Photo: Savvas Zotos


Chamaeleo chamaeleon

Class: Reptilia

Order: Squamata

Family:  Chamaeleonidae



Medium sized lizard with body length no more than 30cm. Triangular pyramid shaped head that looks like a helmet. Swollen eyes, fingers like forceps and agile tail capable of winding around branches. The main body color is pale green with darker brown or dark green formations. Due to the presence of specialized chromatophores cells in the upper layer of the skin, it has the ability to change its color for better camouflage in vegetation, attracting mates or repelling enemies and rivals.   

Basic biology:


Commonly found in dense bushy or maquis vegetation at lowlands, although not absent from crop or gardens with rich vegetation. It feeds mainly on insects (flying or terrestrial) that captures through projecting its sticky tongue. It can also consume plant matter if needed (fruits, nuts and leaves). Lays 5-40 eggs in holes in the ground during autumn. Reproduction takes place during summer while the eggs are hatched in late spring or early summer of the next year.

Distribution at Cyprus:

From the coast to an altitude of 1.400 meters. 

Global distribution:

South Spain, north Africa, Malta, Samos, Chios, Cyprus, south Turkey, Middle East, Arabian Peninsula.


Not very common

Protection status:


Map of confirmed presence:

Download the distribution of the species (kml format, Google Earth)