Exotic reptiles: Madagascar chameleon Furcifer pardalis

Exotic reptiles: Madagascar chameleon Furcifer pardalis

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Systematic classification and distribution

Class: Reptiles
Order: Squamati
Suborders: Sauri
Family: Chamaeleonidae
Genus: Furcifer
Species: F. pardalis Cuvier, 1829

Together with the African Chameleon, it is one of the most common saurians among Italian terrarists today. It is so known and appreciated because it is very beautiful and colorful, especially the males.
F. pardalis and all species of the genus 'Fucifer' are endemic to Madagascar and live in the north-central part of the island.


Generally the males measure about 45-50 cm, the females are smaller.

Madagascar Chameleon - Furcifer pardalis (photo

Madagascar Chameleon - Furcifer pardalis (photo

Habitat and terrarium

Habitat: flat and coastal areas.
Terrarium: it is recommended to use a terrarium in the net of at least 50x50x100 cm.
Substrate: as a substrate it is advisable to use bark in pieces, potting soil or, for a more natural effect, potting soil with moss strands scattered here and there.

Temperature and humidity

Temperature: being a cold-blooded animal, your Fucifer will have to receive heat from an external source to its body, just place a spot and UVA lamps, reaching 26/33 ° C during the day and 20/24 ° C at night.
Humidity: in the terrarium you will have to maintain a humidity equal to 60/80% to do this, just place the bowl of water in the hottest part of the terrarium so that its rate increases by evaporation, it is advisable to spray the terrarium three times a day by spraying also on the chameleon's head, stimulating him to drink.


Madagascar chameleons in nature eat mainly insects. In captivity you will have to feed it only of moths, caimans, camole etc. supplementing with calcium and special vitamins.


Before introducing a new guest into the house, it is advisable to have a vet analyzed by a vet with a parasitological examination, and occasionally check the chameleon skin for mites, also check in the bowl of water. Mites present as small black dots visible to the naked eye. Strange attitude, loud breathing, sudden loss of appetite are certainly bad signs and must be reported as soon as possible to a competent veterinarian.

curated by Nicola Fontanella