Chameleons: Types, Characteristics, and Photos

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Veiled Chameleon

Two veiled chameleons - Chamaeleo calyptratus
Two veiled chameleons - Chamaeleo calyptratus.

Digital Zoo / Getty Images

Chameleons are among the most charming and quirky of all reptiles, most noted for their unique feet, stereoscopic eyes and lighting-fast tongues. Here you can browse a collection of pictures of chameleons, including veiled chameleons, Sahel chameleons and common chameleons.

The veiled chameleon (Chamaeleo calyptratus) inhabits dry plateaus along the borders of Yemen and Saudi Arabia. Like many chameleons, veiled chameleons are arboreal lizards. They have a broad casque on the top of their head which can grow to two inches tall in adults.

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Veiled Chameleon

Veiled Chameleon - Chamaeleo calyptratus
Veiled chameleon - Chamaeleo calyptratus.

Tim Flach / Getty Images.

Veiled chameleons (Chamaeleo calyptratus) are brightly colored chameleons. They have bold-colored bands of scales that circle their torsion that can contain a variety of colors including gold, blue, green, yellow, orange and black. Veiled chameleons are shy animals that often play possum when disturbed.

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Common Chameleon

Common Chameleon - Chamaeleo chamaeleon
Common chameleon - Chamaeleo chamaeleon.

Emijrp / Wikimedia Commons

The common chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon) inhabits Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. Common chameleons feed on insects, approaching them slowly and by stealth and then projecting their long tongue outward quickly to catch them.

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Namaqua Chameleon

Namaqua chameleon - Chameleo namaquensis.

Yathin S. Krishnappa / Wikimedia Commons

The Namaqua chameleon (Chamaeleo namaquensis) is a chameleon that is native to South Africa, Angola, and Namibia. Namaqua chameleons are among the largest of Africa's chemeleons. They have a short tail in comparison to other chameleons, a reflection of the Namaqua chameleon's terrestrial habits, in contrast to arboreal chameleons who have long, prehensile tails.

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Globe-Horned Chameleon

Globe-Horned Chameleon - Calumma globifer
Globe-horned chameleon - Calumma globifer.

Tier Und Naturfotografie J und C Sohns / Getty Images

The globe-horned chameleon (Calumma globifer), also know as the flat-casqued chameleon is a largest species of chameleon native to the humind forests of eastern Madagascar. The globe-horned chameleon is varied in color but can have markings of green, reddish brown, yellow, black, or white.

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Short-Horned Chameleon

Short-Horned Chameleon - Calumma brevicorne
Short-Horned Chameleon - Calumma brevicorne.

Frans Lanting / Getty Images

The short-horned chameleon (Calumma brevicorne) is a species of chameleon that is endemic to Madagascar. Short-horned chameleons live in mid-altitude humid forests and tend to prefer open or edge habitats in those areas.

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Jackson's Chameleon

Jackson's Chameleon - Trioceros jacksonii
Jackson's chameleon.

Tim Flach / Getty Images

The Jackson's chameleon (Trioceros jacksonii) is a species of chameleon that is native to East Africa. The species has also been introduced to Florida and the Hawaiian Islands. Jackson's chameleons are notable for, in males, having three horns on their head.

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Labord's Chameleon

Labords chameleon
Labord's chameleon - Furcifer labordi.

Chris Mattison / Getty Images

The Labord's chameleon (Furcifer labordi) is a species of chameleon that is native to Madagascar. Labord's chameleons are short-lived lizards, whose lifespan is only 4 to 5 months. This is the shortest known lifespan for a tetrapod.

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Mediterranean Chameleon - Chamaeleo mediterraneo

Mediterranean Chameleon - Chamaeleo mediterraneo
Mediterranean Chameleon - Camaleon mediterraneo.

Javier Zayas / Getty Images

The Mediterranean chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon), also known as the common chameleon, is a species of chameleon that inhabits Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Mediterranean chamelons are insect-eating lizards that stalk their prey and catch it with their long tongue.

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Parson's Chameleon

Parson's Chameleon - Chamaeleo parsonii
Parson's chameleon - Chamaeleo parsonii.

Dave Stamboulis / Getty Images

The Parson's chameleon is endemic to eastern and northern Madagascar where it inhabits tropical forests. The Parson's chameleon is a large chameleon recognizable by the pronounced ridge that runs above its eyes and down its snout.

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Panther Chameleon

Panther chameleon - Furcifer pardalis
Panther chameleon - Furcifer pardalis.

Mike Powles / Getty Images

The panther chameleon (Furcifer pardalis) is a species of chameleon that is native to Madagascar. It is found most commonly on the central and northern parts of the island where they inhabit lowland, dry, decidulous forests where rivers are present. Panther chameleons are brightly colored. Throughout their range, their coloration and pattern is varied.  Females are more uniform in color than males. Males are larger in size than females.

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Flap-Necked Chameleon

Flap-Necked Chameleon - Chamaeleo dilepis
Flap-necked chameleon - Chamaeleo dilepis.

Mogens Trolle / iStockphoto

The flap-necked chameleon is so named for the large mobile flaps located at the top of its neck. When threatened, these flaps are expanded to create a fearsome profile that is aimed at deterring predators or challengers.

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Klappenbach, Laura. "Chameleons: Types, Characteristics, and Photos." ThoughtCo, Aug. 26, 2020, Klappenbach, Laura. (2020, August 26). Chameleons: Types, Characteristics, and Photos. Retrieved from Klappenbach, Laura. "Chameleons: Types, Characteristics, and Photos." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 8, 2023).