Bradypodion melanocephalum). The most plain-coloured one, but still cool.

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Finally, a 'non-dwarf' chameleon...
Flap-necked Chameleon (Chamaeleo dilepis). The largest chameleon in the region, reaching lengths of 30cm. They're quite common and widespread to, in other parts of the country. Very impressive chameleons!

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The hatching season started recently...
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Thank you for looking!

~Nick Evans
KwaZulu-Natal Amphibian & Reptile Conservation
http://www.kznamphibianreptileconservation.comFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/KZNHerpConservation/

Re: Chameleons of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:05 am
by Ilian Velikov
Stunning creatures and great photos! Thanks for sharing these.

Re: Chameleons of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:23 am
by Jeroen Speybroeck
Bobby, wake up! ;)

SA is soooo on my to do list... Thanks again for a great post, Nick!

Re: Chameleons of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:56 am
by Bobby Bok
Jeroen Speybroeck wrote:Bobby, wake up! ;)


:lol:

Loving this post and like Jeroen, SA will happen one day. So many cool herps around!

Although I have to say, the females of B. ngomense I find prettier than the males with those subtle shades of green ;)

Re: Chameleons of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:32 am
by Martti Niskanen
Great stuff, Nick.

Re: Chameleons of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:50 am
by Pablo Deschepper
Damn! I can image these dwarf species are hard to find considering their size. Bradypodion thamnobates is amazing :shock: ! Is their color variation random or structured in space?

Re: Chameleons of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 5:29 pm
by J├╝rgen Gebhart
Very, very cool!
Thanks for sharing!!!

Re: Chameleons of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:22 pm
by Evgeny Kotelevsky
Cool photos, Nick! :)

Re: Chameleons of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:20 am
by Nick Evans
Thanks very much everyone :mrgreen: They are indeed gorgeous chameleons!

Bobby, when you do make a mission here, let me know!

Pablo, they're not too hard to find actually :) The colour variation apparently differs from each area in thamnobates. However, I have found from 3 different areas, and they all look very similar. I do find ones from one particular area have more bolder colours.