Chamaeleo chamaeleon

Chamaeleo chamaeleon
Common Chameleon
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Sauria
Family: Chamaeleonidae
Genus: Chamaeleo
Species: C. chamaeleon
Binomial name
Chamaeleo chamaeleon
(Linnaeus, 1758)

The Common Chameleon is the only species of Chamaleonidae of Europe.



Four sub-species are identified:

  • Chamaeleo chamaeleon chamaeleon
  • Chamaeleo chamaeleon musae
  • Chamaeleo chamaeleon orientalis
  • Chamaeleo chamaeleon rectricrista


In Europe: Southern Greece (Aegean Islands, Crete, Chios, Samos), Turkey (Aegean and Mediterranean cost) Malta, Southern Portugal, Southern Spain, Cyprus. In North Africa and the Middle East: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Western Sahara, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran.


It was once cited by Marlin Perkins (creator/host of TV's original "Wild Kingdom") that it was once erroneously believed that chameleons could only mimic solid colors, giving rise to the now-obscure expression: "Crazier than a chameleon on a checkered tablecloth."

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